As a Mom, Legislator, Leader: Risa Hontiveros Shares Her Journey In First Book

March marks the celebration of Women’s Month. Although we have been celebrating it for a long time now, the fight for women’s rights and gender equality continues.

In the Women’s Leadership Summit hosted by Bookshelf PH last March 26, 2022, a mother, activist, leader Senator Risa Hontiveros, with book editor and author Katya Lichuaco, discussed Sen. Risa’s first book, ‘Healthy Buhay, Happy Mama: Risa Hontiveros’ Journey Through Motherhood’, and the most pressing issues facing women in 2022 and beyond.

On Writing Her First Book

Sen. Risa reveals how she always loves reading ever since she was young. Books that were written by women about their own lives really spoke to her from a young age and inspired her to try and tick off ‘writing (a book)’ from her bucket list.

The most important for her is to share her experiences as a mother who works inside the home and also works outside the home as a lifelong activist, and now as a legislator.

“…at dahil I’m speaking from that experience, I guess one of the most important lessons and therefore messages I wanted to share with other women and other moms, is that…wala talagang cookie cutter template about how to be a mom, a mom who’s also working outside the home. We sort of have to find our own ways of being and doing that,” Sen. Risa said.

For her, even if it is just one experience, she hopes that sharing her story will encourage other mothers, that they can find their way and leave an impact through their experiences. She mentioned how the stories of other women helped her so much until now, so sharing is like paying forward.

The toughest part of writing her book?

“I guess the toughest things to write about are also the experiences which were toughest to live through, to go through,” said Sen. Risa.

On Being a Working Mom

It is not an easy one for Sen. Risa and family as she entered the campaign season.

As for her, even quality time needs quantity. Parents need and have to fight for as much time as they can to have that quality time with their kids and family members. Happily, her children also help and speak in various press conferences featuring topics like mental health. Being with her kids during campaigns is also a bonding time for them.

Building Strong Diverse Network Among Women

For Sen. Risa, like building any strong network, building strong networks among women requires nurture and care. Befriend, support, defend and mentor each other. Remain open if we want to build diverse networks.

On Handling The Increasing Attacks on Female Leaders and Journalists

Despite the celebration of Women’s Month, we cannot deny the increasing attacks on female leaders, journalists, wherein some are getting personal, especially now that it is campaign season. I grabbed the opportunity to ask Sen. Risa on how she handles it as a mom, a leader, and a public official.

She mentioned how she learned a lot from Vice President Leni Robredo, Sen. Leila de Lima, Maria Ressa, and many other kabaro who are in similar situations everyday, not just during political season, but also very strong and rampant during the campaign.

“You just have to push back, really say…through the words, facial expressions, our body language and actions. I think it’s simply not okay, lalo na kapag wine-weaponize yung mga channels na dapat para sa matinong diskurso, whether the channel’s through political contest or mass media or social media and then our everyday spaces: homes, school, workplace, all our social institutions.”

She mentioned how is it been going on since the dawn of time in various forms.

“Lumalaban tayong mga babae, all our mothers before us, and may mga tagumpay, marami ding nilunok na pagkatalo, so we have to keep on fighting in various forms. The issues maybe articulated in different forms every generation, pero yung binhi no’n yun pa rin, yung pagtingin na hindi tayo pantay. Katulad ng pagtingin na ang LGBTQIA+ ay hindi pantay sa mga cisgender, heterosexual. Yung pagtingin na tayong mga babae o ang LGBTQIA+ ay dapat kamuhian,” said Sen. Risa.

She stated it is not only in our culture but also manifested in our economics, so we are actually living, surviving, coping and fighting all forms. Women are fighting for something better every moment.

I really dream of a time na we (women) don’t have to fight anymore because it should come naturally…

Senator Risa Hontiveros

“I think it’s a natural condition of being a woman that we want more, we’ve been gaining more… I really dream of a time na we don’t have to fight anymore because it should come naturally…” Sen. Risa stated.

The fight and struggle is far from over, but with leaders who champion women’s rights and gender equality, and with the significant contribution of our generation, there’s a hope for our calls and actions.

About the Book

Healthy Buhay, Happy Mama: Risa Hontiveros’ Journey Through Motherhood

In Healthy Buhay, Happy Mama: Risa Hontiveros’ journey through motherhood, Senator Risa Hontiveros shares the story of how she succeeded in balancing both, pursuing her work in national politics while raising each of her four children. 

You can grab a copy of your book at Bookshelf PH (Available in Physical Copy or eBook)

About Bookshelf PH

Bookshelf PH is a marketplace for print, digital, and audiobooks.
Check out my previous blog to know more about them!

For Bookshelf PH purchases: You may purchase through my link. You may also use my discount code ROMMA25 for a 5% discount every purchase.

Kilig Through Audiobook: PH Book Marketplace Introduces a Pinoy Audiobook Platform With Library of Romance Titles

Ever want to read a book but got no extra time? To know the ending of the story you’ve been into or if your OTP is endgame, but you need to hurry up and go to work? Worry no more as a Pinoy audiobook platform opens it doors to share some kilig to its listeners.

Through Audiophile, you can now experience kilig anytime, whenever you wanted.

Audiophile is a platform for Filipino romance audiobooks created by Bookshelf PH. Subscribers get unlimited access to Audiophile’s growing library of romance content across contemporary, Tagalog, and LGBTQIA+ genres. You do not have to worry if you want to try it first as a seven-day FREE trial is available for you to discover and explore the audiobook platform.

“Audiophile’s vision is to elevate the Pinoy audiobook industry to the level it has achieved in other literary markets. For most Filipino listeners around the world, audiobooks represent a new, convenient way to experience Pinoy stories, but they can also improve access, such as for the differently abled or the new to reading. Audiobooks also provide an additional revenue stream for authors and publishers, and give rise to many affiliated industries, such as voice acting,” as stated in their press release.

Now, Why Romance?

“There’s a certain intimacy with audiobooks that marries well with romance fiction. When you listen to a story, the world melts away, and it becomes just you and the narrator. It’s easy to get lost in their love life – and yes, all the kilig – in this format,” said Monette Quiogue, Audiophile’s executive creative director.

What better way to kick off the launch of Audiophile than providing kilig through romance stories?

Below are some of the stories that are now available on Early Access that you might want to try to listen to:

Edward Scissorhands, completely smitten with Camille, sacrifices his love for her to move somewhere far away in order to help his uncle. Four summers pass, with none of the meetups with Camille that Edward craves. It completely unravels him when Camille shows up at a fiesta he’s at.
Two boys, reserved honors student Staniel and expressive home-schooled Billiam, strike up a friendship when they meet in a kookie costume shop during their summer break.
Jade’s plans for art camp in Baguio take an unexpected turn when she’s paired with Alex, who looks too gorgeous to even hold a paintbrush.
Chris and Katie have always been just best friends. But will Cupid strike when they are forced to go to the senior ball together?
Sonny, the seropositive son of an overseas Filipino worker attempts to make the most of his trip to Hong Kong with his new friend Duke.
Stories presenting a different perspective on what it means to be a woman lost in love with another woman, a memory, an old flame, and more.
The once reserved and aloof “Tonton” Marquez recounts the adoration, change, and heartbreak Kuya Macoy, an upperclassman from the same degree program as him, has brought into his life over the span of almost one academic year. He recalls the day they first met, their drinking session at Kuya Macoy’s rented house, the outreach programs in the highlands and in the slums of Davao, and that fateful day when Kuya Macoy suddenly failed to come to class and respond to Tonton’s texts — all of which have greatly affected Tonton’s worldview and himself.
Though skeptical about Joey, a notorious ladies man, Cassie accepts his invitation to join him in Dumaguete for the summer.

Readers who want to listen to Audiophile’s growing library can visit Those who subscribe before October 4, 2021, can avail a special rate of US$3.99 per month (a 20% discount over the regularly priced rate of US$4.99) as founding members.

What are you waiting for? Put your earphones on and feel all the kilig by listening to Audiophile stories!


Audiophile is a platform for Filipino romance audiobooks. Subscribers get unlimited access to Audiophile’s growing library of romance content across contemporary, Tagalog, and LGBTQIA+ genres. Audiophile is FREE for one week, so you can discover your passion.

Audiophile was created by Bookshelf PH, a marketplace for books and ebooks


Bookshelf PH aims to promote great Filipino books in fiction and non-fiction. The goal is to produce a rich literature that will contribute to individual empowerment, and in the aggregate, nation-building. At the core of these aspirations is the belief that the surest and simplest path to personal and professional growth is through reading.