What career accomplishment makes you most proud?
From the very start, my career was centered in the creative industry: Advertising, Travel and resort management, production, publishing, film and documentary making. I am most proud of my previous position as President of Ballet Philippines because it is in this Company where my sense of accomplishment is felt when I witnessed every successful production, knowing what was involved in putting it together, such as, the music composition, choreography, costume and set design and seeking the funding to bank-roll the project.
After every gala opening, I have personal gratification when I watch an excellent performance, audience count is above 60% and positive reviews are written or talked about. So even when the bottom line did not hit the targets, I still felt a sense of success because the good performance made our artists proud of themselves and made a lot of viewers very happy.
In what ways did you find your Maryknoll education helpful in your life and work journey?
I always look back at my experience as a student leader in Maryknoll. I was President of the Student Council and this position as a young student gave me the first skill of leadership such as building consensus and be a team player.
I was also exposed to social work particularly teaching English to grade school students in Tatalon. This exposure was my entry as a social worker volunteer in organizations like Habitat for Humanity Philippines and the Mindanao Commission of Women. In both organizations, I worked in poor communities providing housing and livelihood as well as organizing workshops to women to maintain the peace in their communities.
What or who has inspired you to pursue and work on your passion?
I was inspired by women who are successful in their fields and by those who have risen to the top by their own merit from hard work. In a way, having been educated in an all girls school all my life, gave me a competitive advantage to be smarter because time was spent in studying and acquiring the leadership skills needed in a woman’s career. I was mentored during my college days to imbibe a culture of achievement and learning the power to influence others. I learned to look for opportunities that come my way without really planning what I want to do for the future. So my vision in life was to see myself as a leader in whatever capacity I am able to serve God and humanity.
What advice would you give someone interested in joining the arts and culture field?
My advice is go where your heart leads you. Whatever you choose, have a vision of what you want to be in 10 years
Also, using left and right brain makes a person is well-balanced. Sec. Briones in an article was recently quoted, that students should not only excel in STEM subjects but also appreciate the arts and culture because it is the soul of their being. You can only think “out of the box” if you use your creative mind. It is the same the other way around, if one is interested in arts and culture, you must read a lot and learn the sciences.
Like Leonardo da Vinci who used and developed mathematical ideas in the pursuit of his artistic wok, there are highly intelligent artists and arts patrons in our country. Dr. Raul Sunico, the past President of the CCP , is a renowned concert pianist. He has a masters degree in Mathematics. Dr. Joven Cuanang, a neurologist, leads the art development scene in our country. Dr. Jimmy Laya, a former Central Bank Governor, is a banker, academician, author, is an arts leader and an authority in visual arts.
Artists are in a unique position to move people. Arts inspire us, incite new questions, provoke emotions. Artists - through their works - can strengthen and push people to act and think. Art empowers the people. This is what makes it powerful. It can move people to action and make significant cultural, social and political contributions.
Can you share a memorable experience during your Maryknoll years?
My favorite time is recess (lunchtime). And I think that’s everyone’s too. I looked forward to meet up with my batch mates in the French Café (that’s what the canteen was then called) and just chat away either to discuss lessons, gossip or argue. After graduation, those moments are what bind friendships forever.
The Tales of the Manuvu is an iconic ballet that has been re-made several times. What relevant messages will this year’s presentation be conveying?
National Artist for Dance, Ballet Philippines Artistic Director and Choreographer and Maryknoller, Alice Reyes, has this to say, “Tales of the Manuvu is a most charming and entertaining rock opera ballet inspired and based on selected folk stories of the manobo tribe. But it’s underlying message : that after all the prayers and offerings made to this God or that God and to any or all the deities of the various religions of the world have been prayed and offered, man has to depend on his own resources and be responsible for his own destiny - runs true today Belief and faith are important . But so is belief in yourself”.
What phrase would you associate with Maryknoll education?
In Maryknoll, learning is reading, analytical thinking, writing and discussion, presentation and student camaraderie. All these prepared me for the world’s stage as I discovered my potential.
Margie Moran Floirendo, Business Administration graduate Class 1978 has long been a lover and patron of Filipino artistry. Currently the President of Ballet Philippines and the Chairperson of the Cultural Center of the Philippines, Margie uses her platform to promote the beauty and diversity of different Filipino art forms. Under her leadership, the well-known ballet Tales of the Manuvu will be shown at the Cultural Center of the Philippines. She is as well a strong advocate for peace and livelihood as part of the Mindanao Commission on Women Organization. She shares with us highlights of her professional journey.