Risa Hontivero fights the 'beautiful fight'

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Former Akbayan party-list Rep. Ana Risa “Risa” Hontiveros-Baraquel was an accomplished broadcast journalist for ten years before becoming an activist.

Risa was only 15 years old when her sense of student activism pushed her to criticize the operation of Bataan Nuclear Plant.

While still an undergraduate student in Ateneo de Manila University, Risa led various groups advocating peace from 1988 before working as a broadcast journalist.

The Kapisanan ng mga Broadkaster ng Pilipinas eventually recognized Risa, the older sister of veteran news anchor Pia Hontiveros, as Best Female Newscaster in 1994.

Risa also served as chairman of the government panel for peace talks with the National Democratic Front from 1998 to 1999.

This earned her a nomination at the prestigious Nobel Peace Prize six years later while still continuing to be active in campaigns advocating women’s right, and good governance.

In 2004, Risa secured a seat in the House of Representatives as the third nominee of Akbayan party-list group, which held countless gimmicks exposing corrupt practices during Arroyo administration.

She became a single parent after her husband, Frank Baraquel, suffered a severe asthma attack in 2005 and left her with four kids.

The staunch critic of former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo and her husband easily won her reelection in 2007 mid-term elections.

As a congresswoman, she filed bills on Cheaper Medicines Law and the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program Extension with Reforms (CARPER) Law

She also filed legislations against prostitution, gender balance, as well as Students' Rights and Welfare (STRAW) Bill before losing her senatorial bid in the 2010 presidential elections.

If she were not in politics, Risa would probably pursue a career in theater. As a talented singer, she once played as one of the Von Trapp children in the Repertory Philipines production of the Sound of Music with Lea Salonga, Monique Wilson, and Raymond Lauchengco.

Go back to Risa's page