The Katipuneras and Babaylans

Women who fought for our freedom.

For: Six Word Saturday


Tagalog women and girls some showing white blood, Bacoor, Cavite 1899 u of mich

Tandang Sora was poor and her only means of livelihood came from the profits she got into selling. One day in August, the Supremo and his forces, tired and worn out, but determined to fight the enemy, came to the house of Tandang Sora, who immediately gave them a hundred sacks of rice from her storehouse, ten carabaos and tools they would need. She herself had become a revolucionario. Her help extended from giving provisions to the movement; she took care of the wounded and sick freedom fighters, not fearing that she would be caught by the Spanish authorities.

A Filipino Woman Married to a Spaniard – she overheard remarks about the Filipinos from her Spanish guests. She was in her room, went out and told them to stop. When they wouldn’t stop, she told her husband. He sided with his countrymen and ignored her request. She took a stick and sought to drive them away by beating them. They arrested her, but she was able to escape through the window of her house.

Trining took part in many battles – Dressed as a man with a wide brimmed hat, she went with rebels wherever they went. Some of the battles include the battle of San Ildefonso, the battle of San Rafael and the battle of Zaragoza. At the battle of Zaragoza, Nueva Ecija, the enemy shot her right foot. She fell unconscious, but when she recovered, she spoke with the Katipuneros with a smiling face. In the midst of shots and bolo flashes, she never showed the proverbial female weakness.

These are some of many brave Filipino Women – the Katipuneras or the Babaylans who took part in the Philippine Revolution of 1896.

For: Prompt for Today: In the Footsteps of the Suffragettes

The Quest


It’s a story of strength
A quest to an ancient ground
Where the spirit of darkness lives
A dragon guarding the treasure
Defiant resistance to the game
The sparks of amethyst lay
In front of the hearth
And so is Prinsesa Mayumi
Waiting for her knight
Few men and knights tried
But to no avail, dragon won
From steely blue skies
A white charging horse
Descending from the clouds
Prinsipe Makisig to the rescue
And so he slays the dragon
Saves the princess and they kiss
Take all the amethyst and treasure
And they be wed to the delights of all

(c) ladyleemanila 2016

For: Tale Weaver/Fairy Tale Prompt #57 – Quest

Super Hero


With her curvaceous frame, she’s fighting the evil
Her lacy cloak soaring high with her as she flew
She wants justice and won’t say no to a battle
She could make a difference, she always knew

She spun round, came eye to eye with the enemy
She was once hit by a ricochet in the leg
She won’t baulk down, don’t make her angry
She looks gorgeous, her clothes were off the peg

Areas on the maps were shown and she’s got to save them
People narrowly escaping the floods, thanks to her help
People thanking her, sending her letters, roses and poem
They can’t believe they’re safe, hug each other and yelp

She was miles away, her aura gradually dim and dwindle
Waving goodbye until she was invisible at warp speed
The world is safe again, she’ll be here on the next battle
Until then, we say thanks and we all wish her Godspeed

by brenda warren


For: Prompt Stomp Week 13- Welcome 2016! and Wordle 69 by Brenda Warren


Zero to Hero – Writing Prompt #109 “Zero”


I know a lot of “zero to hero” stories. It just means that it doesn’t matter who we are, whether we were born rich or poor, different colour, culture, religion, status, etc. Success will come (subjectively speaking) if we are determined or motivated enough to be someone in this world.

One story that came to my mind was this student who didn’t have enough money for her fare home in the evening. There was a homeless man who saw her and asked what her problem was. She told him and he gave her what was in his pocket, so she could go home. The student was so touched by his gesture. As soon as she got home, she rang some friends and told them about the homeless man. They have agreed to organise a charity event at the university so they could help this man, i.e. find him a house and probably a job so he could live properly.

Or the boy who lived in a small village but passionate about playing football, so he played football even in bare feet. He was so talented that someone saw him play and offered to train him professionally, but he had to go to another country or a different place to be trained. He’s now one of the famous football player.

One Hundred Years of Memory

Sometimes the First World War feels like distant history. The jumpy black and white films, the unfamiliar clothes and the horses pulling wagons, all look like something from a world long forgotten. Yet the last soldiers who fought in the war have only recently died. Only a few of the 1914–18 generation, who witnessed the war but were too young to take part, are still alive. The war is slipping inexorably beyond the fringes of living memory and, as the Centenary of 1914–18 approaches, we have to work harder to make sure we do not forget.
If we want to understand today, we need to know and remember what happened yesterday.


My Hero


Abracadabra, I wish for you to be here
Fly with the stars and whatever’s there
I believe in magic and all its glory and form
And combed my hair in prospect of the storm
Wand in my hand, you can play in a band
Symbols, mantras and spells, I use as I stand.

Out west is where I went, alone in my escape
If not, I comfort myself with a seedless grape
Waiting for you until the sun goes down
The date, at least to me, is yet unknown
The baying was so many miles away
Yellow as the sun and bright as the day.

Our Beautiful Mom

Never Too Late

Her beauty astounds us all
Life’s always a breeze so she flits
Broke into one and a million bits
Of love and care, to us her kids
Of time and devotion, no problem
Always there, served with a smile
And so this is the time to say thanks
And the mission for which it was due
We love you to the moon and back
Our dearest Mom – thanks for everything!

Blogging 101: Who I Am And Why I’m Here

Red Flowers 1(1)

Ladyleemanila, a girl in fringe, pretty in red
Her brains swirl like that crazy cappucino smile
Will continue prosaic poesies and never grows tired
Writes what’s close to her heart, be it her experience,
Women’s rights, gender equality, migration and slavery
Be the voice of the voiceless, fights for their rights
Was born and bred in one of exciting 7,100 islands
Bounces like a ball, hither and thither on the go
Everything‘s new to her, but will give it a try
A long way to go, and so she must be patient.

My Journey

“Would you tell me, please, which way I ought to go from here?”
“That depends a good deal on where you want to get to.”
“I don’t much care where –”
“Then it doesn’t matter which way you go.”
― Lewis Carroll, Alice in Wonderland

“Be safe, Ate (big sister) and send us some chocolates!” and they were all standing there – my parents, my siblings, cousins and friends, waving me goodbye in the busy Manila International Airport. It was buzzing with activity; people were coming and going, full of excitement and anticipation, the voice on the public address system announcing that flight 112 is now boarding at gate 10 or calling for someone to go to the nearest courtesy phone. My heart skipped a beat and with a heavy sigh and trepidation, I looked back one last time before I proceeded to the check-in counter. I was 22, armed with a degree in Chemistry, enthusiastic to see what’s on the other side of the world, eager to find some adventure – my very own Wonderland.

“It’s snowing, it’s snowing!” A week after I’ve arrived in France, it started snowing. I couldn’t believe my eyes; the whole world was blanketed in white! It was so incredibly gorgeous and perfect, no footsteps in it, just lumps and bumps where plants sat in the gardens and cars entirely covered in snow. I was mesmerised. As soon as I’ve felt its powdery texture, I thought to myself, “This was the White Christmas people were dreaming about.” I couldn’t imagine that just a week ago, from sweltering morning – traffic starting to build up in Manila. The noise of cars, taxis, motorcycles, vans and jeepneys beeping and honking, children going to school and adults to work, street vendors selling taho (soya) or peanuts. Such a difference! A normal hectic day in Manila compared to a peaceful, snowy one in France.

Ethiopian Mission in the UN Office in Geneva. I couldn’t speak French and I couldn’t type, but there I was after 6 months, working as the Ambassador’s Secretary. My English was my saving grace and possibly, my enthusiasm and determination. I was lucky, being there at the right time and at the right place. My Thai friend wanted to go to Thailand for her holiday and asked me to take her position for a month in the Ethiopian Mission. There were no computers then, consequently, I had to type with my 2 fingers. Statements were prepared for the meetings, diplomatic correspondences were typed, files were organised and appointments were made. I had to learn fast and think with my feet. I must have impressed the Ambassador and the other Diplomats that they’ve hired me later.

The Praktikum. I was accepted to have an apprenticeship with BASF Chemical Company, in Ludwigshafen, Germany. It’s the largest production site worldwide and the company’s global headquarters and research centre. I spoke no German, but then, I’ve survived in France and Switzerland without French, so why not? I’m convinced I’ll get by and will learn the language when I’m there. I was allocated in the Inorganic Department, producing and analysing some dyes. Herr (Mister) Raider provided me a name who was also working in the same building, but in a different laboratory. “He’ll help you get sorted,” he said. Hence, first thing in the morning, I knocked on Room 602 and a tall English man opened it, some parts of his white shirt still untucked from his trousers. “I am, indeed.” was his answer to my question and that hooked me! “Such an accent,” I thought. He helped me obtain my lab gown and safety goggles that morning and waited for me for lunch every day. “There’s your English man again,” my Laborant (laboratory technician) would say.

Hollywood. After the apprenticeship, I decided to stay with my father in Los Angeles, California. The Griffith Park Observatory was my favourite place. Perched atop a lofty hillside overlooking all of Los Angeles, you could see the “Hollywood” sign and few more stunning views. My English man visited me that summer and we went to see the astonishing Grand Canyon. Such an imposing landscape! It overwhelmed our senses through its colossal size. After that, we had to part ways again. He was accepted to do a PhD in the UK and I went back to the Philippines.

The EDSA Revolution of 1986. I was part of the crowd – a bizarre mixture of people coming and going in every direction, military tanks and cannons with their soldiers greeted with flowers and food, burning tires, activist flags and streamers, vendors selling their wares, vehicles parked everywhere and some beeping their horns, portable radios, foreign correspondents and religious altars. Strangers flashed wide grins at each other. People were marching, praying, crying and singing all at the same time. It was one of nonviolent protests that led to the departure of the then President Marcos and the re-establishment of the country’s democracy. I was there. I wanted to make a difference. I was part of that history.

I am not a writer. I don’t have a cause. I’m more of a traveller, a curious one and one who believes that every adventure is worth having. My journey continues. At 54, I’m happily married to my English man, a proud Mum to our 22-year old son who is doing his Master’s in one of the prestigious universities in the UK, and living in our gemütlich (comfortable) house in sunny Bavaria, surrounded by flowers, herbs, grapes and apple trees. I couldn’t ask for more. I am not a writer. But I believe that there’s a book in every one of us. I hope to write mine one day.

“I wandered everywhere, through cities and countries wide. And everywhere I went, the world was on my side.”
― Roman Payne, Rooftop Soliloquy