A fitting start to women’s month, Angel Locsin stops by Paano Ba ‘To: The Podcast by Bianca Gonzalez and puts things in perspective for an opinionated woman in the world today.
For all the ground and glass ceilings broken, as well as of the confident strides and progress made over time, the painful truth is: the world hasn’t been particularly kind to women. Sure, women have come so far in the plight and fight for gender equality and rights, but there is still a long way to go to where it needs to be. Despite living in a considerably progressive present, we have yet to make full amends with the treatment and recognition of women in the past, which in essence dictates how the future will look for the passion and power that women hold.
In fact, at the recently concluded Golden Globes, it was the first time female directors outranked the number of male counterparts in nominations and the first time a black woman won Best Actress in a Drama. (An aside, Chloe Zao and Andra Day won their respective categories that night.) While this is just a small slice in the greater and grander scheme of inequality and injustice for women, it gives us a clear sense of the imbalance that continues to persist even to this day and age. On the obscenely patriarchal and misogynistic front locally, the discrimination couldn’t be more pronounced by the continued lambasting of the nation’s Chief-of-State and his cohorts of high-ranking officers against women of power such as the constantly challenged but highly productive vice president and unjustly incarcerated senator.
Paano Ba To, Angel Locsin?
So, to continue and champion the conversation of equality in every sense of the word, Bianca Gonzalez has enlisted the help of everyone’s superhero, the real-life Darna that is Angel Locsin for the recently released podcast version of enduring self-help series, Paano Ba ‘To.
In solidarity with women’s month, Bianca Gonzalez decided to answer different issues about women over the course of the next few episodes of Paano Ba ‘To: The Podcast, something that is truly near and dear to the heart of the host and best-selling author. “These are things that we have to talk about more,” she says. As we very well should, no matter how uncomfortable and unsettling it can be for many who enjoy certain privileges and subscribe to archaic biases and stereotypes.
Premised by the question sent in to Paano Ba ‘To, which reads, “How to handle the stereotype that women who have strong personalities or strong leadership attributes are less likable or less feminine?” Bianca Gonzalez and Angel Locsin fleshed out a dialogue that really puts things into perspective. Listen, these are things that we already know or should know by now, but for some reason, the general consciousness relents to the status quo of stubborn male dominance, especially here in the Philippines. “Nakakalungkot isipin na nandidito pa din tayo sa ganitong topic,” begins Angel Locsin, a staunch advocate and activist for women’s rights. “Sadly, I have to agree na nakakaramdam ako na may mga ganito pa rin tayong stigma, especially dito sa Pilipinas.”
The Women Today
“Hindi ito issue kung ano ‘yung kayang gawin ng mga kababaihan, kundi ‘yung kultura na natin. Ito ‘yung mga namana natin unconsciously sa mga ninuno pa natin, sa society…kung paano ba talaga angg behavior ng isang kababaihan,” Angel Locsin asserts. “For me, kulang pa ang effort nating lahat para ma-prevent ‘yun, especially sa work place natin para maging comfortable and safe para sa lahat ng kababaihan.” True enough, no matter how much the discourse is romanticized or well, recognized, it is the systems of society that are in place that fundamentally prevents a true equilibrium for men and women in the 21st century.
Irrational and outdated as it may seem, this is where the world and the Philippines still stands today in arduous path of women’s rights and equality. It really becomes a function one step forward, two steps back when it comes to the supposed evolution of humans. There is an acknowledgement of the lapses and imbalance, sure, but this needs to be bolstered with the desire to unlearn the standards of the past and set new ones that are decidedly conscious, diverse, and inclusive.
It’s Time To Speak Up
For Angel Locsin, it is important that we become more mindful of gender equality in all the spaces we move in, because we can still do so much to make things better for women and other necessary fragments of society made to content themselves within the margins of a page. “So many women have set the pace for how things have turned out today,” adds Bianca Gonzalez. True enough, if women of the past haven’t dared to step out of the comfort zones or color outside the lines of perceived propriety, then we probably wouldn’t be where we are today, enjoying the liberties we do. From the miracle of birth to many succeeding braveries, women have done so much, as they will continue to blaze more trails today and in the future.
In the conversation of Angel Locsin and Bianca Gonzalez on Paano Ba ‘To, it becomes clear: being opinionated doesn’t make you any less of a woman that you already are. In fact, it is this assertion of yourself that makes you even more admirable than before. Don’t ever let anyone make you believe or feel anything less. Now, go own and use your voice—roar for all the women and the world to finally hear.
Truth be told, we cannot get over this must-listen episode of Paano Ba ‘To: The Podcast with Bianca Gonzalez and Angel Locsin. Scroll down below for more lessons learned and nuggets wisdom from this eye-opening discussion.
The Double Standard For Women Still Persists
“Kung mapapansin mo, sa lahat ng mga leader sa bansa natin…’yung pagiging opinionated…nakikita ko parang strong personality, meron siyang ambition, she speaks her mind…ito ‘yung mga personalities or traits, behaviors na nakikita natin sa mga kalalakihan na gusto natin maging leader. Pero pagdating sa kababaihan ay hindi natin gusto,” muses Angel Locsin, the outspoken and opinionated actress. “Basically parehong paguugali ng isang lalaki, ang ending ‘nun, magtatalo lang kayo sa issue ng likability talaga. Kunyare, pag sa promotion, hindi agad mapo-promote ang isang babae kasi ang issue, hindi sa kapasidad niya…kundi dahil ay hindi siya nagke-care enough, masyado siyang matigas, masyado siyang bossy, ‘di ba? Dun hindi fair sa mga kababaihan sa aking paningin.”
It’s But Right For Women To Speak Up And Fight For What You Believe In
“I think kailangan natin i-call out ‘pag may mga nakikita tayo na mga ganung comments, especially on social media na parang, ‘Ay, hindi siya masyadong caring,’ or ‘Parang masyado naman siyang opinionated.’ Parang, ‘Ano ba ‘yan, hindi naman mahinhin. Magaslaw naman ‘yan,’ o ‘Talakera naman ‘to,’ ganyan.’ Para matigil na ‘yung stigma kasi minsan, unconscious tayo, masyado tayong biased sa mga gender roles. Baka kailangan itigil natin ‘yung mga ganon.”
We Need More Women Role Models
“I have to be honest. Ako kasi naghahanap din ako ng mga female role models na, unfortunately, hindi sila ganun karami kumpara sa ang daming mga kalalakihan na mababasa mo sa history talaga, pero na-overshadow ang mga kababaihan kahit gaano na kalupet yung ginawa nila sa history natin,” says Angel Locsin. “Kailangan natin ng maraming role models. So, kung hindi mapo-promote ‘yung maraming kababaihan na deserving naman, wala tayong masyadong magiging peg sa life natin kumbaga.”
Agreeing to what she said, Bianca Gonzalez adds, “I totally agree na napaka–importante ng role model kasi ‘yun nga, when you see someone na ganon, ‘ah, pwede pala ‘yon.’ May moments of possibilities.”
For Angel Locsin, You Should Learn How To Say No
“Nag-start akong sabihin ‘yung mga ayaw…natuto ako mag-no. Dun ako nagsimula Mas gumaan yung pakiramdam ko, mas freeing. Dahil dun sa step ko na, ‘subukan ko nga mag-no,’ natuto na ako magsalita about ibang stuff. Nagsimula ako sa maliit na bagay lang hanggang sa nahanap ko ang boses ko,” the host of Iba ‘Yan recalls “’Nung na-involve ako sa showbiz, nagkaroon ako ng opportunity maka-meet ng iba’t-ibang klaseng tao. Makaka-encounter ka ng tao na sobrang grabeng pinagdadaanan niya pero wala siyang boses to share that. So, parang, sige, kung hindi mo kayang sabihin, subukan ko. Kasi alam ko ‘yung pakiramdam na ayaw mo magsalita, hindi ka marunong magsalita, hindi mo alam kung paano magsalita. Kahit ako takot, at least mas open ako sa idea na magsalita.”
An Opinion Doesn’t Always Mean Courage
“Hindi naman ibig sabihin na nagbibigay ka ng opinyon, matapang na matapang ka na eh. Minsan nagbibigay ka ng opinyon dahil takot ka ‘di ba? Takot ka sa mga nangyayari, takot na baka mangyari ‘to sa ibang tao o sa’yo. Kaya minsan, okay lang na takot tayo. Hindi natin kailangan maging strong para magbigay ng opinion, minsan kailangan mas scared tayo.”
Value Your Own Opinion, Not On What Everyone Has To Say
“Pwede bang tigilan natin isipin kung ano ang opinyon ng ibang tao? Mas i-value mo ang opinion mo. Kasi dun tayo nasa-stuck eh. Hindi pwedeng gagawa ka ng isang bagay na nagma-matter lang ‘yung opinyon ng iba. Kasi ang pinaka-importanteng tao dito is ikaw, di ba? Kung hindi mo vina-value opinion mo, walang mangyayari. Sa lahat ng mga naririnig natin…noises, sa social media especially, bakit mo ifo-focus lahat ng energy mo dun sa mga bagay na hindi naman kasing importante ng opinyon mo tungkol sa sarili mo. Dun tayo magsimula,” Angel Locsin details. “It doesn’t mean na wala kang pakialam or malasakit, pero mas importante lang siguro yung sariling opinyon mo kesa sa opinyon nila. Tanung mo sarili mo: ‘Tama ba ‘to?’…‘Mali ba ‘to?’…‘Paano ba ‘to?’”
Before Something Smart, Start With Something Honest—Angel Locsin
“First, kailangan totoo ka sa sarili mo. Hindi pwedeng magsasalita ka ng mga bagay na ikaw mismo hindi naniniwala or hindi mo ginagawa. Hindi ka magkakamali kung nasa katotohanan ka,” she says. “Pangalawa, kailangan mong panindigan [‘yan.] Maraming challenges ‘yan, maraming tutuligsa sa’yo, maraming magba-bash sa’yo, pero kung naniniwala ka naman sa sinasabi mo, hindi ka maapektohan. Mahirap kang maapektohan kasi mas secure ka, sure ka sa sinabi mo. Hindi naman kailangan matalinong-matalino ‘yung sasabihin mo na parang, ‘wow, sobrang smart niya.’ Magsimula tayo sa totoo, always.”