pioneering women

WoaWomen Urra
2 min readFeb 3


It’s been a while since we posted about our eclectic interests here at wonder | wander | world. In the tropics this year enjoying the blistering heat of an equatorial sun instead of our frozen northern winters of COVID times.

This incredible post about some brave pioneering cowboy women of the west caught our attention. What could their circumstances have been to make them decide to move out west when they did? How were their lives changed and affected as a result?

pioneering women of the west

The origins of the cowboy tradition come from Spain — beginning with the hacienda system of medieval Spain. This style of cattle ranching spread throughout much of the Iberian Peninsula and later was imported to the Americas.

In the Philippines we were similarly impacted by the arrival and invasion of Spain and the eventual galleon trade plied between our countries.

As a consequence of the conquest of the Philippines, in 1565 the Manila galleon trade began. Sailing from Acapulco — initially to Cebu and after 1571 to Manila. These ships were crewed largely by Filipinos.

Spanish Philippines — women rolling cigars

Unlike our tiny eastern tropical islands, the Americas possessed a dry climate with sparse grass. Ideal for large herds of cattle requiring vast amounts of land to obtain sufficient forage.

The need to cover distances greater than a person on foot could manage gave rise to the development of the horseback-mounted vaquero.

Babaylan, ang manggagamot — detail of “History of Philippine Medicine”
mural by Carlos “Botong” Francisco

While back east most women lived within society’s traditional rules — pioneer women had to adapt to survive the harsh circumstances of their journey and new surroundings.

For us much has changed in our terrain and environment too. Returning to home country post COVID makes us appreciate our pioneering women even more.

Originally published at



WoaWomen Urra

curious creative tandem — cohearts & collaborators