Powerful, strong, and in control.
These words best describe the three core qualities that an individual should possess in order for him or her to be tagged as ‘empowered’. While there are parts of the world wherein women are still being undermined and ridiculed for trying to be empowered, it’s definitely great that there are already countries who honor women by vesting them the opportunities and rights that were only used to be enjoyed by men.
And that’s the importance of the annual event International Women’s Day. Celebrated on the 8th of March every year since the official declaration of United Nations in 1975, this day serves as a special day to pay homage to the significant contributions of women to the society, the continuous fight and movement for women’s rights and protection, and womanhood basically.
As ABS-CBN joins the whole world in celebrating the life, triumphs, journeys, inspirations, and influences of every women, we present to you via this feature some of the female characters from recent and on-going Kapamilya teleseryes who could definitely be the epitome of empowered women.
The assertive matriarch
We were raised to the idea that married women should be submissive to their husbands. However, there are women who beg to disagree as they tend to take a stand and express their thoughts and what they deem is right for both of them and their family, just like Luz, the doting and palaban matriarch of the Mabunga Family in Pamilya Ko exceptionally portrayed by Sylvia Sanchez.
Besides, amid the hard-hitting problems their family have encountered, including her husband Fernan’s (Joey Marquez) involvement in an extramarital affair, Luz always chooses to be strong for the sake of their beloved children. There were instances that she got vulnerable, yet she was still able to provide the strength and wisdom they needed in order to go on.
The high-flyer career gal
Taking risks and making difficult decisions is definitely among the hardest and bravest things a person could ever do, yet the most empowering.
As she took the risk of working in Croatia as a con artist and despite knowing no one there, we’re all amazed with how Make It With You’s leading lady Belinda “Billy” Dimagiba, astoundingly played by Liza Soberano, was able to beat the odds. Not only that, she was also able to support her friend Helen (Katya Santos), both morally and financially, in her legal battle against her former Croatian partner for the custody of their child, despite having personal struggles too.
Aside from that, she’s also been a big ball of energy as her overwhelming and infectious confidence, optimism, and high-spiritedness never failed to radiate to the people around her – may it be her family, friends, and colleagues.
True to her surname, Billy has displayed how indestructible she is as she courageously overcame the disappointment and anger she felt towards Gabo (Enrique Gil) after he left her all of a sudden and after his family company imperiled their start-up bakeshop when they got back here in the Philippines. Even though she surrendered and became his employee in the end, she still remained fierce in expressing her thoughts and opinions amid the number of times that he rejected her.
The not-so-delicate commander
The national defense department used to be a world only for men since women are stereotyped as frail. But as time goes by, there were already a lot of females who bravely entered the military, accepted the challenge of defending the nation and fellowmen against tyrants, and even excelled in this field!
Let’s take for example 2nd Lieutenant Lourdes “Lourd” Bacalso of A Soldier’s Heart being depicted by Sue Ramirez. Lourd might have a beautiful face and dainty aura, but don’t be fooled by her unmistakable charm for she’s actually stern and ferocious. She leads a platoon comprised of male soldiers and make them follow her every command.
The fearless single mom
Being a mother is already a tough responsibility. But what more if you have to do it singlehandedly? Well, that’s what made us admire Mia Agbayani of the Kapamilya network’s first-ever weekly action-drama 24/7, impeccably portrayed by Julia Montes.
Aside from taking good care of her unico hijo, she also took the responsibility of earning for the both of them after she called it quits with her negligent husband. Not only that, she also amazed us when she did the unimaginable – sacrificing not only her job as a security officer in a pharmaceutical company, but her own life as well for the sake of bringing the antidote that would cure her ailing son and other patients from the deadly epidemic.
The vindicated lass
Imagine being accused of committing a crime wherein you’re actually one of the poor victims? It’s totally nerve-wracking and painful, right? And that’s what fueled The Killer Bride’s titular character Camila Dela Torre, brilliantly played by seasoned actress Maja Salvador, to seek revenge to all people who wronged her.
Instead of letting herself be engulfed with depression due to her hapless experiences, not to mention the supposed demise of her daughter, Camila used those to toughen herself and motivation to go on with life in order to achieve justice.
Even though utilizing her foster child Emma (Janella Salvador) in her vengeful schemes was wrong, it somehow benefitted the latter as she grew up into a fine yet fierce lady who knows how to fight for what she thinks is right and for herself as well whenever she’s in danger.
Camila might be already shattered and cold-hearted, but those were also enabled her to empower the young and naïve Emma.
The kickass femme fatale
While many of us are still dreamers of knights-in-shining-armor and Prince Charmings, there are women out there who have found their own saviors in themselves, just like the mighty heroine of The General’s Daughter 1st Lieutenant Rhian Bonifacio, exceptionally depicted by Angel Locsin.
Aside from being a part of a job that is mostly dominated by men, what made her a great example of an empowered woman is with how she was able to finally able to find her self-worth after living almost her all life being dictated by her domineering foster dad Heneral Tiago (Tirso Cruz III). In pursuit of attaining his and his wife’s genuine love and acceptance, she made sure to accomplish everything they told her to do with utmost perfection although it would put her life in danger.
But as soon as she learned about the whole truth and got surrounded by people who unconditionally love her, Rhian then began to know the real her and discover her real worth.
The resilient dame
Before achieving the successful and peaceful life she had savored by the end of Kadenang Ginto narrative, we witnessed the hardships of Beauty Gonzales’ iconic character, Romina Mondragon, had went through.
Her stepdaughter-slash-archrival Daniela (Dimples Romana), along with her equally-evil henchmen, attempted to topple her down several times and even threatened her life, but she was able to get past those and rise from the ashes like a blazing phoenix.
Her position in the company that she worked hard for, as well as the fortune bestowed to them by their deceased patriarch, were all taken away from her but she was still able to stand up again, dust off the dirt she gained from her difficult journey, and move along.
She might have tried to take revenge against Daniela for all the wicked things she did, but Romina remained kind and rational as she never wished her bad, and even helped her in times of trouble and danger.
The incorruptible woman
Knowing how powerful and crafty her enemies were, considering that they’re a group of lawyers, Fina of Sino Ang Maysala? Mea Culpa, compellingly portrayed by Jodi Sta. Maria, never showed that she got intimidated by them as she bravely fought in pursuit of taking her long-lost daughter back.
Juris (Bela Padilla) and her allies might have used their influence, status, and expertise in tricking her, but truth and justice still prevailed in the end.
Fina proved that an empowered woman is not only the one who exhibits courage at all times, but someone who also gets afraid or intimidated, but chooses to still face her fears and troubles.
The dignified lawyer
Just by simply looking at her, it’s definitely easy to say that Attorney Teresa Dichaves in Starla is indeed a perfect example of an empowered women. Tere has a sense of self-confidence, an unmistakable presence, and well-dressed, not to mention being articulate, which made her really intimidating.
But, as we all know, she had to go through a lot of ups and downs along the way before she arrived on her present status. After her townsfolks failed to help her when she was in dire need and even belittled her, she used this as her motivation to succeed in life and amazingly made it!
Even though she’s deemed to be clever since she’s a lawyer, that didn’t mean that she was always right for she also had her own share of mistakes. While it was very unlikely of her to accept that she’s wrong, Tere astonished us with how she learned from those and humbly apologized to the people she crossed.
The courageous mother
Out of the triplets Erich Gonzales portrayed in The Blood Sisters, it’s arguably with Erika to whom most viewers were able to identify the most because of her inspiring story.
Growing up without at least a parent she could rely on after she was thrown in a garbage dump by her kidnappers when she was still a baby, she had to started working at a very young age in order to feed herself. She worked as a club stripper, which brought her son Jolo in danger. But the course of her life began to change when she was alleged keeping a ledger containing the transactions of notorious mafia. This led her back to her biological family, in which she had to adapt to their life and learn the ropes.
Her life might have changed, but Erika still chose to keep and exhibit the real her and her distinct Bisaya accent. She made it to this list because an empowered is authentic and doesn’t fret to show her true personality.
Cheers to all the empowered women, not only on-screen, but most especially in real life! Happy International Women’s Day!