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Brave Filipino women

The women featured in ‘Fearless Filipinas’ span a broad range of fields, including entertainment, sports, academe, arts and business.



ELDA Rotor, vice president and publisher of Penguin Classics.

Women leaders Gabriela Silang and Melchora Aquino would have been proud. Today’s Filipino women have succeeded spectacularly in their respective fields, broken the glass ceiling and given back to their communities.

They deserve to have their stories documented, so that other women can gain inspiration especially on how they overcame the obstacles that once stood in their way. Such was the spirit behind the new book, Fearless Filipinas: 12 Women Who Dared to Be Different.

It opens with a foreword from Vice President Leni Robredo, who noted that the book can be a catalyst for readers.

STELLA Abrera, professional ballet dancer.

“While all of the women featured here hail from different fields, they are all united in their demonstration of ‘fearlessness’ in the face of adversity, prejudice or even the status quo. Celebrating their lives —and indeed, their individual moments of fearlessness — should serve as a rallying cry to all women: We are all capable of the courage it takes to achieve unprecedented greatness,” wrote VP Robredo.

The women featured in Fearless Filipinas span a broad range of fields including entertainment, sports, academe, arts and business. The inclusion of such a diverse array of endeavors was intentional. At a time when many women may be pressured into a narrow definition of what success is — and is not — the book’s editorial team wanted to broaden it completely. As demonstrated by these women, success can be found in any field of your choosing, so long as you are happy and content with your choices.

The book’s representative in entertainment is Angel Locsin, who shared her coming-of-age as one of our generation’s greatest actors and activists.

“By sharing my story in Fearless Filipinas, my goal was not to inspire young women to follow my own path, as an actor or even as an activist. I instead hope that my experiences — combined with those shared by the other great women with whom I am proud to appear alongside — give young women an even more powerful message: You can accomplish anything you set your mind to,” Locsin said.

JESSIE Sincioco, president of the Manna Cuisine Corporation.

The other women featured in Fearless Filipinas include:
* Dr. Reina Reyes, the Princeton PhD who confirmed Einstein’s theory of relativity;

* Kim Lato, founder and CEO of Kimstore, one of the pioneering e-commerce retailers in the Philippines;

* Elda Rotor, vice president and publisher of Penguin Classics who brought Filipino authors like Nick Joaquin to a global audience;

* Kaizen Dela Serna, Southeast Asian Games gold medalist obstacle course racing;

* Erika Legara, physicist founder of the Asian Institute of Management’s Master of Science in Data Science program;

* Stella Abrera, the first Filipino- American principal dancer of the American Ballet Theatre;

* Jessica Cox, a motivational speaker and the world’s first licensed armless pilot and blackbelt in the American Taekwondo Association;

* Jessie Sincioco, president of The Manna Cuisine Corporation and the chef who fed Pope Francis on his visit to the Philippines in 2015;

* Dzi Gervacio, co -founder of the Beach Volleyball Republic and a SEA Games beach volleyball bronze medalist;

* Asia Jackson, Filipino-American actor in Hollywood who started the #MagandangMorenx movement to combat colorism in the Filipino community; and
* Merlee Jayme, the “chairmom” and chief creative officer of Dentsu Jayme Syfu.

Fearless Filipinas was written by Monica Padillo, Pancho Dizon and Mica Magsanoc; edited by Kyle Nate; and illustrated by Chloe Gaw.

Kyle Nate, deputy editorial director of Bookshelf PH, publisher of the book, which specializes in titles in business, education and other genres, believes that efforts like Fearless Filipinas can be a way to extend the discourse beyond just women’s history month.

Fearless Filipinas will be released at the end of March, and is available for pre-order at: