International Women's Day

Raising Hope: Filipina Mothers Shaping Futures Through Advocacy

Photo by Cru Camara

Vogue Philippines celebrates International Women’s Day through “Raising Hope,” in a call for nominations of inspiring women. Discover the stories of three Filipina women who dedicate their lives to empowering communities through education.

Vogue Philippines recognizes the profound impact mothers have in shaping the lives of their families and immediate communities. Aside from nurturing their children to reach their full potential, these incredible women also share their boundless love and selflessness to advocate for causes close to their hearts. By becoming pillars of strength and inspiration while navigating the challenges of motherhood, the invaluable contributions these women give to society deserve the highest of praises. 

Charito M. Macalintal – Sawali, Nominated by Karmela Mirriam Alcazar Ebreo 

According to Karmela Mirriam Alcazar Ebreo, Judge Charito M. Macalintal – Sawali wears many hats: she is a professor, godmother, wife, mother, friend, colleague, and judge. Despite societal expectations, she balanced her career as a judge with nurturing her family, with her children’s success reflecting her dedication. As a professor, Judge Macalintal-Sawali combines sternness with personal warmth, inspiring her students to excel both academically and personally with her profound advice.

“One of the best pieces of advice she gave to me was that: education is an investment that one can never lose,” Ebreo shares. “Because of those words, I am now a candidate for the Masters of International Law and Diplomacy program by the University for Peace and United Nations Institute for Training and Research.”

As a woman in the judiciary, Judge Macalintal-Sawali’s journey did not always go smoothly. Despite facing challenges and setbacks all throughout her life, she persisted, becoming a beacon of light and hope for those around her. Currently presiding over Regional Trial Court Branches 55 and 4, Judge Macalintal-Sawali upholds the rule of law impartially, ensuring fair judgments based on evidence. Recognized for her efficiency and integrity, she received commendation from the Supreme Court as one of the Top 10 Judges with the highest number of case disposals in Region IV in 2022, fostering public trust in the judiciary.

Ann Angala, Nominated by Karen Felix 

According to Karen Felix, children of the 90s would remember Ann Angala as manager for bands such as Eraserheads, Barbie’s Cradle, and Asin, but to her children, she was so much more. Juggling the demands of motherhood with a career in the film and music industry made Angala a vital source of inspiration and strength to her five children. According to Karen Felix, despite enduring abuse in an 18-year relationship, Angala remained resilient and held their family together, facing numerous challenges on her own until she made the difficult decision to leave her husband.

Despite facing pressure from church and family, she eventually found the courage to leave the abusive relationship she was in. As her children eventually grew older, they became their mother’s support system. Angala currently travels the country advocating against violence towards women and children, using her own experiences to empower others to speak up and take control of their lives. “My mom has been my inspiration since I was a kid because she was the parent that was always there,” Felix says. “I’ve seen her do her talks and heard how some people come up to her and tell her they inspired her.”

Angala is also a biking advocate, as it helped her path to abuse recovery. She also co-founded the organization Bikers United Movement, dedicated to promoting better biking infrastructure. Through her talks and advocacy work, she inspires others with her tenacity, strength, and love for adventure, raising hope for women dealing with domestic abuse. 

Evelyn H. Olmedo, Nominated by Eunice Lorraine Olmedo

According to Eunice Lorraine Olmedo, out of all of Evelyn Olmedo’s characteristics, what stands out most is her generosity. “She is the most generous person that I know. It has always been our tradition to share our blessings to the people who are in need,” her daughter says. Going to charities during their birthdays and other special occasions have become a tradition for the mother-daughter duo. Extending support to sick children, abandoned elders, and other beneficiaries create their bonding moments. 

Despite enduring personal trials as a single mother, Olmedo’s remarkable capacity for compassion and forgiveness make her a true inspiration to her daughter. “They say that in order for a child to feel whole and loved, they must have a complete family,” Olmedo’s daughter says. “Being cherished and cared for by a single mother, I couldn’t ask for more… Because I know in my heart that I am wholeheartedly and completely loved by her.”

Visit everyday this month for daily features on inspiring women, as nominated by the people whose lives they’ve changed.

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