Cecilia Flores-Oebanda has spent her life fighting -- as a child for some education, as a teen rebel against a dictator, and for more than 20 years against human traffickers.
Through it all are the constants; persistence and determination.
Oebanda has become the face of the Philippines anti-trafficking movement -- a woman who has the ear of the administration and the friendship of many royals and philanthropists around the globe.
But now she is fighting a battle that could truly ruin her. Fraud allegations made by Philippine investigators threaten to destroy her reputation and the anti-trafficking organization she's run for more than two decades.
When we first met Oebanda, she was lockstep with Philippine federal agents as they boarded ships and burst into the homes of suspected human traffickers.
Those agents are with the same bureau now raiding her organization's offices and charging her with illegal activity.
During two years of filming there were plenty of highs -- including a joyous Oebanda dancing on stage in front of 10,000 supporters and rescued girls with renewed hope for their future now that they'd been freed from the clutches of human traffickers.
Less than a year later, she gave a speech to a nearly empty theater.
Oebanda crucially managed to befriend the Philippines' biggest star, world famous boxer and congressman, Manny Pacquiao. She convinced him to become an active supporter in the fight against modern-day slavery.
There are photos of her warmly shaking hands and rubbing shoulders with dignitaries like Jimmy Carter, Bill Clinton, Desmond Tutu and the queens of Sweden and Spain.
But by the time we left Manila for the last time, many of the agencies she'd relied on for years had frozen their funding of her organization, the Visayan Forum Foundation.
Oebanda's story goes far beyond those snapshots with the rich and famous. The oldest daughter of 12 siblings, she began working as a 5-year-old and would sit in the back of her class, smelling of the fish she had sold, and the trash she had sifted through.
As a young mother, she fought for the survival of her two children, whom she gave birth to while in a squalid prison cell as a captured enemy of the Ferdinand Marcos dictatorship.
Years later, as the executive director of an acclaimed charity, she would build a gleaming new safe house for children victimized by human traffickers. The money for the building came from J.K. Rowling, author of the Harry Potter series.
The transformation from rebel commander to leader of an anti-trafficking organization is not as stark as it may first appear.
Oebanda says in both cases she's considered herself a freedom fighter and she was motivated to protect young women and children from exploitation as a way to honor her comrades who died in the jungle while trying to save her and her unborn son.
In 1982, Oebanda was a rebel commander who had spent five years fighting the Marcos military.
At 16, she had quit school and fled into the jungles of Negros, Philippines to join the rebels.
As Commander Liway, she led a unit of the New People's Army against the Marcos regime but the pregnant Oebanda was about to be captured.
"I can still vividly remember it, suddenly, one of my comrades shouted there are enemies coming. They said around 100 of them. Because of that, we [were] unprepared. We don't have any plans how to escape as a group," Oebanda tells CNN.
She was eight months pregnant and surrounded in the mountains with her husband and a small band of students and revolutionaries.
Government soldiers rained bullets and grenades at her position.
Three comrades died trying to protect her.
"This is very painful, you know. And because of that, it really hit in my core that I hate myself being alive and make this young man sacrifice for me to live."
After her capture, Oebanda was taken to a prison on another island where she spent the next four years in a squalid room for political prisoners.