21st Century has been offering the world a lot of things since it started. What was then considered unorthodox has now evolved into a more progressive mindset especially when it comes to the typical impression of being a woman. The world awakened from its deep slumber and a lot has changed. Our very own typical Maria Clara has now become the achiever, the go-getter, and the empowered Juana.

Gone were the days when women were made to stand behind a man, expecting them to hide in the shadows. Today, women are emerging from backstage and now taking over the lead role. Not just any typical role but their very own, showcasing their individualities and celebrating their differences. Now, they brave through everyday deterrents, balancing career on one side and family on the other, yet never forgetting their exceptionality.

The women of today are unstoppable.

It is no surprise that executive positions are filled in by women. Paving the way for aspiring future generations, we get a glimpse of how life works for two of the powerful women in COA Region VI – Regional Director Merne T. Peñaranda and Assistant Regional Director Daisylyn T. Tavarro. As they answer questions they were never asked before, we get to know Ma’am Merne and Ma’am Daisy more. We get to understand what makes them powerful in every way. Present leaders ready to take on the challenges in their own unique phase and strength. We get to delve deeper into what it means to become a leader. Modern women leading the workforce, defying norms. Both different yet the same. Juanas as we call them.

The true embodiment of modern Juanas. No hesitations, overcoming battles in two opposite yet complementary ways. Balancing everything seems like a tough job yet these two women made it look like a walk in the park. They made their own individual spaces in society. They don’t just play their roles effortlessly; they are their own roles. Brave and unstoppable women of today, ready to face the world with glamour, grace, and fearlessness.

As what was penned by Associate Justice Samuel Martires on a Supreme Court ruling, “Today, we cannot simply be stuck to the Maria Clara stereotype of a demure and reserved Filipino woman. We should stay away from such mindset and accept the realities of a woman’s dynamic role in society today; she who has over the years transformed into a strong and confidently intelligent and beautiful person willing to fight for her rights.”

Two distinct personas. Compelling but never overbearing. Compassionate but never weak. Different yet still the same.