A teenage girl who helped raise funds for a group of women who suffered from sexual harassment has been awarded the National Book Award.
It was the story of 18-year-old Ramiro Mascara, who grew up in a slum near Manila, and his mother.
He said he was just a child when he met the woman, and she helped him get through his problems.
“When I was a kid, I used to sit around and read newspapers.
I remember the stories and what I read, it was like I was reading about the people around me,” he said.
“But I did not know it was women who were suffering from sexual abuse.”
The story was told in the first two chapters of the book, which was written by Mascaro, and has been described by critics as a true-life version of the Filipino women’s liberation movement.
“The story is a great illustration of the spirit of resistance,” said Barbara Arroyo, who wrote the book with her husband, writer Ernesto Vargas.
“You get to know the lives of these women.
You understand the struggles they were going through,” she said.
Mascara says the book was inspired by the stories of women in his childhood, who had gone through the same things he had, only more so.
“I wanted to tell a story about a girl who went through it, a woman who was a wonderful rolemodel,” he told reporters.
“She taught me a lot about what it meant to be a woman, about how to protect yourself, how to live your life,” Mascarra said.
In the Philippines, women are often considered second-class citizens.
But Mascaran said he believed he was one of the lucky ones, and that he had found hope in his life.
“Being an only child, you always thought of the other children,” he recalled.
“I wanted everyone to see that I am not a bad person, I am a good person, and I am doing good things.”
He said he wanted to show that there was hope in the Filipino people, and also for the women of the Philippines who were struggling to be heard and believed.
“They are fighting for equality,” he added.