You’ve heard it countless times before: Filipinos continue to reap accolades both locally and internationally. We also have our own share of not-so-good reviews, but what shine forth are stories of hope, courage and love.
And we love these stories. They are real, they are inspiring.
Former MILF Commander now Peace Builder Bai Linda Eman of Cotabato on PEACE
She spent her early days as a commander in the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) but was driven to become an instrument of peace despite her bitterness and pain when she experienced love in the hands of a perceived enemy.
Now a full time Regional Coordinator for Gawad Kalinga for Southern Tagalog and Muslim Affairs, her courage and sense of patriotism taught her life’s greatest lesson:
“My dream is to walk anywhere with my head up, without being judged as a terrorist; to show to the world that I am a Muslim-Filipina. I can help anyone, I’m free to walk and I can be a friend to anyone. I can love any person in the Philippines; they will accept me who I am, being a Muslim-Filipino.”
Congresswoman Aliah Dimaporo on the YOUTH
She was the youngest legislator participating as guest and resource speaker in the World Youth Parliamentary Forum in Mexico City and she championed a cause to improve health services for the youth, ranging from access to universal health coverage to efficient delivery of services.
Was her voice heard amidst countless groups vying for attention? Dimaporo successfully sent her message across; her contributions were accepted in the areas of education, health, technology, innovation and security.
Mature beyond her thirty years, she reveals her youth and idealism: “(The power I wield, the position I hold today) is only temporary anyway.”
Atty. Xilca Alvarez-Protacio on BEING FILIPINA
“I think what’s unique to the Filipina is that she’s one person who has b*lls —meaning, you have this Filipina, this woman who can take on everything, even a male’s job and still have the love, compassion, care and understanding, that’s enigmatic to a Filipina.”
Never one to shirk from hard work and a delicious challenge, she turned her back on her law career and instead became a social entrepreneur. She set up not just one but two business enterprises that depended largely on the communities in Sulu: Gourmet Keso, a line of locally-made cheeses from goat’s milk, and Café de Sug Sulu Coffee, packed coffee made from Sulu-grown cacao beans.
Her advice to would-be entrepreneurs: just bite the bullet and teach others how to dream big.