MANILA, Philippines – Women, with their vulnerability and fragility, are highly valued in the Philippine society.
They play an important role in keeping the household intact because ‘family always comes first’ in such a conservative country as the Philippines.
But aside from the ‘heroines’ at home, several Filipinas have also become popular in different fields here and abroad.
The Philippines is dubbed as the ‘beauty queen powerhouse’ of the world for bagging most of the titles in international beauty pageants since Miss Universe 1969 Gloria Diaz and Miss Universe 1973 Margie Moran.
In fact, in 2015, the Global Beauty Pageant Circuit crowned the Philippines as Country of the Year for snagging prominent spots in the international stage.
A total of seven international crowns were brought home by stunning Filipina beauties during that year with the most controversial win of ‘confidently beautiful’ Pia Wurtzbach as Miss Universe 2015.
Other beauty title holders include Angelina Ong (Miss Earth 2015); Ann Lorraine Maniego Colis (Miss Globe 2015); Parul Shah (Miss Grand International 2015); Hillarie Parungao (Miss World 2015); Janicel Lubina (Miss International 2015); and Rogelie Catacutan (Miss Supranational 2015).
In just three years, the country made another headline with Catriona Gray’s signature ‘lava walk’ and her smooth win as Miss Universe 2018.
The Philippines already had two women presidents in the persons of Corazon Aquino and Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo.
The country would have had two women chief justices if not for the ouster of Maria Lourdes Sereno in 2018 via quo warranto petition.
Her position was taken over by Teresita de Castro, who was named the first woman chief justice of the Philippines but served the shortest term as the top magistrate of the land.
A number of Filipinas have also left a mark in the global music industry such as Tony and Academy award winner Lea Salonga; American Idol runner-up,Jessica Sanchez; China’s Singer 2018 finalist KZ Tandingan; and Asia’s Phoenix Morissette Amon.
And in the field of sports, Olympian Hidilyn Diaz is no exception.
#BalanceforBetter is this year’s International Women’s Day theme which aimed at “gender equality, a greater awareness of discrimination and a celebration of women’s achievements” according to the International Women’s Day website.
The International Women’s Day is observed around the world on March 8 of each year since 1975 as adopted by the United Nations. – Marje Pelayo (with details from Rey Pelayo)