Last November, Whisper – the leading sanitary pad – held the Whisper Fearless Fair at the Enderun Tent. It was an action-filled afternoon highlighted by the acrobatic performance of the DLSU Animo Squad, the All-Girls Division Champions of the 2014 South East Asian Cheerleading Open; and the pole dancing doyennes from Pole Cats Manila. Then prominent Filipino race car driver Michele Bumgarner drove by in the open field and spoke about how she conquered a male-dominated industry through determination and confidence in her ability.
Anyway, I was asked who would come on top of mind when the phrase “fearless Pinay” is mentioned. It was quite hard putting a list, not because I couldn’t think of anyone, but because most Pinay women wield power in their personal lives, survive the worst of situations and are therefore finetuned to be fearless! When it comes to specific people, here are my choices:
Sen. Miriam Defensor-Santiago is the first one to cross my mind, and am sure most people would agree. She first shot to national consciousness as Immigration Commissioner in the late 80s and was best remembered for her line: “I eat death threats for breakfast.” Even now that she’s battling Stage 4 lung cancer, Miriam’s chutzpah is undiminished. She continues to voice her strong opinions on matters of national interest and even launched a bestselling book recently, aptly titled ‘Stupid is Forever.’
Congresswoman Leni Robredo of Camarines Sur makes my list because of her viral ‘Waiting for a Bus’ photo that made the rounds of the internet recently. In this country where officials run around in SUVs and with countless bodyguards in tow, Leni’s gesture to take public transport sans security staff makes me hope for a new generation of politicians not hung up on abuse of power. Of course, my impression is that she’s already fearless dealing with things after the untimely death of her husband and succeeding him in politics.
If male boxing has Manny Pacquiao, female boxers have Pinoy-American Ana ‘The Hurricane’ Julaton to look up to. She’s not in Pacman’s level yet, but Ana is slowly spreading her wings. This former WBO/IBA Super Bantamweight World Champion is also excelling in Mixed Martial Arts (MMA). In a match at MOA arena last December 5, Julaton defeated Egypt’s Walaa Abbas in ONE FC Warrior’s Way, further improving her winning streak.
My last candidate for the top fearless Pinays for 2014 is my friend Mydee’s daughter. Alexandra Espinosa got her nursing degree from UST at age 19, became a registered nurse and then made a career turnaround as a pilot – after being influenced by her father, Capt. Alex Espinosa of Cebu Pacific . After gaining the needed flying hours and getting a commercial license, Alexandra is now training to fly an Airbus…. at the tender age of 21. Way to go girl!
Note: photos courtesy of the respective Facebook pages of Sen. Miriam Santiago, Leni Robredo, Ana Julaton and Alexandra Espinosa
**** Through their #Fearless campaign, Whisper encourages women to be part of the new breed of forward-thinking women who challenge the norm and show that nothing can hold them back.Whisper Cottony Long is every young fearless woman’s best friend in her journey to be her fun, fearless self. It gives up to 100% no back leaks encouraging women to stand up with confidence and take control of their lives.