International Women’s Day: Empowered women in PH showbiz

International Women’s Day 2024: Empowered women in PH show biz

/ 08:00 AM March 08, 2024

International Women’s Day 2024: Empowered women in PH entertainment

International Women’s Day 2024. Image: Yap

It is always a marvel how a single female who holds so much power in her can ignite change and sets free the potential in others—an occurrence certainly present even in the local entertainment scene. 

More and more female celebrities have come to embrace their empowered selves by determining their own decisions, establishing confidence and sense of self-worth, standing for what they believe in, and influencing fellow women in doing such


In celebration of International Women’s Day, here are some of the females in show business who recently exhibited women empowerment in their own ways. 


Liza Soberano

International Women’s Day

Liza Soberano. Image: Instagram/@lizasoberano

Once controversial for speaking up about the downsides of her over-a-decade established career in the Philippines, Liza Soberano defied the odds and proved herself for turning her Hollywood dream into reality. 

Soberano went from being a one-half of a love team that was a regular at the romantic-comedy department, to going out of her comfort zone and chasing a career in the United States. 

“It was really nerve-racking because I’m coming from a 12-year long career in the Philippines, not to toot my own horn, but I’m pretty established already in Manila. There’s this certain privilege that I had, the comfort that I had back home but I decided to leave all that in search of personal growth and professional growth,” Soberano said. 

The 26-year-old actress, who even earned a spot on the list of Hollywood’s most exciting young actors to watch out for, bagged her Hollywood debut role as Taffy in the Zelda Williams-helmed film “Liza Frankenstein.” With her acting chops, Soberano left in awe not only her fans but also Williams and American producer and director Joe Russo, who described the Filipino actress as a “superstar” who “steals every scene she’s in.”

Aside from pursuit of growth and success as an artist, Soberano also uses her now larger platform to voice her sentiments on taboo subjects in the country including mental health. 

“In speaking about mental health, I want to be authentic and honest,” she continued. “My ultimate goal is to make mental health services more accessible in the Philippines and be able to provide to less fortunate people and to be able to pay for these types of services.”


More of Soberano will be seen in Hollywood as she has seven projects in development, one of which is with a US-based production. 

Kathryn Bernardo 

Kathryn Bernardo. Image: Instagram/@johnvalle20

Kathryn Bernardo. Image: Instagram/@johnvalle20

Veering away as well from a love team while also ending an over a decade relationship with actor Daniel Padilla, Kathryn Bernado entered her solo era and proved that she’s an exceptional actress in her own right. 

Bernardo’s first film sans Padilla was the 2018 romantic comedy-drama “Three Word to Forever,” which was followed by the 2019 hit film “Hello, Love, Goodbye” where she starred alongside Alden Richards. The 2019 romantic drama had been the Philippines’ highest grossing-film until the box-office record set by the 2023 film “Rewind.”

In Bernardo’s most recent film, female-led movie “A Very Good Girl,” the actress aimed to inspire and empower her fellow women in fighting for what is right, especially when their dignity is being pushed down to the ground.

“I really want to do something na involved ang mga kababaihan dahil ‘yun ang kailangan natin i-tackle sa nangyayari sa mundo ngayon. Nakakatuwa, especially the young ones [and] Gen-Zs, sila ‘yung nagiging representation na ito kami ngayon,” she spoke of the film. 

Speaking about her solo era and her self-love mantra, on the other hand, Bernardo regarded it as a “good kind of change” despite the adjustments. 

“Ngayon ko lang na-feel na it’s so empowering as a woman and ang sarap sa pakiramdam na alam ko nang hawak ko na ang buhay ko at ang sarili ko,” she admitted. “At the end of the day, it’s all about [myself]. [I can] do what makes [me] happy.”

Michelle Dee

International Women’s Day

Michelle Dee. Image: Instagram/@joshuasalvs, @motions_by_isaac via @michelledee

Michelle Dee, a proud member of the LGBTQIA+ community, represented not only the country but also the community on the international stage of the Miss Universe pageant in 2023. 

I definitely identify myself as bisexual. I’ve identified with that for as long as I can remember. I’m attracted to all forms of beauty, all shapes and sizes.”

“I’m so much more than how I identify myself. I have so much more to offer the world and the universe than how I identify myself. This is also the reason why I chose not to come out despite the pressure to come out during the [local] competition,” she underscored.

Dee, who came out as bisexual weeks after winning the Miss Universe Philippines title, delighted Filipino pageant fans with her laudable performance in the competition. 

Despite not bringing home the crown, Dee bagged several awards in the global tilt including Spirit of Carnival, Fan Vote winner, and Best in National Costume, and was named as one of the Voice for Change gold honorees.

She also ignited a sense of Bayanihan among Filipinos who collectively extended their support to the actress-beauty queen all throughout her pageant journey. 

Nadine Lustre

International Women’s Day

Nadine Lustre. Image: Instagram/@nadine

Being the outspoken person that she is, Nadine Lustre admitted that she had not always been this way as she had also suffered from an identity crisis during her early years in show business.

Taking into consideration a lot of factors including criticisms from naysayers, the actress said she tried to fit herself into a certain mold and eventually lost sight of herself. A “terrible burnout” and her mental health struggles later made her realize she needed a shift in her mindset. 

“I’m often asked how I manage to always look cool and composed. I always say this to people… I’m unapologetic about who I am. I say what I want to say, and I do what I want to do. And that comes off like a big puzzle to some because, for someone in the midst of all this in showbiz, we’re so used to having people who are afraid to speak up—and I’m definitely not like that,” she stated. 

“So, I tell them that I just try to be myself… because there was a time when all I did was try to fit myself into a certain mold,” she continued. “I really didn’t know who I was. I can’t say when or how [the shift in mindset] clicked, but I just had this realization that I was tired of wearing this mask.”

After taking control of her life and being unapologetic about it, Lustre has used her voice and influence in advocating for a variety of causes including animal welfare, environment protection, mental health awareness, as well as promoting body positivity. 

“When I decided to just be myself, scary siya! You think, ‘Ano’ng sasabihin ng mga tao?’” she admitted. “But then, I was like, ‘You know what, f*ck it! I only have one life, so I have to live it the way I want to live it. And if people don’t like it, then maybe show biz isn’t for me.”

Janella Salvador 

Janella Salvador

Janella Salvador and her son Jude. Image: Instagram/@superjanella

After introducing to the world her son Jude, Janella Salvador admitted she couldn’t help but be “triggered” by comments about her being “sayang” for being a mother at a young age. 

“Hindi naman ako sayang. I’m still me. I’m still who I am. I’m still Janella Salvador. I can still sing. I can still act. I can still work. Bakit sayang, ‘di ba?” she said in an interview with comedian-showbiz reporter Ogie Diaz.

“Wala naman nabago sa’kin so walang sayang. ‘Pag naging nanay ka na, hindi ka sayang,” she stressed. “I can still do everything that I want to do. Na-delay lang nang konti, pero kaya ko pa rin gawin and gagawin ko pa rin.”

The 25-year-old celebrity mom indeed proved naysayers wrong as she flourished in her career, saying she felt more empowered after becoming a mother. Helping her achieve such is her ABS-CBN family whom she thanked for standing up for her despite people saying her pregnancy was a “career suicide.”

Moreover, Salvador, who is also a single parent, admitted that she is now very particular in choosing her roles because she wants her son to appreciate her craft and be proud of the projects she did. 

I know deep down that my story hasn’t even reached its best part yet,” she declared during her Star Magic contract-signing event in February.



Pokwang and her daughter Malia. Image: Instagram/@itspokwang27

Pokwang has been very public about her emotional grudge on American actor Lee O’Brian—her former partner and the father of her daughter Malia—whom she accused of being a “narcissistic” parent. 

A determined Pokwang brought their domestic woes to the court—filing deportation complaints and cancellation of visa against Lee—with the actress saying she did so to fight for her and Malia’s rights.

“Kailangan natin mabigyan ng leksyon ‘yung mga taong umaabuso sa batas natin at sa karapatan ng bawat babae at bawat nanay,” she explained. “Sobra [ang] ginawa niya, mentally. Hindi ako makatulog sa sobrang [sakit]. Hindi niya nagagawa ang obligasyon niya bilang ama. Sobrang masakit ‘yun para sa anak namin.”

“Para sa karapatan ko at ng anak ko, para sa mga kapwa ko babae at sa bayan ko,” she added. 

The Bureau of Immigration sided with the actress-comedian and issued a deportation order against O’Brian. Filled with gratitude, Pokwang dedicated her win to her supporters and to fellow moms striving in the same situation she was. 

Despite some criticizing her for being vocal about her conflict with O’Brian on social media, the single mom—who juggles being a celebrity, a real estate agent, and a business owner—does not seem to mind and has instead been allotting her strength in filling up the roles of a mother and a father not just to Malia but also to her eldest child Mae. 

Vice Ganda 

Vice Ganda

Vice Ganda. Image: Instagram/@praybeytbenjamin

No one and nothing could stop Vice Ganda, an empowered figure of the LGBTQIA+ community in the country, from promoting love in all genders and forms—and the public is a witness to this. 

The comedian-TV host has been using her platform to reach more people and make them understand not just the community itself but also what it has been fighting for. 

“Everyone must be able [to] understand what is LGBTQIA+, what kind of people they are, because if you don’t understand the person, then you don’t fully embrace his [or] her totality… That is why I firmly believe that SOGIE (sexual orientation, gender identity and expression) must be taught in schools,” Vice Ganda said. 

Just recently, Vice Ganda and her partner, fellow “It’s Showtime” host Ion Perez, became a subject of hurtful comments and attacks after a display of affection in an episode of the noontime show. This incident even prompted the Movie and Television Review and Classification Board (MTRCB) to suspend “It’s Showtime” for 12 days, regarding the pair’s actions as “indecent acts.”

Such did not faze Vice Ganda in standing up for their love and for what she believes in, describing their relationship as “revolutionary.”

Through her simple and sometimes even comedic remarks, Vice Ganda has also been shedding light on pressing matters that need to be discussed. 

Maxene Magalona 

Maxene Magalona

Maxene Magalona. Image: Instagram/@maxenemagalona

Maxene Magalona is not one to give in to societal pressure of having children at a certain age, stressing that she is moving at her own pace and that no one gets to decide over her life but her and God.

In connection with this, the actress also put strong emphasis on how parents must undergo healing first before welcoming a child into this world. Magalona, who is also a mental health advocate, said she has come to understand the importance of this practice after being diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) herself. 

Magalona confessed she initially did not want to have a child, but that she came to realize she wants to have just one kid when the right time comes.

“As I matured, I really had to sit with myself and ask my soul if I truly wanted a child. Because I certainly don’t want to bring another soul into this world unconsciously. I don’t want to have kids just because everyone else is doing it,” she stated. 

“So when I meditated on it, I realized that I would like a child for the sole purpose of passing on what I learned in my journey, and also make the child feel the kind of love and energy that I offer. So that they can also pass it on to the future generations,” she added. 

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Nevertheless, Magalona urged the public to break the cycle of asking “awkward, invasive and a bit rude” questions to people with no kids yet. 

TAGS: International Women's Day, Kathryn Bernardo, Liza Soberano

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