Monday, August 20, 2007

Filipina - Boholana, Part I

Filipina is a female Filipino. Filipinas and Filipinos are citizens of the Philippines.

Boholana is a female Boholano. Boholanas and Boholanos are citizens of the Republic of Bohol, Philippines. (The name Republic of Bohol has another story)

A Boholana is also a Filipina.

This blog series will feature Boholanas who has made a mark in the local, national and international scene in different fields. They are women who deserves to be phrased and looked up to for what they have done and for what they are.

This series is an entry to my friend Janette Toral's invitation to join "Filipina Writing Project". .

A true-blue Boholana, Sonia was born (July 20, 1944) to then Congressman Pablo Malasarte of Bilar and homemaker Petra Cubillo of Calape, Bohol. A consistent honor student from elementary to college, she was awarded the "Most Outstanding Student of the Philippines" in 1964, placing first (future husband Raul placed second) among all college students ranked on the basis of academic excellence, leadership abilitiy, and special achievement. Sonia was also a recipient of the Cardinal Santos Leadership Award, having served as President of the Student Catholic Action (SCA) and the National Union of Students of the Philippines (NUSP), a national student organization founded by future Philippine Chief Justice Artemio Panganiban.

Sonia holds a Bachelor of Science in Education degree (Magna Cum Laude) from Saint Joseph's College, Quezon City, a Master of Arts in Communication Arts and a Master of Arts in Social Psychology from Ateneo de Manila University. She has also taken courses at the Child Development Center of the University of the Philippines.

As a devoted wife to Raul, Sonia actively supported her husband in all his roles as lawyer, congressman, senator, Secretary of Education, presidential candidate, and international parliamentarian. The couple has six children and five grandchildren. They were bestowed the Golden Parents Award for 1995. In both 1998 and 2004 Philippine presidential campaign, Sonia actively campaigned for her husband and was described by local media as very well-prepared to be a First Lady of the Philippines.

Sonia is active in educational, social, cultural, and environmental causes. As past president and founding member of the 20-year-old Women in Nation Building (WIN), she is a sought-after resource person on women's issues. In healthcare, she is a frequent guest speaker owing to her first-hand experience as primary caregiver to then ailing husband Raul. Sonia co-founded Saint Michael's Hospice in 1996 to help the poor and terminally ill. She maintains active relations with the Student Catholic Action Leadership Foundation, an organization which strives to revive the SCA among the contemporary Filipino youth.

During the May 14, 2007 elections, Sonia ran for Senator but unfortunately lost in the over-all count but she scored well in Bohol. Afterall, she is a Boholana and is also loved by the Boholanos.


reyian said...

good choice. an educator and a women's welfare advocate.

Janette Toral said...

Hello. Thank you for supporting the Filipina Writing Project. I also encourage you to create an audio version of your entry and we can include it in our Filipina Writing Project Podcast at

Thank you!