Women's Month: 5 Inspiring Filipinas You Should Know About
The power of strong women has no limits. While many of us know about the influence and contributions of Filipinas throughout history, it’s the time for the contemporary Filipinas to shine! These accomplished women have definitely encouraged the youth to chase their dreams and achieve their goals.
To celebrate Women’s Month this March, here are 5 inspiring Filipinas you should know about:
Josephine Santiago-Bond, the Filipina NASA Engineer who once struggled with Mathematics.
When Santiago-Bond was a young student, not only did she struggled with math, but she was also unsure of what career path to pursue when she graduated. Many students could definitely relate. However, as soon as she began working at NASA for an internship, she finally found her calling. She has helped design numerous technologies for the organization and worked on several lunar missions. Santiago-Bond currently serves as division chief of the Safety and Mission Assurance department’s institutional division. She is a fierce advocate for women to succeed and thrive in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics). She is a role model to aspiring Filipina scientists, engineers, space enthusiasts, and even to students who are still figuring out their path.
Risa Hontiveros, the outspoken senator who staunchly advocates for women’s rights and the overall betterment of the country.
In her long and distinguished career in politics and beyond, Hontiveros has achieved a lot and changed many lives as a result. She is mostly known for penning bills that bring attention to women’s rights and their specific healthcare needs, which were majorly overlooked until she took upon herself to bring attention to lawmakers about these. She has also filed and sponsored bills regarding child protection, senior citizen assistance, parental rights, PWD rights, mental health, indigenous rights, and many more noble causes. Her hard work, compassion, and drive are truly something to behold. She has been a shining example to many FIlipinas across different generations to stand up for what they believe in and work towards making significant progress for their communities.
Dr. Teresita Inciong, the educator whose research made strides for quality child development and education.
Much of Inciong’s work has helped in the promotion of inclusive and accessible schooling in the country. She has written books and hosted seminars about particular topics that are almost never talked about like early childhood growth, children’s mental health, and special education. Her role as the Executive Director and Vice Chairperson of the Early Childhood Care and Development Council of the Philippines has allowed her to bring to light relevant issues children are facing today in both their education and personal development. She advocates strongly for the proper nurturing of Filipino children, regardless of circumstances or background. She is an inspiration to educators committed to bringing out the best in their students, to parents who want their kids to thrive, and to the children whose lives have become better because of her contributions.
Hidilyn Diaz, the weightlifter and Olympic gold medalist who uplifts aspiring athletes.
History was made when Diaz earned the Philippines’ first olympic gold medal in 2021. She came from humble beginnings, growing up in a small town in Zamboanga and training in her early days with a plastic pipe with concrete weights as a makeshift barbell. She was actually bullied for pursuing weightlifting because of her build and she was told that it was considered a “man’s sport”. Soon, however, she made progress and was already competing in prestigious sporting events like the Southeast Asian Games, the Asian Indoor and Martial Arts Games, the Asian Weightlifting Championships, and the World Weightlifting Championships. To many young Filipina athletes, her story of overcoming adversity and powering through to get as far as she did as a weightlifter is a great motivation to push them to do their best in whatever sport they are pursuing.
Hillary Andales, the resilient astrophysics research student who proves that the universe is the limit.
Andales is mostly recognized for winning the Breakthrough Junior Challenge, an international science competition, in 2017. She has been passionate about science and math from a young age, thanks in part to her chemist father and accountant mother telling her the stories of Marie Curie, Charles Darwin, and Albert Einstein. After the events of Typhoon Yolanda, however, she realized that she wanted to use her knowledge of science for a greater purpose– to help others in times of disaster and calamity. Andales has explained that in knowing life-saving scientific concepts, much of the damage and casualties would have been avoided. This has driven her to become a science communicator for the country. She took her undergraduate in Physics minoring in both Astronomy and Science, Technology, and Society (STS) at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Recently, she got accepted to the doctoral program of 7 premiere universities in the US namely Yale University, Stanford University, University of Chicago, Columbia University, Northwestern University, University of Michigan, University of Virginia, and Boston University. Andales’ story has inspired the youth to take things in their own hands and to use the knowledge of their interests for the greater good.
Do you have more Filipina game-changers inspiring you right now? Did we miss your favorite? Share this article and let us know your thoughts!
For more engaging educational content, be sure to check out Knowledge Channel on its numerous platforms! You can find us on TikTok, Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook!