MAGANES: The empowered women in our society

March 9, 2020 at 11:24 am Leave a comment

I miss my mother so much as I am writing this article. I am thinking that if only I had the power, I won’t let her die. She was my source of inspiration, strength and love.

 She passed from this world almost four years ago at the age of 93. I couldn’t help but to reminisce the good things she has done not only for me but also for my siblings.

Before the buzzword “women empowerment” came into existence, my mother was already an empowered woman. She was our father’s partner in providing for our needs, being a fish vendor. After selling fish, she was with my father working in the field. vir

 I recall that when we were young, she was our great storyteller. She read us stories lifted from the Bannawag ( a popular Ilocano magazine) and “impambilay.” She did not finish her elementary grades, but she was very articulate on issues about politics and development. It was even said that she taught my father how to write and read thereby making him an autodidact.

 She had great memory that when I was making our family tree, she knew her roots and gave stories how they live when they were young.

 Like most mothers, my mother had also her ups and downs. There were times that she had misunderstanding with my father but not to the extent that she will be physically harmed. She cried over our successes as well on our failures.

 She was not invincible of course, but I saw how strong she was, thinking most of the time of the welfare of her children. I thanked God that she was given a long life to live with us, nine more years after my father died at the age of 84.

 I am writing this not a tribute to her but to all women in the observance of International Women’s Month. Like my mother, all women should be revered, exalted and respected. They are with us not only to be vessels of bringing new lives in this world. They are here to be our sources of inspirations, shoulders to cry on in times of needs and the guiding lights to our path in trekking the intricacies of life.

How is life without them?

Without women, life will be chaotic. Every child is nurtured by a mother to become a useful citizen in the society. During the formative years of a child, a mother, even though she has a work for herself, will always be there. She leads the path to where a child goes and makes things easier for her child.

Due to economic reasons, mothers work abroad and leave their children behind. She works not for herself but to give a brighter future to them. Most of them work as domestic helpers and even as nannies, taking care of their employers’ children. We could just imagine the hardships these mothers are facing and experiencing. They are even exposed to violence from their employers.

Time is changing fast. Although we hear sad stories about mothers working abroad, there are also success stories. Women could no longer be regarded as sex objects by men. They have been fighting for equality for many years. In the Philippines, we are just lucky that women have been valued for their contribution in nation building. They are now at par with men in various positions both in government and private institutions. They could even surpass the work of men.

The role of women in our society could not be understated. We are a country where gender bias has already been crossed. We have two women as former Presidents- Corazon C. Aquino and Gloria Macapagal Arroyo; present Senators in the like of Grace Poe, Cynthia Villar,Nancy Binay, Risa Hontiveros, the detained Leila Delima; women  as representatives in the House of Representatives; and women in the judiciary either as justices and judges in Regional and Municipal Courts.

In all professions, women are there. They are in media, sports, military, police, members of the presidential cabinets, and in local politics from governor down to the members of the Sangguniang Barangay. Women do not fear to tread the vocations and work that were traditionally dominated by men.

During the celebration of the International Women’s Month, it is only fitting to give them a tribute for their contribution in the family, community and nation building. With them in various positions in government and private services, life is easier for us because they are more compassionate and caring- using not only their brains but also their hearts in their work.

(This article was lifted from my previous article, but revised and edited.)


(For comments and suggestions, please email me at or at Read my blog “The Roving Pen at and the online edition of Northern Watch at


Entry filed under: News.

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