#BreakingBarriers: Headstrong Filipinas Who Rise Above and Beyond

#BreakingBarriers: Headstrong Filipinas Who Rise Above and Beyond

March is globally recognized as International Women’s Month. Here at SunFish DataOn Philippines, Inc. through SunFish HR and GreatDay HR, we acknowledge the extraordinary and significant role that women play who remain headstrong in promoting their rights and inclusivity in the community.

March 8 is International Women’s Day and is celebrated in many countries around the world. It is a day when women are recognized for their achievements without regard to divisions, whether national, ethnic, linguistic, cultural, economic, or political, while pushing for inclusivity  and equality.

This is an ever-relevant idea numerous individuals and groups are advocating for which has undoubtedly paved the way for both local and international programs catering to  the promotion of women’s rights and their extraordinary capabilities.

We at SunFish DataOn Philippines, Inc. through SunFish HR and GreatDay HR, are fully supportive of this advocacy, and would like to take this opportunity to acknowledge women who champion the strength and willingness to push not only for their rights and relevance but of others as well in terms of multiple social issues. These are some of the many headstrong women who have used their expansive influence to keep on #BreakingBarriers.

kylie verzosa headstrong woman and mental health advocate

Kylie Verzosa

Known for: Mental Health Advocate. Founder, Mental Health Matters PH (@mentalhealthmattersph)

Kylie Verzosa is a Filipina actress, model, and beauty queen who rose to prominence after getting crowned as Binibining Pilipinas International 2016 and Miss International 2016.

Getting crowned in these prestigious pageants has allowed her to be a resounding influence on many Filipinos and has used this to make her advocacies heard.

She is a renowned Mental Health Advocate, not afraid to share her experiences and reassuring everyone that “being honest about how they feel does not make them weak, when in fact it makes them more human.”

As a popular figure in social media, she has gone on to create Mental Health Matters (@mentalhealthmattersph on Instagram) – an online support group geared to spread awareness and inspiration about tackling several Mental Health issues to remove the stigma. The page has close to 45,000 followers as of this writing.

maria ressa headstrong woman and journalist and first filipino nobel peace prize recipient

Maria Ressa

Known for: First Filipino Nobel Peace Prize Recipient. Jornalist and CEO of Rappler

Maria Ressa is a Filipina journalist, author, and co-founder and CEO of Rappler.

She has garnered multiple accolades all around the world for her stand on the Freedom of Expression. Such recognitions include being named Time’s 2018 Person of the Year and being  one of the 25 leading figures on the Information and Democracy Commission launched by international NGO Reporters Without Borders.

Most recently, her name and influence got cemented on history after being the first Filipino recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize for “her efforts to safeguard freedom of expression, which is a precondition for democracy and lasting peace.”

Ressa has also ventured into writing and teaching which has allowed her to expand on her spheres of influence not only in the Philippines, but the entire world.

monique wilson headstrong woman theater and film actress. women's rights activist.

Monique Wilson

Known for: Theater/Film Actress. Women’s Rights Activist. Director of Gabriela Women’s Party & One Billion Rising

Monique Wilson is a Filipina theater and film actress, with a career in the industry spanning over four decades.

She was a previous understudy in the original London West End production of Miss Saigon, later taking the place of Lea Salonga in the main role. Since then, Wilson has taken part in more involved roles in the theater such as producing and directing plays and musicals alongside some acting stints and recording music.

Outside the performing arts, Monique has been a staunch advocate of women’s rights in the Philippines. As a women’s rights activist, she has been serving as Director of International Affairs of the Gabriela Women’s Party as well as Director of One Billion Rising.

She has garnered deep support from the community with her genuine mindset of giving back especially to the marginalized Filipina youth even after all the success she has gone through all her life.

hidilyn diaz headstrong woman. first filipino olympic gold medalist with humble beginnings

Hidilyn Diaz

Known for: First Filipino Olympic Gold Medalist. Humble Beginnings

Hidilyn Diaz is a Filipina weightlifter and Air Force Staff Sergeant. She has been a popular figure in Filipino weightlifting, garnering prominence after winning an Olympic Silver in the 2016 Summer Olympics, ending the Philippines’ 20-year Olympic medal drought.

Her passion and love for her sport and the Philippines drove her to push harder and thereby winning an Olympic Gold for the country in the 2020 Summer Olympics – being the first Filipino to achieve the feat. She also holds multiple records to date.

Hidilyn came from humble beginnings which made her a relatable figure for most Filipino women and children aspiring to achieve more and make a better life out of their situation. She did not let stereotypes limit her from breaking barriers and went above and beyond instead in the face of adversity.

Although Diaz knows that while some Filipino traditions prevail, she is never afraid to point out that women can go above and beyond through their own free will and determination.

aimee carandang headstrong woman. first filipina commercial pilot and captain of philippine airlines.

Aimee Carandang

Known for: First-ever Filipina Commercial Pilot

Aimee Carandang is a Filipina aviator and had flown exceptionally high in 1993 when she became the first Filipina to ever grace the skies as a commercial pilot and Captain in the Philippines’ flag-carrier, Philippine Airlines.

Today, women pilots are now rapidly increasing in number and earning their seats in the cockpit in the male-dominated airline industry. The demand for pilots around the world has seen a continuously rising trend through the years and the needs are felt even more in the country.

According to the Civil Aviation of the Philippines (CAAP), with only less than 3% of the total pilots in the country comprised of women, figures such as Carandang have inspired more women to continue transcending stereotypes and breaking barriers in order to achieve their dreams.


As we celebrate International Women’s Month, we challenge everyone to be introspective and to challenge their current notions about women and their significant role in the community.

It cannot be denied that women continue shaping the Philippines in several industries, making sure that their voices are heard louder than ever most especially on behalf of those marginalized.

As a company that fully supports the human resources and people of our partners, we cannot help but acknowledge the extraordinary role that women play in this professional world that we are in. We at SunFish DataOn Philippines, Inc. through SunFish HR and GreatDay HR, are fully supportive of this advocacy and will continue fighting the good fight to pave the way for lasting inclusivity.

Happy International Women’s Month to every headstrong Filipina out there! We support you in your pursuit of #BreakingBarriers.

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