Philippine Journal of Social Development Volume 16 2023

Feminist Pleasures: Building Intersectional, Inclusive, and Transformative Societies


Rowena A. Laguilles – Timog, DSD

Older Filipino Women’s Experiences of Aging Womanhood and Sexuality

Angeli Fleur G. Nuque

Abstract There is a dearth of research on aging and older women’s sexuality and womanhood in the Philippines. While feminist research, gerontology, and development studies have begun looking at women and aging, much of the earlier discussions surrounding older women focused heavily on biomedical and economic concerns. Using data from interviews with 10 older Filipino women aged 61 to 90 years old, this paper describes older women’s experiences and definitions of aging sexuality and womanhood and how they negotiate cultural and societal expectations of being an aging woman. Research findings show that gendered sexual norms critically influence older women’s perceptions and decisions regarding the sex act, sexuality concerns, and relationships in old age. Moreover, the devaluation of women’s sexual needs across the life course has led to its perceived irrelevance and unimportance in old age.

Keywords: aging sexuality, aging womanhood, ageism/sexism nexus, critical feminist gerontology

Women with Disabilities’ Access to Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights during the COVID-19 Pandemic

Gaizel Arguelles Adan
Alyanna Yzabelle A. Tamayo
Michelle Chua

The challenges of women with disabilities in accessing sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR) information and services were exacerbated during the COVID-19 pandemic. Increased barriers were due to the convergence of multiple factors including mobility restrictions, economic strains, and amplified health complications related with the virus. This research aims to highlight the experiences of women with disabilities in accessing SRHR programs during the pandemic. The research relies on key informant interviews (KII) with key women leaders representing organizations dedicated to the interests of women with disabilities. Additionally, the research incorporates a thorough review of secondary materials to enrich the contextual understanding of the challenges and experiences of women with disabilities. The analytical framework of the study draws from Naila Kabeer’s Social Relations Framework, Kimberle Crenshaw’s concept of Intersectionality, and Sara Hlupekile Longwe’s Equality and Empowerment Framework. The findings of the study underscore the existence of systemic problems within the dynamics and exchanges of social institutions, where multiple inequalities intersect, reproducing more barriers that hinder women with disabilities from accessing SRHR information and services. The research then advocates for targeted interventions and program initiatives that are multi-sectoral, participatory, and intersectional in approach to dismantle the barriers and ensure equitable SRHR access for women with disabilities.

Justin Francis Leon V. Nicolas, PhD
Kristine Analiza P. De Vera, MSW


Ang pangunahing bumagabag sa mga ina ng mga Children in Conflict with the Law (CICL) na nakatalaga sa Tanglaw ng Pag-asa sa Bulacan noong panahon ng COVID-19 ay kung paano nila madadalaw ang kanilang anak. Ito ang natuklasan noong bumuo ng modelo ng praktis sa gawaing panlipunan sa pamamagitan ng gradwadong field instruction ng Unibersidad ng Pilipinas sa Diliman. Binalikan ng mga mananaliksik ang datos na nakalap noong field instruction mula sa aktwal na pakikipanayam sa mga magulang ng CICL, social workers, at mga bata, maging ang mga journals at at mga repleksyon noong mga supervision sessions. Nilayon ng pag-aaral na suriin ang pakahulugan ng mga magulang sa salitang “Dalaw” at ilarawan ang mga karanasan ng mga ina ng CICL noong panahon ng pandemya hinggil sa hirap ng pagdalaw sa kanilang mga anak. Gamit ang Malikhain at Kritikal na Penomonolohiya, na halaw sa penomonolohiya at kritikal na realismo, inilapat ng mga mananaliksik ang mga pakahulugan ng mga magulang sa “Dalaw” sa mga teorya ng social support at pagiging iba, sa balangkas ng pagiging malikhain at ang pagbuo ng mga asembliya base sa Lugar, Panahon, at Pangyayari upang muling maisalarawan at makabuo ng balangkas ng pagsasateorya ng konsepto ng Dalaw.

Ang mga pakahulugan ng mga kalahok sa pananaliksik sa salitang “dalaw” ay nahahati sa tatlong kategorya: 1) bilang katangian ng isang indibidwal o grupo ng tao na karaniwang taga-labas; 2) bilang kumakatawan sa kabutihan o benepisyong dulot ng dalaw; at 3) bilang bahagi ng proseso ng kaayusang lipunan (social arrangements) sa tuwing may napapasok na kapamilya sa isang Total Institution at nahihiwalay ang isang kaanak. Ang mga tugon ng mga magulang at mga CICL ay naglalaman ng mga salita na nagpapahiwatig ng restriksyon o pagkakalayo o pagkakaroon ng distansya. Sa pagsusuri ng konteksto, ng lugar at panahon, nakita na ang mga ilang pangyayari ay naging mekanismo upang mabuo ang pagtingin ng mga ina bilang dalaw na taga-labas. Ngunit, ang mga pangyayari rin na nagpakilala ng mga alternatibong pamamaraan ang siyang naging mekanismo para sa social support at mabuo ang pagkakilanlan ng mga dalaw bilang mga ina na nagibibigay suporta sa kanilang mga anak.

Mga susing salita: Pagiging-iba ng mga ina; dalaw; modelo ng praktis sa gawaing panlipunan; online na pamamaraaan ng dalaw; alternatibong pamamaraan ng case management

Juggling or Sailing through Everyday Life?: Understanding the Lived Experiences of Filipino Mothers as Online Freelancers and Outsourced Workers

Rafaella R. Potestades


As more and more Filipino mothers are going into the online gig economy as informal workers, it is essential to reassess the definition of what a freelancer is and to reignite the resolution to fight for their rights. Transcending international boundaries and blurring national rights, the online freelancing economy may be a place of exploitation and discrimination. For mothers who wish to enter this world in hopes of regaining their self-esteem or gaining economic empowerment, its facilitating factors for or impeding harms on women should be analyzed. This study narrated the lived realities of four Filipino mothers working as online freelancers and outsourced workers using Moser’s Triple Roles framework. The intersections of their everyday experiences as mothers, workers, and community organizers were analyzed. The findings suggest that Filipino women found online work relatively better than office work as it provides alternative and flexible working conditions that can help them juggle their role as mothers and workers, but it is still challenging in terms of working conditions for women and safeguarding their rights. The study also unearthed their practical gender needs, such as maternity leaves and social security, access to information and services, and redistribution of care work;, as well as their strategic gender needs such as reinforcement of women workers’ rights in the gig economy, control over personal work decision-making, and state recognition of unpaid care and domestic work as everyone’s responsibility, which suggests that the gig economy lacks spaces to question power relations and gender injustice.

Keywords: gig economy, crowdwork platform, online freelance platforms, online outsourced jobs, Filipino mothers, on-demand economy, freelancer rights, women in the informal economy

Intersectionality in the Experience of Select Filipino Drag Queens during the COVID-19 Pandemic

Jorelyn Martina R. Viray
Cailla Marie R. Castro
Gianna Clara U. Cabochan
Jannina Francesca A. Capco
Queen Mary G. Baladad


This article looks into the lived experience of three Filipino drag queens during the COVID-19 pandemic using intersectionality as a lens. Specifically, the study describes their drag engagements before and during the COVID-19 pandemic—how it affected their activity spaces, and how the challenges they experienced intersect to engender a unique experience of marginalization. The study also probes the unearthed potentials of drag as a transfigurative practice, procuring a nuanced understanding of the social reality of select Filipino drag queens by examining the interplay of their two identities (i.e., lived identity and transfigured identity). Research methods include semi-structured interviews. Findings show that a Filipino drag queen’s duplex identity entails both expansive and constrictive effect on the activity spaces where these identities are performed. The drag queens’ transfiguration into their drag persona also carries a transformative potential, provides them protective functions to some degree, and offers them access to parallel social structures that similarly provide protection and support.

Keywords: COVID-19 pandemic, drag queens, gender expression, intersectionality, activity spaces, social identity

“Bah GAD, it’s …!” A Gender and Development Analysis of the Philippine Professional Wrestling Industry, 2016-2021

Danielle Erika A. Hill


This paper is the first academic research work to be done on the topic of 21st-century Filipino professional wrestling. It documents and analyzes Gender and Development (GAD) issues within the Filipino professional wrestling industry from 2016 to 2021, with a focus on the experiences of women wrestlers from the Manila Wrestling Federation (MWF). By interviewing key informants within the organization and reviewing GAD-related statements and projects by the organization, it analyzes gender dynamics within the company to better understand how inclusivity can be made to work in professional wrestling, a male-dominated industry that has long been perceived as hypermasculine. As literature and situation analyses surface themes of gender diversity, equality, and gender-based violence in the local pro wrestling industry, the paper proposes a kayfabe-based intervention concept that hopes to assist the pro wrestling community become a safer space for people of feminine and/or queer experience.

Keywords: professional wrestling, gender mainstreaming, gender and sports, empowerment, pleasure

The Case of #HijaAko and What Digital Feminist Activism Means for the Filipina Identity

Francie Kaye B. Sabalza


Digital spaces, confronted with digital feminist activism, transform (and are transformed by) the Filipina identity. This is particularly the case for the resistance and reclaiming of being Filipina through #HijaAko. Its emergence is an embodiment of the long history of feminist resistance in the country, signaling its breakthrough into mainstream consciousness. By granting reality to the voices that emerged from #HijaAko, I am rendering visibility to Filipinas, as their narratives and truths transcend the limitations and hesitations of online consumer-capitalist discourses. These discourses often perceive their stories as de-politicized communicative exchanges, disregarding the necessary attention to context and content. I emphasize the necessity of this perspective to supplement the few local studies of digital spaces employing a feminist analysis. Through qualitative content analysis, tweets were categorized and analyzed from a feminist standpoint using Digital Feminist Activism (Keller et al., 2019) as a framework informed by digital anthropology (Brudvig, 2019). #HijaAko weaves thousands of voices of Filipinas in affective solidarity (Hemmings, 2012)—a mobilizing concept that incites movement for social change—while creating affective publics (Papacharissi, 2015) and connected communities of care. More than calling out against victim blaming and debunking rape misconceptions, the hashtag also reveals how social institutions themselves—supposedly safe spaces—become common places where perpetrators lurk, extending the critique of systems of injustice perpetuating unsafe spaces. Lastly, #HijaAko asserts inclusivity as it becomes a declaration (Hija Ako) for resistance and reclamation of what being a Filipina means, recognizing her historical suppression and invisibility while transcending such limitations. This paper hopes to contribute to and expand the documentation of contexts and discourses valuable in positioning identities, communities, and phenomena in the time of digitalization.


The Philippine Journal of Social Development is a peer-reviewed journal published by the College of Social Work and Community Development, University of the Philippines Diliman. The views and opinions expressed in this journal are solely the authors’ and do not necessarily reflect those of the College of Social Work and Community Development.

Philippine Copyright ©2023

University of the Philippines, Diliman

Published Online February 2024

ISSN 2094-523X

All rights reserved.

No part of this journal may be reproduced in any form or by any means without the written permission of the copyright owner and the publisher.


Issue Editor

Rowena A. Laguilles-Timog, DSD

Managing Editor

Valerainne R. Lopez

Associate Managing Editor (2023)

Jo-Ann G. Golfo

Editorial Board

Lenore Polotan-dela Cruz

Paul Edward N. Muego, DSD

John Erwin S. Banez, DSD

Sabrina Laya S. Gacad

Justin Francis Leon V. Nicolas, PhD

Rosalie T. Quilicol

Celeste F. Vallejos

Technical Editor

Melissa Y. Moran


Valerainne R. Lopez

Edgie Francis B. Uyanguren (cover)

Published by

College of Social Work and Community Development

University of the Philippines

Diliman, Quezon City