A Love Letter to Every Filipino Woman: 3 Things You Need to Hear

A Love Letter to Every Filipino Woman: 3 Things You Need to Hear

Dear Ate, Nanay, Mom, Mommy, Tita, Miss, and Ma’am, 

How are you? It’s been a while since I last saw you. I remember how you used to be a little girl. Dressed in pretty dresses and treated as your father’s princess. I remember how you used to be a teenager. Opinionated but silenced because they believed a daughter shouldn’t question her parents. Now that you’re an adult, you’re probably pressured to be successful and be a fine bride.

You have probably once opened your social media account and seen how your previous classmates, colleagues, and even friends are now happily married with successful careers or businesses. Then here you are, reading my letter and probably feeling doubtful of your decisions and your future. But allow me to hug you with assurance and tell you the things you need to hear.

You’re not “just a woman”. 

At some point in your life, you may have been slammed by hurtful words such as, “The only place a woman belongs to is the kitchen.” This stereotypical and patriarchal perspective is completely wrong. You belong everywhere you want to be because you are capable. You have two hands, just like men. Hence, you can hit a nail with a hammer, drive trailer trucks, and be your own boss. If you’re doubtful, let me introduce my friend, Merlee Cruz-Jayme. In her book Chairmom, she experienced stereotyping too, but she didn’t let this drag her down. Instead, she took the initiative to be assigned a different task, and there, she let her capabilities speak for herself. With that said, I know you can break the stereotypical barrier that hinders women. Feeling a little scared is okay because you can do it, scared.

You’re not “oversensitive” when you feel unsafe. 

You’re not the problem; they are. Whatever you choose to wear, wear them with confidence. The length of your clothing doesn’t equate to permission for them to give you unnecessary and malicious comments. But when you feel unsafe, your reaction doesn’t equate to oversensitivity. They might say, “That’s alright. It’s normal for men to act that way.” However, this point of view is dangerous and reeks of invalidation. Upon hearing this, you’ll surely start to question yourself to the point of gaslighting that maybe you’re just overreacting. Breathe; you’re not at fault here. My friend Merlee wants you to remember that it’s okay to stand up for yourself, and there are people out there who are willing to stand up with you against this kind of monster. 

Motherhood is not an “expiration date.” 

Being a mother doesn’t mean you’re not eligible to be a successful career woman. Yes, even Merlee admitted that being a mother in the corporate world requires a lot of unbalancing. Hence, she advocated having a support system. Asking for help doesn’t make you weak. It will be beneficial for your mental health and being able to mix your two worlds. Just always remember that being a mother doesn’t take away your creativity and capabilities as a career woman; instead, it opens up you to more perspectives that can be beneficial to your career. 

Now that you’ve reached this part of my love letter, I would like to say that being a woman is an honor. You're not just the "little girl" anymore. You have your choice to dress whatever you want. You're brave and entitled to your own opinion. You are the writer of your successful future. You nurture and create life. Lastly, you are strong and independent. In a room full of darkness, you'll surely shine.

I know it’s been a while since I last saw you. But always remember, when you’re feeling in doubt, my love letter will remind you of the four things you need to hear. 


The handkerchief you used to cry on.


by Ella Importado 

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