Women empowerment in the Philippines has since continued to improve from 1937 when women were given the full right to vote and be part of the decision-making in the country. Laws promoting women’s rights were implemented such as the Anti-Violence Against Women and Their Children Act (R.A. 9262), and the Anti-Sexual Harassment Law (R.A. 7877).
Today, women’s rights and welfare are persistently being advocated by various organizations – government and non-government – and being implemented in almost all parts of the country. And SOS Children’s Villages Philippines also does its part to contribute to the empowerment of women, especially SOS girls.
Angela*, an SOS child, was once denied of her basic needs, education, health care, and especially a home along with her siblings. “Before, we have experienced living off one pack of crackers, and the five of us will have to share that for one whole day. My mother would also have to lock us up in our house because no one will take care of us for the several days she will be gone for work,” she recalls.
Fortunately, Angela and her siblings are now given a home in SOS Children’s Village in Manila with the help of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) and also their concerned neighbors. “I’m very grateful that I was given the chance to continue my studies. I once thought that my siblings and I will never get to study again because of our situation, but I learned how to dream again and reach for my goals, now with my newfound family and friends,” she said.
Apart from school, Tatay Raymond, the Village Director of SOS Manila, has always been supportive of Angela’s dream to become an actress. Growing up, she has had a hobby of watching television shows, especially dramatic teleseries. Her favorite show is MMK or Maalaala Mo Kaya, a drama anthology which is aired on ABS-CBN every Sunday. “I can’t help my tears from falling every time I watch MMK or other shows that portray a slice of real life. I can always relate to their stories, and imagine myself in their situation,” told Angela.
Last year, Tatay Raymond enrolled Angela in an acting workshop to let her discover and explore her talent in acting. “SOS has really supported me, not just with my basic needs and education, but also with my passion. Many would think that it’s impractical to pursue my [acting] dream since only a few succeed in that field. But SOS believed in me, and I’m deeply thankful for that,” she said inspiringly.
*Name of the child is changed in compliance with the Privacy Protection Act.