MANILA, Philippines — How has the perception on women evolved over time?

The female cast members of Maalaala Mo Kaya’s (MMK) two-part International Women’s month special, featuring the life story of Karen Bordador, have chipped in their descriptions on how perception on women has changed throughout the years.

Starting with the screen veteran Shamaine Buencamino, she described how “super strong” the women of today are in a virtual media call. “We have shown it and we have been proving it everywhere, not just in the Philippines but internationally. I think the strength of women, the way it has evolved is by accepting our femininity,” said she.

“What makes us strong is our sensitivity, it’s not our physical strength,” she added. “We are not really here to compete with men to prove that we are the same. But it’s more (of) we are here to complement men, we are here to complete men. They won’t be complete without us (laughs). We are the givers of life. Can you imagine how strong we are? Sa amin nanggaling yung sumusunod na henerasyon na hindi rin naman namin maibibigay without men.”

Noting how females “handle situations with so much grace as compared to men,” she furthered that this will continue since, “we are in a world na kumbaga communication is open, it’s global and we are seeing this strength not just a woman from here but all over the world, especially in time of crisis now. And the women in the forefront are proving that we are strong.”

On the other hand, Karen believed that women are “very influential.” “Behind a strong man is always a stronger woman. And now, we are not behind anymore. We are right in front, leading our way, and getting our decisions.”

She further explained, “We don’t need a partner anymore or kaya nga sabi ni nila, happy wife, happy life. Eh hindi naman tayo lahat wives, so I guess not only we are influencing, we are spearheading a lot of the things right now.”

“Even without our makeup, as women, we would still do great,” asserted Karen, who also agreed with Shamaine by saying, “it’s so passé, very old school to say na parang girls are still trying to fight for their position. We got the position and we’re right in front of it.”

Lou Yanong cited her own personal experience of how working with Kaila and Karen as a team and in the past, with former Pinoy Big Brother (PBB) fellow housemate Kiara Takahashi, illustrated the strength of women in the industry. She commented, “Malaking bagay po yun sa akin. No competition because our only competition is ourselves.”

Moreover, Kaila Estrada, who plays Karen in MMK episodes, concurred, “It’s so great to be with such strong women. I feel like our voices are being heard and we are being accepted the way (we are). If in the past, we weren’t. It’s great to see that we actually have a great all-female cast here.”

She added, “Nakakatuwa makita yung evolution ng women and to be such empowered women, to be in a community with such empowered women. We have a presidential candidate (that) is also a strong and an empowered woman (Vice President Leni Robredo) and I think that says a lot about where the direction of the world is going in terms of the perception of women.”

All the female cast, direk Raz dela Torre, Arah Jell Badayos, and event host Mela Habijan named Leni as the “modern living Filipina” they look up to. Karen, Kaila and direk Raz also cited their mothers as women whom they admired most. Kaila is the daughter of veteran actress Janice de Belen. Karen is a former radio DJ and model who got arrested in 2016 in a buy-bust operation in Pasig City.

After spending five years in prison, she was acquitted last year due to inconsistencies between the testimonies and closed-circuit television footage presented in court.

(The second episode of MMK airs tomorrow, March 19, on A2Z, Kapamilya Channel, Kapamilya Online Live on YouTube, ABS-CBN Entertainment Facebook page, and iWantTFC.)


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