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As sad as it sounds (especially on International Women’s Month), women are often and still underrepresented in media. Too few female characters are driving the show plots and too few women-centered offerings. Worse, they are portrayed as sex objects that are pretty, but incapable of thinking for themselves. (It’s 2018 people, for goodness’ sake!)

There are some entertainment personalities, however, who has shown time and again that women are strong, intelligent and has opinions worth listening to.

Here are some of our favorite strong women in the Philippine entertainment industry:

1. Cherie Gil

Cherrie Gil in the 1985 film, Bituing Walang Ningning. Photo from

Cherie Gil has taken part in so many films and television dramas for decades now and she is known for taking on (and nailing) kontrabida roles. She is famous, however, for one intense, wine-splashing scene in the 1985 movie, Bituing Walang Ningning.“You’re nothing but a second-rate, trying hard, copycat!” the actress’ fuming character Lavinia Arguelles exclaimed. Unlike her line, however, Cherrie was every bit a first-rate actress who’s effortlessly cool and original.

2. Jaclyn Jose

Jaclyn Jose in a still from her Cannes Film Festival-winning performance in Ma’ Rosa. Photo from Manila Bulletin

Others know her for being the feisty palaban mom of actress Andi Eigenman. One other thing that she’s famous for, however, is her signature “no acting” style, shown at its best in the Brillante Mendoza-directed film, Ma’ Rosa. Sure, it inspired funny memes online but it has earned her the Best Actress award (a first for a Filipina) at the prestigious Cannes Film Festival in 2016. The accolade was for her exceptional portrayal of a slum matriarch who falls prey to corrupt police. Who would forget her role as a generous, loving and considerate single parent in Patay na si Hesus? No one!

3. Maine Mendoza

Maine Mendoza proves that she’s a social media and television phenomenon with a heart. Photo from Manila Bulletin

The past two years have been a career bliss for social media and Eat Bulaga breakout star Maine Mendoza. From endorsements, movie projects, to releasing her own book, the other half of the phenomenal love team, “AlDub,” took the nation by storm. She was her bravest, however, when she opened up on her thoughts and feelings about her fame and fandom in an open letter. The Twitter post drew mixed reactions. Menggay wanted to speak her truth, nevertheless, “even if your voice shakes.” Her swift yet composed response to fellow host and comedian Joey De Leon’s remark about depression being “gawa-gawa lang” also won over the hearts of many Filipinos. “Hindi biro yun ah, yung depression. Hindi siya joke kasi maraming nakakaranas ng ganon, lalo na sa mga kabataan. kaya dapat kapag may nakakaranas ng ganon, bigyan natin ng suporta,” she said. Way to go, Maine!

4.  Angel Locsin

Angel Locsin is the kind of feminist we need in the entertainment industry. Photo from Angel Locsin

Angel Locsin did not get the role of Darna for nothing. She proved to be a real-life heroine for fellow women when she chose to hit the red buzzer within a few seconds of the “carwash dance” audition by the girl group “Playgirls.” She said watching the girls was unbearable because she knew they deserve better than objectification. “Kaya ko kayo binuzz, ayaw kong ma-objectify kayo, masyado ako nagmamalasakit para sa inyo para i-go ko ‘to at patuloy kayong panuorin ng mga kalalakihan na ginagawa ‘yan,” she said. While Robin Padilla sought to hear the group’s side (“Gusto niyo ba ‘yun na mga kalalakihan ay humahanga sa inyo?”), the actress pointed out that the issue was about educating young girls that their bodies are worthy of respect. Yes, they do!

5. Ethel Booba

Ethel Booba ends all her tweets with “charot” but her views always come through. Photo from Ethel Booba

Ethel Booba has made her mark on the local Twitterverse with responses to tweets that are simply too savage to be unseen. The social media commentator and comedian chimes in on everything and anything trending — jokingly, of course. You know how jokes are half meant, though, right? She even had a book published called, Charotism, which compiled her funniest tweets and book 2 is on the way. We love Ethel’s witty take on issues. No ifs and charots!

6. Kris Aquino

Kris Aquino knows how to unleash sass against online bashers. Photo from Manila Bulletin

Being a single parent is challenging enough and dealing with unwarranted hate makes things even more difficult. Kris Aquino, however, handles her bashers like a pro. From comments that her son Bimby is gay to insinuations that she’s not paying her staff appropriately, Kris never holds back in responding to hate comments on social media especially when — as she puts it — “the truth is on my side.”


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