Binibining Pilipinas candidates see narrowing gender gap
MANILA, Philippines — This year’s Binibining Pilipinas candidates from the provinces are recognizing the progressive strides society has taken in appreciating women and the roles they have played in uplifting lives.
During the delegates’ visit to the Art in Island multimedia museum at the Araneta City in Quezon City on Feb. 28, the Inquirer asked three ladies about their thoughts on Women’s Month, which is celebrated every March in the Philippines and in many parts of the world.
“I’m just so grateful because Bb. Pilipinas is really a testament to the milestones in closing the gender gap in our country, and I am filled with gratitude. I’m happy because we are making progress towards equality. Words cannot describe how I’m feeling right now to be a part of this,” dentist Trisha Martinez from Laguna said.
Returning candidate Anna Valencia Lakrini cited how “times are changing, and so are we.” The 25-year-old delegate from Bataan flew back to her mother’s home country in 2022 just two weeks after earning her nutritional science degree from the University of Vienna.
“I think that we women are often undervalued or underestimated. Women’s Month is a great adventure for us to celebrate women and womanhood, because we women are strong and powerful,” she continued.
For reigning Miss Bikini Philippines Zeah Nestle Pala, Women’s Month is “celebrating gender equity and, of course, women empowerment.”
She also encouraged Filipinos to include men who play women’s roles in marking the occasion. “I’m proud to say that one of my family members is also like that, and I really wanna tell my uncle that I am so proud of him for being a man who is doing the responsibility of a woman,” shared the delegate from the province of Tarlac.
But despite the progress that the woman’s movement has attained, the candidates still believe there is so much more that women and society in general can still achieve.
Martinez said, “I want to see equality not just in politics, not just in government, but everywhere, like in the workplace.” She got more specific and asked ride-hailing companies to hire more women drivers. “I once booked a ride and a woman was driving. I was very comfortable and also very proud,” she said.
Pala, for her part, said, “what I would want to see is to accept each other, and to respect each other. It’s really not the gender, it’s how you treat each other that matters most.”
Lakrini said she does not want to “limit” what the movement can still achieve. “We women can do anything we want to do. It’s just that we as a society, you have to accept that women are more capable than you think they can,” she said.
“It’s not just about bearing a child, it’s so much more. We can do everything a man can do. Times are changing and it’s good. But I think it has to put in more work,” she continued.
The 2023 Bb. Pilipinas pageant will hold its coronation ceremonies at the Smart Araneta Coliseum at the Araneta City, tentatively scheduled in May. Bb. Pilipinas Charities Inc. did not reveal yet how many crowns will be awarded in this year’s competition. EDV