Liza Soberano became emotional during her speech for Gabriela Youth’s “Tinig ni Nene: Reclaiming Our Voice on the International Day of the Girl Child” Facebook live session.
The Kapamilya actress discussed the topic about "the young woman's contribution to raising awareness and creating a safe environment for young women amid the pandemic."
In her speech, Liza admitted that in her early years in the entertainment industry, she was hesitant about speaking up on issues that matter to her for fear that it will divide her supporters.
“I know that I haven’t been the most vocal about my opinions and about the advocacies that I feel very strong for, because I was always afraid that I would be dividing my supporters. I was afraid of creating conflict," she admitted.
According to Liza, her belief system before was centered around the idea that an actress could only talk about her craft but not about social issues.
“Ang paniniwala ko po dati na pag artista ka, dapat umiiwas ka sa lahat ng issues. Dapat we just keep talking about our craft, and the next movie we’re making and everything. Kasi, I was afraid that people would judge me. They would say, what do I know, I’m just a girl, I’m just an actress," she confessed.
But recently, Liza remarked that she realized the impact when she stood up for herself when one netizen made a rape comment towards her.
It can be recalled that Liza filed a criminal case in September against the netizen who made the said rape remark.
"Then I realized, especially, most recently when there was someone who made a sexual abuse comment towards me… I realized the impact of me standing up for myself, especially after I filed a criminal case against somebody who made a rape joke against me.
“A lot of my supporters — actually I think there were five — messaged me and were saying, ‘Thank you.’ Honestly, I cried when they sent me those messages, because I didn’t realize how many women were struggling to stand up for themselves," she shared.
At this point, Liza started becoming teary-eyed in her speech. She said, “Sorry, I get kind of emotional… Because I’ve had the experience — not firsthand experience. I’m actually privileged and blessed to have… I’m getting so emotional. Sorry."
“I know a lot of women in my life who had struggled with this. And I find it so unfair that we women have to go out every day with fear of being catcalled, of dressing a certain way and getting called out for the way we’re dressed," Liza continued.
The actress encouraged those who are in the position of influence and power to speak up to spark change.
“Change cannot be just the responsibility of the people who need it most. They need the support of everyone, especially those of the highest power, if we are to see true change.
“As a woman, as a Filipino artist, I think that women and influencers alike should start speaking up. They can contribute not only awareness about these issues, but also encouragement and confidence to our fellow women and children — that they need to learn to stand up for themselves,” Liza stated.