’s 10 Women Who Changed the Game

Get to know fierce Pinays who made things happen.


( A game changer is defined as "a person, an idea or an event that completely changes the way a situation develops or how people think." In honor of Women’s Month, we came up with a list of women who have changed or are working to change the way things are done or perceived. They have shown us that one does not necessarily need to do things in a grand fashion in order to make a big difference. The women on our list range from a young survivor of tragedy to literary stalwarts who may have passed away but whose works will live on to inspire future generations.




As the national chair for the Democratic Socialist Women of the Philippines (DSWP), Angsioco has made it her mission to emancipate women-particularly of those from the marginalized sector-from oppressive situations. Angsioco believes in empowering disenfranchised women through something practical and tangible such as a micro-credit program, skills training, an anti-violence fund, and an assistance program for victims and survivors of rape and abuse. Throughout 2011 Angsioco was one of the most active advocates of the long-delayed Reproductive Health Bill and there’s no doubt she’ll keep at it for as long as it takes.




Babao-Guballa turned her grief over the death of her four-year-old son Migi-who died from an open heart surgery in 1998-into her inspiration to serve others. Sometime after Migi passed away, she went back to get her graduate degree in Family Psychology and Education. She told Smart Parenting in 2011: "When Migi died...that’s when I went into full bloom in different fields-as a writer, an advocate for women and children, and a grief educator." Helping others get through the pain that she herself experienced has become her "ministry." Last year, she wrote the book, Between Loss and Forever: Filipino Mothers on the Grief Journey. She also writes a column for the Lifestyle section of the Philippine Daily Inquirer. (By the way, Babao-Guballa is the cousin of newsman Julius Babao and the daughter of actress Caridad Sanchez.)



Due to a rare birth defect, Filipino-American Cox was born without arms. But she didn’t let that fact define her or limit what she could do. After graduating from the University of Arizona with a degree in Psychology, she took up-among other things-flying. In 2008, when she was 25 years old, she became a licensed pilot. She was subsequently cited by Guinness World Record as the first person to fly a plane using only her feet. Cox is now a motivational speaker and travels all over the world to share her story. According to the information posted on her website, Cox’s matra is "Think outside the shoe." And, oh, she’s also the first armless person to earn a black belt in the American Taekwondo Association.




This tireless writer, TV host, and producer continues to give the public insights into issues that affect the country through her Philippine Daily Inquirer column and the shows that she’s involved in. Storyline, in particular, which she co-created with director Paolo Villaluna, has raised the bar for local documentaries and news features. It’s one show that provokes critical thinking without using cheap tricks. While some resort to milking the "pity factor" when it comes to impoverished or disenfranchised subjects, Storyline treats them with an objectivity that gives them dignity. Keep in mind that Evangelista is not even 30 yet. She’s just getting started.



This noted food critic, writer, and culinary historian may have passed away in 2002, but her legacy and craft lives on. Fernandez led a very busy and interesting life. During the Martial Law era she was an activist. Her biography then goes on to enumerate her achievements. For almost 30 years, she taught at the Ateneo de Manila University. She was a trustee of the Cultural Center of the Philippines, the Philippine Educational Theater Association, and the Ramon Magsaysay Award Foundation. She was also vice-president of the Foundation for Worldwide People Power, editor-in-chief of Philippine Studies, and member of the Manila Critics Circle. The list just goes on. In her honor, there is an annual Doreen Fernandez Food Writing Awards. Fernandez elevated food writing to an art.



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