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From Tandang Sora to Teresa Magbanua to Teacher Sabs: Robredo pays tribute to Pinay heroes

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Vice President Leni Robredo encouraged Filipino women to be inspired and empowered every day so they could be shining examples of faith and greatness to all women.

In her speech in line with the celebration of International Women’s Day, Robredo underscored the importance of women and the different roles they played in society.

“In government and non-profits, in media and publication, in the academe and in the world of business: women trailblazers are celebrated, as well as stay-at-home mothers,” Robredo said.

For her, modern-day Filipino women owed their liberty to stand shoulder-to-shoulder with men at home and at the workplace to their early counterparts who continuously fought for equality.

“Gabriela Silang is an Ilocana warrior who took up arms after the death of her husband Diego Silang, and fought Spanish soldiers so well that they feared her name. Melchora Aquino, fondly called Tandang Sora, was a single mother who risked her and her children’s security to take care of Andres Bonifacio and other Katipuneros in 1896. Teresa Magbanua is known as the Visayan Joan of Arc, who has the distinction of fighting not one, but three oppressors: the Spaniards, the Americans, and the Japanese,” she said.

Robredo also honored women who are struggling due to poverty and the nameless who silently bear oppression from sexual and emotional abuse, misogynistic attacks and cyberbullying.

Robredo also named present-day Filipino women who display remarkable care and creativity to help others fight for their rights and to raise children.

“There’s Teacher Sabs, who gave up a promising career in the field of medicine, to teach in Culiat Elementary School because that’s where she found the greatest need for her talents. There’s Nanay Lorna, who sent her four children to school to become a teacher, a lawyer, a nurse, and an Intarmed student, all from the earnings of a turon vendor. There’s Judge Ave, a young orphaned child from Masbate, who worked as a helper and in the process, excelled marvelously in her chosen vocation,“ Robredo added.