Skip to main content

Filipina, Brava!

Filipino women in the 19th and early 20th centuries used to be stereotyped as Maria Claras: shy, graceful, obedient. However, a lot of Filipinas back then have broken rank and empowered other women in male-dominated arenas such as politics, sciences, and the military. A Filipino Heritage Library exhibit at the Glorietta 4 Mall, entitled "Filipina Brava!", highlights the achievements of some of these women pioneers. 

Honoria Acosta-Sison. She is recognised as the first Filipina medical doctor. She specialised in Obstetrics, and focused on studying malignancies in women.

Encarnacion Alzona. Aside from being the first Filipina to obtain a Ph.D., she is also regarded as the first Filipina historian, and is an advocate for women's right to suffrage. She is a National Scientist.

Corazon Aquino. A plain housewife, she successfully led the Filipinos to oust a dictator. She went on to become the first woman president of the Philippines whose influence is still strong even after her death.

Josefa Llanes Escoda. An advocate of women's right to suffrage, she also established the Girl Scouts of the Philippines.

Maria Paz Mendoza-Guazon. She is the third female medical doctor and one of the first two Filipinas to graduate from the University of the Philippines. She is also the first woman to reach the full professorship rank in the university.

Gabriela Silang. She symbolises bravery in women. A warrior, she was in the battle front against the Spanish forces in Ilocos.

Maria Mutia. She is the best example, in my opinion, of Filipinas breaking from the Maria Clara mold. She was granted legal separation from her husband who was abusive and was an alcoholic. Take note of the year: 1647. 

These pioneer Filipinas are truly an inspiration. Filipina, brava! 

Popular posts from this blog

my top 10 life lessons from Suits season 1

I enjoy watching this series on TV called "Suits". It follows a strong mentor-mentee relationship. Harvey Specter (played by Gabriel Macht), one of the best lawyers in the city, gives valuable lessons to his associate, Mike Ross (played by Patrick J. Adams), the lawyer without the law degree. I find myself taking notes (and tweeting them) as I watch the different episodes.
While waiting for the July 1 premiere of the second season of Suits on Jack TV, I list down the top ten lessons that I gleaned from watching the first season of series. It's not surprising that many of them came from the great Harvey Specter. There are few things in there that came from Mike and Harvey's arch-nemesis, Louis Litt (played by Rick Hoffman), as well.
NOTE: if these sound like a lecture, it's because these are notes I write to myself for when I need them... and to whoever is reading this list.

Here we go:
1. "First impressions last. Start behind the eight ball and you'll ne…

Federico de Vera's brand of beauty at the Ayala Museum

On my latest visit to the Ayala Museum this year, I was able to catch the exhibit curated by Federico de Vera. I haven't heard of him, most likely because I'm not part of the art circles. I'm just an occasional museum hopper who likes to visit beautiful art pieces. This time, I was about to learn what beauty is, in the eyes of famous curator de Vera.
I was blown away by how he presented art pieces he picked up from other art collectors. Some of these pieces I've seen in other museums before. BUT, these are presented in a more striking manner... Instagrammable being the first word that comes to my mind. Spot lighting and subtle backgrounds really make the artworks pop. Walking through the different sections of the exhibit, I kept saying wow to myself. I liked the way that the curator presented every piece... he succeeded in putting the best face of each piece on display. There was a sense of meticulousness in the detail... not just dumping pieces together on a table or…

tinikling

Back in college, I used to play with the UPLB Ethnomusemblia, a group of students who liked to play traditional Filipino music as live accompaniment to the UPLB Filipiniana Dance Troupe, those students who performed Filipino local dances. Tribal music was what I learned with the group: music filled with textures of the sounds from kulintang and agong; the resonating sounds of simultaneously beaten gangsa; and the deep tones from the dabakan. However, I never learned how to play stringed instruments that are part of the rondalla. I attempted the banduria but to no avail. That's why I never learned to play the music for the tinikling; instead, I contented myself with listening to the rondalla people play the lively song.

Tinikling is the national dance of the Philippines. In this lively dance, the man and the woman imitate the movements of a tikling, a bird found in the country, over two parallel bamboo poles set horizontally on the floor. The dance is made more challenging as the b…