A Mother, A Senator, A Triathlete... A Woman

3:32 PM

(This entry appeared on the January 15, 2012 edition of Northern Dispatch Weekly (NorDis) where I am currently an intern.)

It was only when I began writing this article that I noticed that I have a bias towards “feminine” books. In my early teens, I collected and read the “Sweet Valley” series. Throughout high school and college, I looked deeper into femininity in the lives of Anne (in Anne of Green Gables), the Dashwood sisters, and Elizabeth Bennett. I also read non-fiction books, which are usually about a woman’s spiritual needs. Although I have read (and still reading) these kinds of books, I can’t say that I am a feminist. However, I do admire the female protagonists and more so, the female authors.

Last Tuesday, I had the privilege to attend the launching of Senator Pia Cayetano’s book, “My Daily Race”. It was a compilation of stories about her being a mother, a senator and a triathlete. Trading her usual corporate attire, she arrived personally to Mt. Cloud Bookshop, which was already filled with students, mothers, runners, and the media. Since she is on vacation with her adopted son in Baguio, she decided to do her book launch here.

Her talk was light, showing much enthusiasm talking about being a triathlete and a mom. She then entertained questions, but only not related to Chief Justice Corona’s impeachment trial. She said that the senators had a protocol to follow, so the people can only trust that they would do their job.

Although she came from a prestigious political family, she didn’t really think of becoming a senator when elected in 2004. She was only persuaded by her brother. When she was also asked if she has any thoughts on re-election or a higher position in office, she said that she would want to wait on what the future will unfold. Politics was a burden to her, but she doesn’t actually hate it. She loves her job, but not as much as being a mother or a triathlete.

“Triathlete has taught me to persevere.” She couldn’t be separated from it. It was in running when she found comfort after the death of her son, Gabriel. Later, it became her passion. Other than a play of her name, “Pinay in Action” (PIA) is her platform to fight discrimination and injustice against women in our country. She proudly runs on behalf of women. And she hopes to inspire others to become women worth emulating.

She is a mother, a senator and a triathlete. But most of all, she is a woman. She isn’t a damsel in distress or a lady in waiting. In her book, she cleverly writes, “You see, there are really two kinds of women who run – women who put on running shoes and run recreationally or competitively, and women who run for public office. I am a woman who runs on both accounts.” And even though I haven’t read her book, her talk reflected the beauty of a woman – strong and empowered.