Maria Clara in leggings



Angela Manalang-Gloria

O to be free at last, to sleep at last
As infants sleep within the womb of rest!

To stir and stirring find no blackness vast
With passion weighted down upon the breast,

To turn the face this way and that and feel
No kisses festering on it like sores,

To be alone at last, broken the seal
That marks the flesh no better than a whore’s!

This lovely and strong poem reminds us that no matter how we religiously put our women into a very special place in our hearts as Filipinos, we cannot deny that our past has proven to be a male chauvinist society elucidating dearness among women as a perspective that they are generally weak. Over time, the voice of women has struggled to be heard and through the test of time, they have emerged as a powerful, if not an equal entity among men.

The identity that women earned through their passion and determination to mark as a significant contributor to the society should be taken seriously as they have already proven themselves worthy of admiration and sometimes, of fear.

Indeed, the Filipina has finally torn the beautiful laces that adorned their once long and oily hair. They have decided not to hide in the facets of their soft saya as they have broken into pieces their abaniko, that once hid their lovely faces and their even lovelier giggles. We still may want them that way, but beware, because the ladies finally decided to order dinner from a fancy restaurant, instead of meticulously washing the grains of rice for supper.


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