English: Melchora Aquino
English: Melchora Aquino (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Growing up in a culture dominated by masculinity, we sure have a weird relationship with the female gender. The husbands were always afraid of their wives, men did not mind long courtship just to get the heart of their beloved and would follow the rule of chivalry.


Women like Gabriela Silang and Melchora Aquino were essential to the Philippine Revolution against Spain, the first female president in Asia was a filipina and the majority of teachers are women.

Yet at home, women are always expected to cook, clean and bare children. Characterized as weak, sensitive and in need to be protected. We even start at a very young age, teaching little girls that their place is at home to do chores instead of teaching them they could do so much better.

I urge you, the new Babae, to stand up against patriarchy. Urge your daughters to get an education and a career, teach your sons about the value of gender equality and most of all, consent.

Babae by Inang Laya

One of my favorite Filipina folk band. Although I did not fully explore feminism until I went to college, their music introduced me to the contributions of Filipinas and made me start questioning cultural norms that focus on men as heroes and women as less important.

Their music is mostly about the female role in nationalism and activism in the Philippines during the Marcos dictatorship and American Imperialism.

Awit ng Inang Laya
Kayo ba ang mga Maria Clara
Mga Hule at mga Sisa
Na ‘di marunong na lumaban?
Kaapiha’y bakit iniluluha?
Mga babae, kayo ba’y sadyang mahina?
Kayo ba ang mga Cinderella
Na lalake, ang tanging pag-asa?
Kayo nga ba ang mga Nena
Na katawan ay ibinebenta?
Mga babae, kayo ba’y sadyang pang-kama?
Ang ating isip ay buksan
At lipuna’y pag-aralan,
Ang nahubog ninyong isipan
At tanggaping kayo’y mga libangan
Mga babae, ito nga ba’y kapalaran?
Bakit ba mayroong mga Gabriela
Mga Teresa at Tandang Sora
Na di umasa sa luha’t awa?
Sila’y nagsipaghawak ng sandata
Nakilaban, ang mithiin ay lumaya.
Bakit ba mayrong mga Lisa
Mga Liliosa at mga Lorena
Na di natakot makibaka
At ngayo’y marami nang kasama?
Mga babae, ang mithiin ay lumaya!




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