Change Can Work for Women


Boy Abunda 
The Philippine Star
May 12, 2018

Karen Davila, journalist

Last March, we celebrated and honored women in celebration of the International Women’s Month. It was a month-long celebration that centered around the theme, “We Make Change Work for Women.”

Filipino women are the strength of the family and have consistently been part of nation building. Through the years, the Filipino woman continues to be a significant player in the development of a nation.

There was a time when women have no personality — they could not vote, they were relegated to being mere housewives, they could not sign contracts, they could not apply for a savings account without expressed permission from their men or husbands.

But gone are those days. Women all over the world are being recognized for their achievements. They have become leaders of great nations, movers and shakers, innovators and great influencers.

 They have evolved and continue to evolve.

Here are several women who share their stories on how they celebrate womanhood.

Katrina Ponce-Enrile, one of the Council of Advisers of Make Your Nanay Proud (MYNP) Foundation, Inc. and president and chief executive officer of JAKA Investments Corporation:

“I celebrate womanhood by never forgetting how far we all have come. I look to the past to find inspiration. I look to the likes of Golda Meir, Margaret Thatcher, Indira Gandhi, Mother Teresa and many more women to remind me that we only put limits to ourselves if we choose to.”


Joanne Zapanta-Andrada, member, Council of Advisers, Make Your Nanay Proud (MYNP) Foundation:

“I celebrate womanhood by dedicating myself to my humanitarian and advocacy programs. For me, a woman is the greatest source of love and strength in the world. Continuously caring for those who are marginalized is my way of expressing myself best as a universal Mother and Nurturer.”

Bemz Benedito, former congressional nominee of Ladlad LGBT Party:

“Transgenders or the other Filipinas are women. The day-to- day struggles that transgender women experience in asserting their gender identity are twice the difficulty that biological women experience. However, they are both discriminated, challenged and relegated as secondary to men simply because of their gender. This is the sad reality that pushes us to fight strongly and vigilantly for equality. This is how I celebrate womanhood.”

Karen Davila, journalist:

“I celebrate my womanhood by being comfortable in my own skin, embracing and loving my imperfections, engaging my 100 different personalities, reaching for the stars and above all, loving like crazy! Oh yes, nothing celebrating with champagne!”

Nini Santos Borja, MYNP, vice president and business executive:

“Celebrating the month for women is truly overwhelming. May I commend all women like my mother who have become the foundation of their families, those who were not ashamed to be different and have grown to be role models of their day. I have come upon women who were not blessed with a full education due to financial reasons, but have managed to empower themselves by finding work to support their families, sacrificing their lives for the comfort of their children. They, like my mother, know that gender does not exist when it comes to excellence in their chosen field.

“My mother graduated magna cum laude in Medicine at the Pontifical University of Sto. Tomas, the only woman to be given this award at a time when men ruled the world. It was just after the war (1949) and machismo reigned supreme. She walked to and from school, (she wanted to save for her medical books), and would see the flashy cars of her men-colleagues pass her by, brandishing the customary offer to hop on. With her head held high, she would politely decline. After passing the Board exam as a topnotcher, she opted to work for the nuns at White Cross where she shared her medical expertise and developed health programs for the orphans and abandoned children.

“Parangalan po natin ang mga babae hindi lamang tuwing Women’s Month kundi tuwing may nakikita tayong masipag na manggagawa, mapagmahal na guro, mapagmalasakit na liderato, at lahat ng mga Pinoy achievers — lahat sila ay magsasabing pinalaki kaming mahusay ng aming mga magulang!”

Salute to all women in the world! 

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