International Women’s Day is all about celebrating the achievements of women with an aim of inspiring and empowering ladies all over the world.
WIth the goal of forging a gender-equal world, this year’s celebration found many stars and public figures honoring the leading ladies (including themselves) in their lives with touching tributes and videos.
Below, check out how stars and public figures celebrated March 8.
On women’s day, actress and TV host Hershey Neri posted a Twitter thread recalling the dark times during her college days.
“Eight years ago sa UP. Umiiyak ako sa banyo na parang eksena sa MMK. May pa walling-walling pa, kahit alam kong di ganon kalinis ‘yung CR. Wala akong pake. Gusto ko lang umiyak mag-isa,” she wrote in her tweet.
Sharing how hard that time was, she questioned herself, such as how will she ever gonna survive it, or why does it have to happen to her. “Totoong buhay ba ‘to? Paano ko ‘to kakayanin? May pagasa pa ba akong sumaya? Bakit ako?”
“May kaso akong nilalaban noon. Sinakal ako ng ex ko sa. I tried fighting for justice, pero nakakatakot pala,” she shared. “For months, ang sumasalubong sakin sa school ay brown envelopes ng legal papers. (Pangarap ko pa noon maging lawyer, pero masyado ata akong na-trauma. Wag na lang pala)”
Other than her fight against violence, Hershey shared that it was also that time when she was kicked out of a fashion magazine during her internship days and when her pet Yuki, who served as her best friend for 11 years passed away.
“Hindi ako nakakatulog. Na-kick out ako sa internship ko sa isang fashion magazine dahil hindi na ako nakakapasok. ‘Yung aso ko namang si Yuki—‘yung best friend ko of 11 years—namatay bigla. Just the night before, sinamahan pa niya akong mag-thesis hanggang 5AM.”
She then went on to share that she got delayed from graduating college, and how her abuser graduated on time as a Cum Laude.
“Naka autopilot ako nun. Di ko alam paano ako nakakapasok sa school. Basta ang naalala ko lang, gusto ko nang bumigay,” she shared.
Little did she know that it was also the time when she will have the courage to carry on, and become the woman the she is today. “Pero, habang umiiyak ako sa loob ng banyo ng Rizal Hall, nakita ako ng prof ko. Naluha si Ma’am. Niyakap niya ako, at sinabi niyang babangon akong muli.”
Now living as an actress who is playing a role in the television series Daddy’s Gurl, and currently on her way to earning her master’s degree, Hershey can only be grateful.
“Eight years later, nandito na ako— Isang aktor na nagpapatawa, dahil kilala ko ang Lungkot. Nag-aaral din ako ng master’s sa Psychology, dahil gusto kong makatulong sa healing ng ibang mga tao.”
“Nakakatawa. Habang sinusulat ko ‘to, feeling ko 37 years ago na ‘yung nangyari, at di lang eight years ago. Hindi na siya masakit. Hindi na ako umiiyak gabi-gabi. At parang hindi na rin ako nakaka-relate sa dating ako. Pag nakikita ko siya, it feels like a lifetime ago.”
Recalling the days how hard and long it took to overcome it, Hershey attributes her success to the woman who believed in her.
“Ang tagal nung journey. Mahirap, masakit, mabagal. Pero possible. Nang dahil may isang babaeng naniwalang babangon ako.”
“Ngayong #InternationalWomensDay, gusto ko lang ipaalala sa mga kapwa kong survivors—babangon tayo,” she concluded, “Babae tayo, hindi babae lang.”
Miss Trans Global 2020 Mela Habijan honored her mother who she said shaped her to become the empowered woman that she is today.
“THIS INTERNATIONAL WOMEN’S DAY, I HONOR IRENE — THE WOMAN WHO BROUGHT OUT THE BEST IN ME,” she wrote in her tweet. “Because of Irene, I learned how to dream big — big dreams that scare me. She taught me to say them out loud and manifest them to the Universe.”
Mela continued to share how her mother helped her to become faithful to Him, become courageous, and how she served as her safe haven. She also learned how to take risks because of her mom.
“Because of Irene, I learned how to try and take a risk. For her, success starts with trying; I learned what safe, comforting space is. That even if I fail, she will always be there to cheer me on and say, “Ang galing mo, Anak! I love you.”
She furthered how her mother has cultivated her kindness and instilled principles she uses to influence today: “Because of Irene, I learned how to be a simple, grounded, and valuable woman. She helped me cultivate my voice, values, and principles. To stand for my truth and stand for what is right, just, and kind.”
“Because of Irene, I am Mela. And it’s always my intention to make her proud! Cheers to all women, like Irene, who bring out the best in us,” she concluded.
Model and vlogger Trina Candaza flexed her daughter, Enola Mithi, on her Instagram post on March 8, Women's Day.
"Happy Women’s Day," the single mom wrote, adding: "Cheers to all battles we’ve won and to battles we chose not to fight."
Serving looks and slaying her game in her 60s, cosmetic surgeon and television personality Vicki Belo flaunted her body in a one-piece swimsuit and fur boots, further exuding her glow in the white sheets of snow. She wrote in her Instagram post: "66 never felt so good. stay empowered in your skin," adding it with a hashtag: #happyinternationalwomensday.
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Soon-to-be momma Kris Bernal inspires to moms to embrace and flaunt their changing bodies through a video.
"Now more than ever, I’ve realized how important is the role of women in our lives," she wrote.
"As soon-to-be-mom, there's a sense of renewal and hope, making it a beautiful time to reflect while starting a new chapter in my life and realizing more of God’s purpose to me as a woman. We are amazing. Our bodies are divine. I still can’t believe I’m growing a human inside me," she continued.
Listing down the changes in her body like stretch marks and dark underarms, Kris says she doesn't mind because she knows "it's all going to be worth it!"
"I want to take this opportunity to uplift all mothers and appreciate them for trying their best to nurture their families. Here’s a little reminder that all of your sacrifices never go unnoticed."
"Kudos to all moms out there, you all inspire me to become a better version of myself everyday," she wrote, concluding her post with an empowering statement: "Happy International Women’s Day! Let’s keep slaying and inspiring each and every woman! Let's celebrate YOU every day."
Meanwhile, television presenter and a strong momma of four Iya Villania-Arellano honored two women who helped make her dream home come to life.
Sharing the finished outcome of her tiny dream home, Iya expressed her gratitude to her interior designer Lauren Laudico Lachica and architect Jilli Gomez.
"Shout out to these beautiful women who made this tiny home dream come to life. I know not many can finish a build/renovation and say that they loved their team by the end of it, but I was really blessed with these girls (and the whole @ikoniqdesignstudio @ikoniqconstruction team) No headaches with these guys," she wrote in her caption.
"Just thought it would be perfect to flex you ladies this #InternationalWomensDay."
Being the inspiring and empowered woman that she is, singer, actress, and Rare Beauty founder Selena Gomez shared a photo of her younger self in her childhood, encouraging kindness to one's self.
"Dear younger me, please don’t be afraid to ask for help," she wrote.
"Today is International Women’s Day and I want each of us to be gentler to ourselves," she said, adding: "Write your younger self a @RareBeauty #rarereminder and stick it on your mirror to remind yourself that you deserve the world. Love you."
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Capping off the list is EXO's Lay's tribute to women on the special day.
"I’m happy as long as you are happy!!! Happy Women’s Day," he wrote in his caption.