6 Books on Filipina Womanhood

To celebrate National Women’s month 2018, read up on these narratives of womanhood by five boldly empowered writers who have eloquently given voice to the many facets of female experience.

It’s a Mens World by Bebang Siy

Beverly “Bebang” Wico-Siy traces the filmstrip of her colourful life, taking us through her childhood, in a language both funny poignant, and markedly intimate and honest. Reading It’s a Men’s World is akin to spending a long summer afternoon with your closest female companions.


Bata, Bata… Pa’ano Ka Ginawa? and Dekada ’70 By Lualhati Bautista

“As one of the preeminent Filipino writers, a rare woman among a pantheon of men, Lualhati Bautista has done more than most to forward feminist thought and practice in the Philippines. With Bata, Bata… Pa’no Ka Ginawa? and Dekada ’70, Bautista unpacks the concepts of motherhood and identity, and gives us iconic characters in the sexually liberated single mother Lea from Bata, as well as Dekada’s Amanda, who goes through an arc of gradual enlightenment from martyred housewife to a socially engaged member of society. Bautista’s characters, and Bautista herself, are testament to the fact that women can and must break out of the rules and roles that society foists upon them.

Educating Women Leaders by Dr. Pinky Valdes

Three women’s colleges have withstood the test of time—Assumption College, Miriam College, and St. Scholastica’s College. These colleges have undoubtedly mentored and produced some of the women leaders in the country in various fields.

Educating Women Leaders explores the background, issues, and accomplishments of education exclusively of girls and young women. This book features extensive research on the subject by Dr. Carmen “Pinky” Valdés as well as inspiring anecdotes from some of the three colleges’ alumnae.

An Open Book: Thursdays with Nanay Coring by Cecilia Ramos Licauco with Yvette Fernandez

What have you achieved before you turned twenty? Just before reaching her second-decade mark, Nanay Coring, as Socorro Ramos is fondly called by her loved ones, has already married her lifelong partner and started building what would eventually be a thriving family business: National Book Store. Through all the hardships and obstacles she faced, Nanay Coring has persevered, spending her life nurturing both the company and its employees while also caring for her family. In this book, her daughter Cecilia Ramos Licauco narrates memories and anecdotes that share the wisdom gained through experiences and passed on by Nanay Coring. Get a glimpse of the life of the much-loved Nanay Coring through this little book sharing her core values to people of all ages.

And Then She Laughed by Slyvia Claudio

More than a clinical book, And Then She Laughed is an attempt to reach out to those who may be grappling with problems related to violence against women, but have no access to a good counselor. Claudio covers the most common cases she has handled in her years as a counselor for abused women, which include healing from rape, sexual harassment, violence in intimate relationships, and depression. In the process she also points out valuable life lessons learned from those who have overcome the violence and healed.