In a significant milestone for her tribe in Pampanga, 22-year-old Lady Anne Duya made history as the first Aeta woman to pass the Criminology Board Exam.

Duya was raised in Porac, Pampanga with six other siblings. Her parents were farmers and education wasn't readily accessible for her.

She was able to secure a scholarship for college with her determination despite the challenges of living in the mountains.

"Nung nag-graduate po ako ng senior high, bumuhos po ang pagpapala ng panginoon, iba't-ibang opportunities po ang nagbukas [para sakin]," Duya said.

Duya graduated from Central Luzon College of Science and Technology in 2023 with a degree in criminology.  

"Bale, ako po ang kauna-unahang college graduate po sa pamilya po namin. [Noong sa] panahon po kasi ng tatlo ko pong kuya, si tatay lang po ang nagtatrabaho. Yung nakukuha lang po sa pagkukuha po ng saging ni tatay [ang pinapangbuhay niya po samin]," Duya said.

Her academic excellence earned her recognition as the Most Outstanding Criminology Intern, a Service Awardee, and Best in Thesis.

Duya's hard work and dedication paid off in March 2024, as she joined the ranks of 15,000 passers nationwide in the Criminologist Licensure Examination.

With her achievements, Duya sends a message of empowerment to her fellow women and indigenous people:

"Hindi tayo babae lang, hindi tayo aeta lang, kundi isa din tayo sa mga taong pwedeng tumupad ng mga pangarap natin,” she said.