I was fortunate enough to sit beside former-senator-and-current-deputy-speaker-of-the-House, 5’8″ and flawless, poreless, blooming, inspirational and ever so regal Congresswoman Pia Cayetano. She’s currently in Davao for a 3-day event involving her advocacies, which are (but not limited to) women’s rights, a healthy lifestyle through sports, children with special needs, environmental awareness, and indigenous peoples’ empowerment. On Friday, she will journey all 51 kilometers from Davao City to Tagum City on her bike. On… Her… Bike. Like, seriously, I think she may be part-goddess, part-superwoman and just a tiny bit human.
While she told us about herself and her advocacy-driven foundations (Bike for Hope, Gabriel’s Symphony, Pinay in Action) over merienda, I realized that my fangirling had exceeded its former, already-over-the-top level. There’s nothing like a woman who just goes after what she wants, not just for herself and her family, but also for the less-fortunate people who need her help. Without further ado, here are 5 reasons why I’m fangirling over Pia Cayetano:
1. She’s a lawyer, politician, athlete, mother, women’s rights advocate – all rolled into an empowered and outspoken tower of wisdom.
No further explanation needed at this point, I believe.
2. She’s pro-Divorce, for a very realistic reason.
Pia thinks annulment is counterproductive, because nothing says “burning bridges” like having to prove that your spouse is psychologically incapacitated in court. She, however, also believes in the family, with a concession that some marriages are meant to end. Yes, even if a couple started out thinking that they were both marrying the love of their lives. Pia told us that she also believes in God, and that He would not want anyone to be confined in an unhappy marriage.
3. She managed to make all her advocacies complement one another.
Her foundations cater to all stages of life. Gabriel’s Symphony, created in honor of her son who passed away at 9 months old, is focused on healing children with special needs. Pinay in Action (PIA) is geared towards women empowerment through sports, and of course, the proper training of coaches who help mold athletes into champions. Bike for Hope’s logo, she explained, was actually a picture of her brother Lino being pushed by a biking enthusiast that one time he decided to accompany Pia on her bike ride to Baguio. She laughed as she pointed out that the picture symbolized how we can “reach the top” if we help one another.
4. She’s a very genuine person.
There were no pretensions at all, and not once did I feel the need to have her do a privilege check. Pia knows she grew up in a good family, with a successful lawyer for a father and an educator for a mother. What she was born with, she maximized through academic excellence. Whatever she achieved, she used to fuel her advocacies. When she told us about Gabriel, she said that the reason she created Gabriel’s Symphony was so she could find an outlet for the overbearing sadness from losing her son. It was amazing to listen to how she turned her struggles into blessings, and to feel her passion in wanting to share it with the world.
5. She believes in sex education, condoms and safe sex, in general.
Being an author of the Reproductive Health Law, Pia knows that the dangers concerning sex is real, and the least the government could do is to educate people about it. From sexually-transmitted diseases to unwanted pregnancies and overpopulation, she believes that a good defense is the best offense, so to speak.
And with that, I conclude that on a scale of 1 to 10, my fangirling level is 300. Hands down and/or two thumbs up, Pia Cayetano is definitely #LifeGoals material.