09 March 2014


Senator of the Philippines, businesswoman, triathlete, 
advocate of health and women's and children's rights, and supermom

Yes, senators can take #selfies too!

To celebrate women's month (and her upcoming birthday on the 22nd!), I would like to put the spotlight on a woman I consider to be one of my personal heroes. There literally is nothing she cannot do, and she inspires me (and so many others) that we can do whatever it is we put our heart to, too. Imagine, she answered these questions before and after running her first ultra marathon. Learn more about this modern day superwoman in 10 questions.

1. Why decide to train for triathlons at age 40? Were you ever scared it was "too late"?

It never occurred to me that I was too old cause I was a very fit runner when I started, plus it was always my dream! My brother Lino got me into biking the year before I became a senator. So I did duathlons for a few years, then I started swimming and eventually joined triathlons. Funny but in my first sprint Tri, all the other girls were like 16 years old! Then of course I felt old and slow cause they were all good swimmers. But I'm a strong biker and runner so I still felt confident. Today, I still love it.

2. What is the best thing about being in your 40s, that you didn't have in your 30s or 20s?

More confidence. I consider myself a shy person, or at least I feel that I was a shy person. I worry less now about what people think. I trust my instincts more. I trust my experience and my values and am able to make decisions that may seem unpopular or out of the ordinary but have the confidence to do it. 

3. Do you sometimes also feel like tweeting witty bashing posts when things get heated in Senate hearings?

Haha! Yes! But I have mastered the art of self-restrain and patient. So I take a few deep breaths then tweet something more professional. 

4. You are very tough but you also have a kikay side! What is the most kikay thing about you?

Hmmm, I like pink lipstick and nail polish. 

5. Who are the closest to you in the Senate, and what is the one adjective you'd use to describe them?

I'm close to many of my colleagues but I've singled out a few and have one word describing them in a way that many may not know. Alan (Cayetano) is funny! Miriam (Santiago) is the adviser (my love life adviser).

6. What is one thing you've learned from your kids Maxine, Nadine, and Lucas?

Max and Nadine are both in their teens. Max has this kind of grace under pressure that I absolutely envy. With Nadine, I look at her and see a wonderful balance of toughness and sweetness rolled into one. My little Lucas who is only 3, I look at him and he reminds me of a most basic fact - boys are not like girls! 

7. Why is women's month so important and what did you do this year to celebrate it?

It is so important to celebrate women's month in order to raise awareness about the discriminatory practices that still exist. Even women  are unaware of this and there is much work that needs to be done to make this a more gender sensitive country with equal opportunities for women. This year, I went to Cebu and joined the All Women Ultra Marathon. Being with these women who were doing a 50km run, many of them working moms like me, was just so amazing. I planned to do just half but ended up finishing the race, and doing my first ultra-marathon. 

8. One thing you still want to achieve?

Believe it or not, I never had specific goals in life. I simply believe in exploring opportunities that come your way and giving it your best.  What is still out there? The opportunity each day to make this a better world, to be a good mom to my kids and to make a difference.

9. How did you deal with the biggest heartbreak of your life?

Prayer and surrounding myself with people who love me and understand my pain, allow me to sulk a bit and be sad, but pick me up by makings laugh and distracting me. 

10. Your absolute favorite cheap thrill?

Taho and puto! Spotting the Taho vendor or the puto vendor on the road when Ice been biking for long hours under the sun! 

With her kids Lucas, Maxine, and Nadine

Til the next #10Questions!


SRF said...

There is a need for more articles like this one, featuring inspiring and accomplished women leaders like Sen. Pia Cayetano, which can empower women through highlighting their achievements, positive qualities/strengths (that catapulted them to their positions), struggles and their proactivity. Reading this Q and A not only humanizes the qualities of a strong woman, who is a politician, mother and woman, but also emphasizes her assertive, positive attitude and values that empower her to be the leader who espoused/s unpopular causes for the greater good. There's a great necessity for feminine role models for Filipino women. It is said that when you educate a woman, you educate not only her, but a/n family/entire community.

BUJOY said...

Sana si Atom Araullo or Chris Tiu ma-feature din dito sa #10Questions! :)