Wonder Women: Corazon Aquino

The real Miss Philippines never planned to take the world's biggest stage.

Corazon "Cory" Aquino's husband was a senator on the island nation when he was assassinated in 1983. Within three years, she unified the country's "People Power Revolution" and successfully ran against the dictatorial incumbent in 1986 to become the first female president of the Philippines. Despite several coup attempts and politically-motivated prosecutions, Aquino stood strong as president for six years before ceding her party's presidential seat to another candidate in 1992.

Aquino continues to be revered as the "mother of Philippine democracy." Some even look at her as a modern-day Joan of Arc in how she fought against the abusive rule of her predecessor's dictatorship. She is an inspiration not only to young women and girls, but to anyone who enjoys and appreciates democratic rule in the Philippines.

 She was presidential with no pageantry.