When you hear the word “influential”, most people would immediately think of Henry Sy or John Gokongwei. In fact, majority of our presidents and leaders are men. However, there are lots of strong independent women in our country just waiting to be discovered.
1. Encarnacion Alzona
Encarnacion Alzona was the first Filipina to complete her doctoral studies and national scientist. She was also an advocate of women’s suffrage. She explained that if women are permitted to vote, men’s respect for them would likely increase because “a person enjoying full political rights deserves greater respect and esteem than a disenfranchised one.”
2. Maria Corazon Aquino
Following the Marcos occupation, the late president Cory Aquino led the nation from dictatorship to democracy. From the crony capitalism to a market economy, she allowed the normal “Juan” to start his very own business. She also restored human rights as rights and not just a privilege. She was the first female president in Asia and was also named Time magazine’s “Woman of the Year” in 1986.
3. Therese “Reese” Fernandez- Ruiz
Reese Fernandez-Ruiz opened opportunities for women in poor communities in 2007 with her business, Rags 2 Riches where she and her team weave accessories out of scrap cloth, organic materials and indigenous fabrics. Due to her efforts and impact on our society, she was recently listed as part of Forbes’ list of 30 under 30 Social Entrepreneurs.
4. Ishka Villacisneros-Tusjakova
Ishka is another young entrepreneur in the community. The 27-year-old is the founder of Californila an online store where customers from Manila can purchase items which are only available in the US.
5. Ayasofya Vittoria Aguirre
This seven year old Filipina figure skater won 3 gold medals in the recent 29th Annual Skate Japan 2017 held in Ageo City, Japan. She also got one silver and was voted best overall in Artistic Performance. Above all that, it was her first time to join a foreign competition.
These women have shown that no matter your age, gender or social status, you can make waves in the world through hard work and dedication. Do you know any other influential Filipinas waiting to be known?