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Tinsel town’s real-life Darnas and power women

Beauty, brains and substance are what really makes them leading ladies.




SHOWBIZ’S fearless women. (From left) Charo Santos-Concio with director Laurice Guillen.

Ladies, this is our month! International Women’s Day on 8 March and the next weeks are all about celebrating our fierceness, nurturing spirit, strength, beauty and so much more!

To celebrate this occasion, let your missus make a toast to some of the badass women in showbiz. On cam, they may exude glamor and beauty, but behind the glitzy spotlight, these feisty women lead inspiring lives. Roll out the proverbial carpet, people, and let’s hear it for these ladies:

Charo Santos-Concio. She may be the motherly figure who reads heart-tugging letters from viewers of the longest-running drama anthology, Maalala Mo Kaya. But behind that gentle voice is a daring lady boss whose brains and grit helmed ABS-CBN as its president from 2008 to 2016. She has since retired and continued to regale us with inspiring stories of many Filipinos come Saturday night and remains the network’s chief content officer as well as president of ABS-CBN University.

Nanette Medved-Po. This is one of the Darna actresses in this list. Younger millennials might no longer be familiar with her as a star but understandably so as this beautiful woman is behind the popular Hope bottled purified water brand.

Nanette Medved-Po.

She might have hanged her cape in 2002 but she’s been strutting the corporate and social circles as a real-life Darna with her advocacies through the social enterprise Generation Hope, which builds classrooms across the country from the proceeds of sales from each bottle of Hope sold. On top of that, she was recently appointed as the chairperson of the Po Family Council, which is considered a rare feat since she is an in-law and a non-Chinese at that. The Po family, of which her husband Chris is part, is associated with big name brands such as Century Tuna, Argentina Corned Beef, Shakey’s Pizza and Arthaland.

Now, that’s a woman that needs no cape to fly as high as she currently does.

Lea Salonga. Who does not know the original Kim who opened the doors for Asian actresses in Hollywood, Broadway and West End? Lea Salonga is a voice to be reckoned with. As the unanimous choice to play Kim in the maiden production of West End’s Miss Saigon in 1989, Lea has never looked back. After her, many equally talented actresses have had their stints in Broadway and West End, including recent ones such as Aicelle Santos and Lea’s heir-apparent, Rachelle Ann Go.

Lea Salonga.

My dearies, Lea is truly an original because she is not afraid to share her opinions on Twitter, no matter how unpopular they may be. And for that, she truly is on her own, a luminous star that refuses to fade away.

Angel Locsin. There’s really something about actresses who have had the privilege to wear Darna’s costume. Angel Locsin is this generation’s Darna, and she is proving to be quite someone worthy of emulation. My dearies, haven’t we heard of all of Ms. Locsin’s supposedly secret volunteering escapades to unheard-of towns in far-flung places in the Visayas and Mindanao? Granted she could have ensconced herself in the warm cocoon of her fur blanket while sipping warm chocolate over the fireplace after a strong typhoon passes by the Philippines. Don’t we get an average of 20 typhoons every year? But, no my dearies, count on Angel not to sit idly by and let the likes of “Ondoy,” “Tisoy” or “Yolanda” pass by without her doing anything about it.

And for all her heroics which she tries to downplay, Forbes Asia has duly recognized her efforts and named her as among the 30 Outstanding Altruists in Asia Pacific in 2019.

Angel Locsin.

An honor to a truly magnanimous actress of her time.

The Fearless Women. This has got to be your missus’ favorite part because this is a collective of fearless women who stood their ground against bullies and possible disapproval or backlash from institutions. Angel and Lea also deserve to be in this list because they, like the women in this collective, who never doubted who they are and what they stand for.

Catriona Gray, our fourth Miss Universe, is consistently a beauty and brains with purpose. From body-shaming to standing for LGBTQ rights, she’d speak for these causes just as eloquently as she did with her winning answer at the Miss Universe tilt.

Nadine Lustre, despite her fame being on the line, is one who is not afraid to show her claws when her being and her affairs are being questioned. From people trying to slut-shame her for her supposed living arrangements with then-boyfriend James Reid to calling out influential people for bringing up the sensitive subject of her mental health, she has not practiced restraint and instead called out and lashed out at people for crossing the line. It takes quite a lot of courage on her part since she is considered as one of the bankable stars of her generation, which would mean that she has no business being true to herself, even if it kills her.

Nadine Lustre.

It is the same with Janine Gutierrez, who was called out for being political. Some people still believe that stars should remain as entities who have no right expressing their opinion. They’re there just to be eye-candies, and Janine is certainly a classic beauty, like her Mamita Pilita Corrales whose classic Spanish mestiza beauty is a standout even to this day. But Janine, oh Janine, defied these expectations and let it go. She had the gall to air what she truly feels, but said it in such, well, a classy way that any rebuttal from the opposing camp would look like a lame excuse for an answer.

Janine Gutierrez.

Tinseltown might be full of gorgeous women, but let it be known that as much as these women are vaunted for their physical perfection, it is their personalities that make them even more outstandingly beautiful.

To these women, salut!