MANILA, Philippines – For International Women’s Month, Rappler features everyday women in Manila to honor the stories and lives of the Filipina.
Veronica David, 32
What advice would you give your younger self?
“Finish my studies. I didn’t finish. I wanted to go into nursing but I took Hotel and Restaurant Management instead. It was in demand back then. But I never finished because I got married. I have a 10-year-old child.”
Hannah Manalo, 33
“I have 3 kids. Now I use family planning. I got it in the hospital for free. I asked the doctor what my options are. They put an implant in my arm. Here – feel it. This will last 5 years. If I want to get pregnant again, they can take it off. But I don’t want any more kids.”
Anna Gayleen Robles, 26
“I’m a hearing aid specialist. It was my first job. I like it because I get to help people. When you see them hear for the first time, it’s different. You can’t explain it. Especially the kids. Their reactions are priceless. I plan to study to be an audiologist. There are only about 200 from the Philippines and many of them are abroad.”
Joy Jaucian, 22
What’s your favorite childhood memory?
“Playing with my cousins. We played patintero. My favorite cousins are Jane and Jazen. Ever since, until now, we hang out. When we were smaller, we showered together. We were close through high school, and even now that we’re all working we see each other on our days off. One works for Shakey’s, the other is a secretary at a hospital.”
“My favorite customer is named Miriam. I have other favorites, but I forget their names – I just know their faces. I give discounts too. I don’t get mad when people ask, I just kid my customers. How will you sell anything if you get mad? There’s a lot of competition but I’m able to sell through the grace of Allah. If you pray always, Allah won’t neglect you.”