The Amazing Women Who Have Inspired Us This Year

And they continue to inspire us.
by Ayessa De La Peña   |  Dec 23, 2016
Image: Egypt Ufele |, Natalia Calvani |, Yusan Lin | Art: Naomi Torrecampo
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Although it's been a tough year, it was definitely a big year for women, too. We've heard a ton of things being said and written about how women should just stay at home and do what they're supposed to do (as if that included staying silent about important issues). So we're just glad that we have these inspiring women who continue to ignite that fire in us to speak when it's necessary. Scroll down below to read and get some dose of inspo!

  1. Shibby Lapeña de Guzman

13-year-old Shibby was photographed speaking up about Martial Law with her fellow students from St. Scholastica on the day the late dictator Ferdinand Marcos was buried at the Libingan ng mga Bayani. Marcos apologists and people who were older than her questioned her stand on the matter, saying that she didn't know what she was fighting for and talking about.

In a series of letters on the site, Shibby reminded people who are older than her why it is very important to listen to the youth regardless of their age, saying, "I encourage you to rise up because we'll be the next leaders of the country. It's one thing to tell one kid that they should be the light and the hope amidst the violations of human rights and corrupt chaos. It's an even bigger thing when you see hundreds of those kids together, being the light and hope in the middle of all that because they know and understand what had to be done for what was done before."

  1. Yusan Lin

Oftentimes, people underestimate those who can talk about celebrities, fashion, and beauty and those who work in the industry. People describe them as shallow and superficial. But 26-year-old Yusan proves time and again that that's not true at all. The Taiwanese model is also a student at Penn State, taking up data mining (and other related courses). She combined her love for the two and is doing research about what we can learn from history and predict trends from that. "I thought it would be a great idea to merge my interests and apply data-mining techniques to fashion data," Yusan tells Teen Vogue. You go, girl!

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  1. Diane Eden Villasis

The first female boy scout and the first female to win a 10 Outstanding Boy Scouts award reminds us that what the opposite sex is able to do, we can do too. Winning the prestigious title meant something so much more to her, too. It just doesn't mean that there's equality, but that there's a responsibility that comes with her title and who she's become.


Sharing with us a lesson on what she's learned from being the first female scout, Diane says, "Your determination to succeed must always be bigger than your fears. Never let other people's negativity get to you. You must prove other people wrong and show that you are chosen for a reason. Always keep your feet on the ground and be grateful for the things that you have no matter how small or big they are."

  1. Natalia Castelar Calvani


We all have our flaws and insecurities. What's sad is when people make fun of us and bully us for those things. But believe us when we say that your flaws and insecurities are actually part of who you are and what makes you unique. That's what happened to Natalia, a 17-year-old who was bullied because of her thick eyebrows.

When she was younger, she wanted to have them shaved. But her strength made her stand through all those years of bullying and mockery. Now, she's become a professional model and even gained following on Instagram for her attitude. "They're my trademark, and I wish I would have embraced them sooner," she told Bored Panda.

  1. Egypt "Ify" Ufele


It's hard to imagine that at 11 years old, Ify has already been bullied because of her weight. But instead of concentrating on the negative things that have been said about her, she focused her energy and talents into creating clothes for ladies of all shapes and sizes through the brand ChubbiLine. Now, at her young age, she's already debuted her fashion line at the New York Fashion Week and is even one of Teen Vogue's 21 Under 21. You go, Ify!

  1. Dr. Candice Bridge 

The 25-year-old doctor will be helping survivors of sexual assault in a major way. Dr. Bridge, the first black woman to teach chemistry at the University of Central Florida, was given a $324,000 grant by the National Institute of Justice to research on an alternative to DNA testing which can only be used by the FBI and a few forensic labs. If the research goes well (and we're really crossing our fingers that it does!), law enforcers will be able to identify rapists who cover their DNA tracks.


"This grant will enable us to conduct research into a unique new means of identifying perpetrators of sexual assault when traditional DNA evidence doesn't exist," she said in a statement. "It's an important line of research that has become even more important as rapists attempt to elude capture by covering their DNA tracks after an assault."

Who inspired you this year? Share their stories in the comments or via Twitter @candymagdotcom. We always love hearing from you. :)

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About the author
Ayessa De La Peña Assistant Section Editor
I am's resident fangirl and ~*feelings*~ girl. When I'm not busy researching about what to write next on the website, I sleep, read books, and re-watch episodes of Friends.
"Parang iniisip ng mga tao na mataray ako, suplado, but actually may nafi-feel kasi ako sa umaga na bigat."