Byline: Hern. P. Zenarosa

FEMINISM is the theory of political, economic, and social equality of the sexes - both an intellectual commitment and a political movement -- that seeks justice for women and the end of sexism in all its form.

It is a concept boosted by movements worldwide, including those in the Philippines, advancing the belief that gender should not be the main influence shaping a personal social identity or socio-political or economic right.

But did you know that before feminism there had been what was called "babaylanism" a form of women's collective consciousness indigenous to the Philippines?


The term was taken from "babaylan," ancient women priest, healers and visionaries, said to be Filipina's foremother: A form of women's consciousness that came before the feminists of the suffragist era in our country.

This claim, according to an email we received from a reader the other day, is powerfully presented by a collection of articles in "Centennial Crossings: Readings on Babaylan Feminism in the Philippines," a recently-launched book edited by Fe B. Mangahas and Jenny R. Llaguno with a foreword by Senator Leticia Ramos-Shahani (C& E Publishing 2006, R250).

Sadly, the editors lament, little is known of the babaylan and her place in Philippine history.

This is due, they said, not only to the scarcity of historical data on the Philippine prehistoric past but also to the invisibility of women in historic accounts.


The rest of the accounts follows:

Women, even when they are present and active agents of history, are largely reduced to mere spectators and passive objects of events.

In this collection of women's writings, babaylanism as the primal source of the Filipina's inner strength and dynamism across centuries, is reexamined from the internal lens of Philippine culture and history.

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
Loading One moment ...
Project items
Cite this article

Cited article

Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited article



Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

While we understand printed pages are helpful to our users, this limitation is necessary to help protect our publishers' copyrighted material and prevent its unlawful distribution. We are sorry for any inconvenience.
Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.

Are you sure you want to delete this highlight?