Fierce Filipina

Lara V. '22 worked with her family to write Fierce Filipina, the story of Gliceria Marella de Villavicencio who empowered fellow Filipinos to overthrow Spanish and American colonists.

When Maxie Villavicencio Pulliam, LCSW visited Taal, Philippines, she was inspired to share its social justice roots and enlisted her niece, Lara V. '22 and Lara's two cousins to help her write the book Fierce Filipina, Inspired by the Life of Gliceria Marella de Villacincencio.

The book tells the story of national hero Gliceria Marella de Villavicencio, who empowered her fellow Filipinos to overthrow both Spanish and American colonists alongside other historical figures, including Dr. José Rizal, Andrews Bonifacio, and Emilio Aguinaldo.

"We were inspired to write this book to share Gliceria's story with the children and families of her hometown, Taal, Phillippines, who are familiar with her name but are unaware of her story and contribution to Filipino history. Many people, especially women, are overlooked in history, so writing this book was not only for Gliceria, but for her people," says Lara. "I'm Gliceria's great-great-great-granddauthger, and I felt it was y duty to continue her legacy and ensure that her story does not vanish."

Working as a team, Lara's family researched Filipino history books and referenced some of Gliceria's letters to the Revolutionary Forces. One the book was written, they conducted research on self-publication, consulted with editors and illustrators, and created a website.

"Although this was a tough process, I couldn't be happier with the end result and I couldn't have asked for a better team to have done this with," reflects Lara. "I have learned more about Gliceria's life and Filipino history while working on this book that I have ever learned throughout my entire life as a student. It makes me hopeful that readers can learn and be inspired to learn more about the rich history of the 17,000 islands that make up my homeland."

Learn more about Fierce Filipina at The book is currently available for purchase on Amazon or in digital form on ISSUU.

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