In honor of Narcisa de León, a 61-year-old widow-turned-film producer

After being widowed at 61, Narcisa Buen Camino-de León built herself into one of the most highly regarded Filipino businesswomen of the early 20th century. How’s that for a badass feminist icon?

Narcisa Buencamino-de León, also known as Doña Sisang, was born in San Miguel, Bulacan (a municipality in the Philippines) on October 29th, 1877. She and her husband José had five children, and after his passing in 1934, she moved her family to Manila, took charge of the family business, and the company saw major success.

Perhaps most significantly, she decided to invest in the Filipino film industry.


Along with two other families, Narcisa founded LVN Pictures, of which she eventually became president and gained full control over. She went on to become known for her talent, which included discovering stars and building their careers.

She would continue on as a film producer well into her eighties, even working on all of her business ventures up until a week before her death at the age of 88.

Despite her massive success, de León remained humble and true to her roots, always wearing rural attire and donating whatever she could. She provided for a school building in San Miguel, contributed to the renovation of the San Miguel Church, and donated land to the needy.

If there’s anyone to gain inspiration from today on this Monday, let it be Mrs. de León.