Intramuros Learning Sessions episode no. 21

Heroes of World War II Series
Part 2: Heroines of World War II


Historians have estimated that 1 in every 10 Filipino guerrillas who fought during World War II were women. There were possibly more, but due to their status as female, and the non-combatant roles some played, countless more were not officially recognized. Women served a gamut of roles: as nurses and medical aides tending the sick, the wounded and the dying; as fierce warriors who commanded troops in the frontlines; as spies, couriers, recruiters, educators, and organizers. Like their male counterparts, these Filipina resistance fighters took on their share of the ordeals of war, enduring starvation and malaria in the mountains and jungles, risking life and limb for the love of country. They proved their mettle during those dark days, but why is it that their great feats of gallantry are not even written in our history textbooks? While honors, awards and accolades have been heaped upon our men, it seems that our women fighters have remained obscure and forgotten. It’s time to stave off our amnesia and honor these remarkable women, as a grateful nation should. Join us as we discuss the heroines of World War II.

This episode is Part 2 of the series Heroes of World War II.

  • Guest speaker: Desiree Ann Cua Benipayo
  • Moderator: Rancho Arcilla

About the Speaker: Desiree Ann Cua Benipayo

Desiree Ann Cua Benipayo is a writer and film producer. She is currently the Vice President for Research and Education at the Philippine World War II Memorial Foundation, and the Secretary at the Memorare Manila 1945.

Ms. Benipayo is author of Honor: The Legacy of Jose Abad Santos, which was recently awarded Best Book of Nonfiction Prose in English in the 2019 National Book Awards. Ms. Benipayo, together with her husband, also produced a film documentary adaptation of her book, which received an “A” rating by the Philippine Cinema Evaluation Board.

About the Intramuros Learning Sessions

The Intramuros Learning Sessions (ILS) is the educational webinar series of the Intramuros Administration (IA). The IA is an attached national government agency under the Department of Tourism. 

Topics are interdisciplinary and cover themes related to Intramuros and Manila studies, Philippine studies, as well as cultural heritage studies. Pursuant to IA’s charter, the ILS aims to contribute to the strengthening of the Filipino’s national identity and sense of belonging and pride.

For inquiries contact us at

See Previous ILS Episode
Intellectual Property in Textiles
See Next ILS Episode
Protecting Agricultural Produce

Check out our previous ILS episodes here

For more information contact the Center for Intramuros Studies via
Cannot find what you are looking for? Try requesting for more data via our eFOI Portal.