Arts & Culture

Arts & Culture: Women changemakers take spotlight in storybook ‘Fearless Filipinas II’

MANILA, PHILIPPINES — March may have been International Women’s Month, but the call for radical change within our existing systems is a timeless concern. When teaching the importance of celebrating women role models, we can go back to the basics –– through literature. 

Fearless Filipinas II is the follow-up to Fearless Filipinas: 12 Women Who Dared to Be Different, compiling the short biographies of twelve women spanning different fields and industries, from renowned scientists to actresses to entrepreneurs and so much more. Vice President Leni Robredo even contributed to the first Fearless Filipinas book, writing a foreword that reminds women they are all capable of unprecedented greatness. 

Fearless Filipinas II seeks to expand on the previous volume’s earlier intention of spotlighting women of various competencies, likewise highlighting their individual moments of fearlessness in their respective fields. 


The subjects of Fearless Filipinas II were selected not only for their achievements, but for the grit, resilience, and determination they have displayed and continue to embody in their careers. In this volume, subjects include Jia Tolentino, the New York Times best-selling author of Trick Mirror: Reflections on Self-Delusion, Macy Lee, activist, mental health advocate, and founder of the NGO Talang Dalisay, Cam Rodriguez, Philippine women’s national football team player who recently qualified for the FIFA Women’s World Cup, Megan Young, the first Filipina to win Miss World, among many others (a full list is included below). 

Documenting these subjects’ achievements and failures in Fearless Filipinas II was a way of keeping up with the tradition of writing and recording women’s history. Books are a point of reference, and by focusing on women, we give future generations valuable sources of inspiration and hope that they could break biases and achieve whatever they set their minds to despite whatever hurdles may come their way. 

“When putting together Fearless Filipinas II, we were spoiled by choice in women to feature. There are countless women with stories to tell, which is why we intend on making Fearless Filipinas a series,” said co-author and managing editor Katya Lichauco. “There is no shortage of subjects to cover.” 

“Upon seeing the success of the first Fearless Filipinas book, it was only natural for us to create another edition, featuring many other remarkable Filipinas in the fields of business, art, journalism, and more,” said co-author Monica Padillo. “I feel honored to get to know these amazing women and put their inspirational stories into print. I hope with Fearless Filipinas II, other Filipinas, especially young girls, would be inspired to be more confident about themselves and be determined to achieve their dreams as well.”

The 24 Fearless Filipinas Who Dared to Dream are as follows:

  1. Alex Eala – Tennis player 
  2. Antoinette Jadaone – Filmmaker 
  3. Cam Rodriguez – Footballer 
  4. Cathy Garcia-Molina – TV and Film Director 
  5. Ces Drilon – Journalist 
  6. Dr. Fe Del Mundo – Pediatrician 
  7. Hershey Hilado – Entrepreneur 
  8. Jia Tolentino – Journalist 
  9. Josie Trinidad – Disney animator 
  10. Justine Cordero – Founder of Color Manila 
  11. Kara Magsanoc-Alikpala – Founder of ICanServe Foundation 
  12. Kim King – Owner of Kim King’s Kitchen 
  13. Macy Lee – Talang Dalisay founder 
  14. Megan Young – Miss World 2013 
  15. Michele Bumgarner – Racecar driver 
  16. Pia Ranada – Journalist 
  17. Regina Manzana-Sawhney – Co-founder of Filipino Googler Network 
  18. Rian Gonzales – Artist 
  19. Rowena Romulo – Owner of Romulo Café 
  20. Ruby Ibarra – Rapper 
  21. Tasha Tanjutco – Co-founder of Kids For Kids Philippines 
  22. Vicky Morales-Reyno – Broadcast journalist 
  23. Yasmin Busran-Lao – Women’s rights advocate 
  24. Zara Carbonell – Miss Tourism Worldwide 2018 

“I am truly honored to be part of this project and acknowledged to be a Fearless Filipina. I genuinely believe that all Filipinas are naturally strong and courageous. I’m hoping that this book will inspire more women to go after their dreams and change the world,” said PN 1-Certified Gut, Fasting, & Skin Nutrition Specialist Kim King, who is featured in the book. “Because after all, we’ve all got that innate fire in us that’s waiting to be unleashed, we just have to light that fire and put it into action,” she added. 

The book was written by Katya Lichauco, Monica Padillo, and Pancho Dizon, with founding editor Mica Magsanoc, contributor Veno Centeno, and copy editors Gabbie Ruiz and Miguel Fianza. Mio Borromeo served as the editor-in-chief and Kyle Nate as the deputy editorial director. The team was happy to collaborate again on a second volume, pushing for continuity in Filipina women’s history, with many more volumes to come. 

The idea of continually celebrating women role models is why online bookstore Bookshelf PH will be holding a book launch open to the public for Fearless Filipinas II: 24 Women Who Dared to Dream. The launch will be held on Wednesday, June 29, 2022, from 5PM to 8PM at Manila House in Bonifacio Global City, Taguig.

The launch will celebrate both the hard work it took to complete the book and the stories of the women featured in it. Tickets to the launch can be purchased here for just P999, inclusive of admission, a three-course meal, and a live panel program that will provide attendees with the chance to connect with some of the women featured in the book. Though slots are limited, attendees need only bring their vaccination cards. 

Attending the launch will be renowned journalist Ces Drilon, fashion commerce entrepreneur Hershey Hilado, Color Manila founder Justine Cordero, ICanServe foundation founder Kara Magsanoc-Alikpala, Rappler journalist Pia Ranada, artist/entrepreneur Rian Gonzales, Talang Dalisay founder Macy Lee, Kids For Kids co-founder Tasha Tanjutco, and beauty queen/entrepreneur Zara Carbonell. The launch will also serve as an opportunity for a meet-and-greet, with their insights sure to inspire attendees. 

Copies of Fearless Filipinas II: 24 Women Who Dared to Dreamcan be purchased here.

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