We’ve always had the typical idea that men are the breadwinners, but women are capable too! And what can be the best example of an “Inspirational Filipina” than women who took it upon themselves to defy conventional labels and be breadwinners themselves?
Miss Universe Philippines delegates Kimberly Escartin (Southern Leyte), Karen Olfato (Batangas), and Krishnah Gravidez (Baguio) are girlbosses in their own rights. Woven between them was a single driving force that started it all: the desire to be of help to each of their families.
Krishnah started at 14 to help her mom with expenses, earning from a small business borne out of a typical girly interest: her love of kikay things. Yes, hard work isn’t gendered, folks. As she got older, her work experience at a popular fastfood chain gave her more than just the income she needed. “It is so hard to be in that industry because you will interact with different people,” Krishnah says. “But it taught me patience in a different way, and I’m so grateful for that experience.”
Patience was also one thing that kept Karen going in her own journey, which started in college when her sister got pregnant. She enumerates a multitude of hustles that she juggled for years: from pageantry to modeling, hosting and judging gigs, math tutorials for college, and yes, even salon services. This resonates with many of us who have stepped up to the plate for the sake of our families, toiling hard like her as well. It’s exhausting just thinking of the energy and time it takes out of a person, but Karen delights in fulfilling her purpose. “It’s so satisfying that I am capable of providing for my family.”
On the other hand, Kimberly decided to work at 17 so as not to burden her mom who was working abroad at the time. Her view of things broadened when she moved to the UK 13 years later. “It was heartbreaking for me to see that she would work 24/7,” Kimberly opens. “[When I started] working at a young age… that was my way of giving back and helping my mom kasi she started working at the age of 11 and supporting her family.” Filipinos are inherently raised in matriarchy, with mothers being indirect leaders and influencers in society. In continuing a legacy of breadwinners, Kimberly shows us what generations of inspirational Filipinas can do.
Indeed, it is out of great love that we do great things. These ladies, their hearts, and their hustles are proof of that.
However, one cannot hustle without rest, as they also remind us of. They share that talking to others helps them relax, “kasi it gets hard and heavy”. You can call your friends or your family, or like Krishnah, call your dogs as well. But one also needs to spend time for self, either by shopping, dating yourself at a restaurant, or self-reflecting. Karen shares her self-reflection, which beautifully sums up something all breadwinners need to remember: “Even though it is hard, [we] still [need to] realize that we are given talents and capabilities, the capacity to generate the income.
That’s why, maybe, we are the breadwinners. We are capable. We are strong women.”
PRODUCED BY: Krishnah Gravidez | Kimberly Escartin
Karen Olfato |Ica Imanuelle Macazo
CREATIVE PRODUCER: Nathan Vargas
CONTRIBUTING WRITERS: Ica Imanuelle Macazo | Rexy Jolly Conopio | Angel Fagaragan
PHOTOGRAPHER: Rap Yu