Indeed, women today have gone a long way in their struggle for appropriate recognition in the society. They have reached that stage where they are not anymore the usual housekeeper and mother of as many children God gives a couple. Now the women are teammates of men in working as breadwinners for the family.

They too, stand on equal footing with men in providing leadership not only in government but in running businesses as well. Some even display raw guts and courage in fighting enemies of the state whether from within or from invaders side by side with men. And conversely, a good number of women are also at the forefront of fighting the duly constituted government because they believe that their espoused ideology is the better option.

But of course, women of these characteristics are no alien in the Philippines. As early as the 14th century and up to the time of Spain’s domination of the country for over 400 years, there were already women who displayed exceptional ability to lead and fight for what is right and what is best for society and their country in general.

We have the legendary Princess Urduja, Gabriela Silang, and Teodora Agoncillo. We have one, Ms. Yai Panlilio during the Japanese occupation of the Philippines, to name a few. Panlilio was a famous woman guerrilla leader who annihilated several Japanese platoons of soldiers in ambushes her group made.

The deeds of these women warriors and the inspiring leadership they provided their groups unfortunately were mostly relegated to the dark recesses in the pages of our history books although a few of their extra-ordinary characteristics managed to surface through word of mouth by those who had acquaintance with them and later shared the same to their children or relatives who in turn shared their precious knowledge to the generations that came after them.

Today our women are no longer passive. They do not anymore wait to be recognized. Rather they’d prefer to be in the forefront or to be aggressively initiators of things that are more than worthy of recognition.

Women today are in all kinds of professions, or vocations. If some years back seafaring is the domain of men, today women are no longer afraid to brave the ocean or be separated from their loved ones if only to provide partnership in providing their immediate families with better lives. 

But of course, along the way women too, are like men. They too are vulnerable to temptations. If we have corrupt men in government and even private institutions, there are also corrupt women out to compete for the sake of satisfying one’s vanity for material things. Just be simply reminded of some of the more familiar players in the PDAF scandal years back and you will know what we mean.

On the whole, however, we can only be extremely proud that we were brought into this world by no other than our mother.

Now it is hard to imagine that without women we would not have the mother that brought us into this world and made us what we are today. Of course, our mother, our dearest woman for roughly 79 years, is already gone. She ‌joined our Creator some years back, three years after our father’s demise.

But we are happy that for over four decades we have this “other” woman in our life, our wife, who bore us three children and keeps the light of our household burning.

Yes, for all ‌women in the world, it is our fervent wish that you continue to be worthy of the international accolade now accorded to you. We are certain that the men and your partners in nation and family building will enjoy as much the recognition you now have.

Source: Mindanao Times (