5 Empowered Filipinas We Want Our Little Girls to Grow up Like

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Because raising strong, empowered Filipinas should always be our goal

The young girls we are raising will be the grown Filipinas of the future. As such, we want to surround them with inspiring figures. In honor of women’s month, we’ve put the spotlight on five empowered Filipinas with stories that’ll fascinate both kids and parents alike.

1. Laureen Velasco, a Lady with a Heart for Strays

Photography: thelasallian.com

This Filipina takes being a cat lady to a whole new level. Laureen Velasco, a Philosophy professor at De La Salle University, began with taking care of the local cats in her Cavite residence. She then expanded her advocacy to the university with the help of other faculty members. Together, they founded DLSU PUSA in 2015, a clever acronym that stands for Professors for the Upliftment of Society’s Animals. 

Currently, La Salle has become a home to over 40 cats. (Yes, you read that right.) The campus cats are provided with clean drinking water and fed twice daily. No wonder they became chonky! Velasco and a team of volunteers continues to do this during the ongoing quarantine in
Metro Manila. Aside from feeding the felines, the animals are neutered and vaccinated. DLSU PUSA regularly conducts Trap-Neuter-Vaccinate-Return (TNVR) sessions to keep the population healthy and under control.

Want to see this awesome team in action? Keep up with their adventures with the cats on DLSU PUSA and Cats of DLSU.

2. Angel Locsin, a Helping Hand in Trying Times

Photography: @therealangellocsin via Instagram

She’s known for starring in the hit TV adaptation of Darna. Hence, it comes as no surprise that lots of little girls rock the iconic red outfit during Halloween. What we love about her is that she’s a superhero both on and off-screen.

In 2019, Locsin was hailed as one of Asia’s Heroes of Philanthropy by Forbes. The actress’s contributions have helped about 500 families that were hit by powerful storms, like Ondoy in 2009 and Yolanda in 2013. She also participates in the distribution of goods with little fanfare, just as you would expect a real-life Darna would do.

3. Audrey Tangonan, a Champ for Sustainability

Photography: Ysa Singson via cosmo.ph

Many Filipinas spend a crazy amount of money on sanitary pads because it needs to be replenished every month. What if there’s a product you can use to manage your flow for a year or even more? A menstrual cup helps you do that! 

Audrey Tangonan is the founder of Sinaya Cup, the Philippines’ first menstrual cup brand. It was launched in 2015, a time when the reusable feminine hygiene product was not yet popular in the country. Tangonan promoted the cup by highlighting the freedom you can enjoy during
your period. When worn properly, leakage won’t be a problem, so you can play sports and even go swimming! The product soon took off as more Filipinas took interest in the eco-friendly lifestyle. Apart from encouraging waste reduction, Sinaya also donates a cup for every cup sold.

4. Kelly Go, a Lady with a Passion for Chocolate

Photography: tribune.net.ph

Does your kid have a sweet tooth? If so, they may be interested in chocolate making. Kelly Go is the co-founder of Auro Chocolate, a company that uses sustainably sourced cacao beans from Davao. 

Aside from buying directly from the farmers, Auro has helped them perfect the process of bean drying and fermentation as well. This lessened their reliance on traders and enabled farmers to earn more.

Launched in 2017, Auro has been making waves both locally and abroad. They’re well-known for dark chocolate that’s available in various percentages. They’ve even won Top 20 Best Cacao from Cocoa of Excellence (2019).

5. Kara David, Maker of Eye-opening Documentaries

Photography: imdb.com

If your daughter has a keen interest in current events, consider introducing her to the work of Kara David. David’s known for documentary films featuring the lives of Filipinos in far-flung areas. One of these films has even earned her the prestigious Peabody Award in 2010.

Aside from being a journalist, she also established Project Malasakit in 2002. It’s a foundation that sends underprivileged youth to school. Project Malasakit also helps the communities she has come to know through her documentaries.  

If the themes of her docus sound heavy for a beginner, start by watching Pinas Sarap, a TV program hosted by David. The series showcases food from different parts of the country. It covers everything from the food’s history, how it’s made, and where it can be bought. It’s perfect for parents who are looking for new recipes to try with their kids during the lockdown.  

Young girls often get asked, “What do you want to be when you grow up?”. Their answers may vary from time to time depending on what they’re into at the moment. Whether they want to be a teacher or a robot princess, playtime and real-life can help kids determine their interests. You can help reach their full potential by nurturing both activities.

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