A true steward of the environment, Billie serves as a Trustee of the award-winning conservation project Masungi Georeserve. Billie’s interests in sustainability and creativity drive her to protect Rizal’s nature and biodiversity through geotourism, making this wildlife sanctuary recognized by top conservation and sustainable tourism organizations around the world.
Briefly describe your areas of expertise or advocacies. How long have you been doing these?
I help conserve threatened limestone formations and hundreds of native biodiversity in Baras, Rizal, through education, protection, and sustainable development. I joined the team conducting these efforts in 2016 after a couple of years in the corporate world.
Among your interests, which one has been your driving force?
I have so many interests, but what I pursue depends on where I feel I am most needed at a certain time. The environment in the Philippines is experiencing a lot of big challenges. I felt that my interest in sustainability as well as creativity could contribute to solving those challenges.
To what would you attribute your achievement/s?
Mostly luck. I was privileged to have such a supportive and empowering family of visionaries. Growing up with them has shaped me to be the woman I am today. But I also take pride in doing my best in everything that I do, and making sure they are remarkable.
In what ways did your Maryknoll/Miriam education impact your life and profession?
My grade school and high school experience in Miriam challenged me with holistic education. There were at least 11 subjects and we were challenged to be good at all of them, whether math, science, PE or music. That taught me flexibility, agility, and discipline. The school has also always been very big in environmental education and social impact, so it definitely contributed to my social consciousness.
Can you share a memorable experience during your years in Maryknoll/Miriam College?
I remember organizing the high school fairs yearly with the student council. That was my first practical experience at leadership and working with teams. It was the largest student-led event at the school, and it was always so fun and challenging to organize and implement even though there were sleepless nights.
What career or life accomplishment makes you most proud?
I am very proud that the Masungi Georeserve has been recognized globally by top conservation and sustainable tourism organizations in the world, despite our relatively smaller resources and younger organization. It is amazing to be able to represent the country on the global stage.
What advice would you give our students who wish to pursue the same path?
You are needed in the environment sector. As much as there are huge challenges, there is also a lot of momentum, enjoyment, and opportunity in conserving nature.
In one sentence, how would you describe a Maryknoll/Miriam graduate?
Empowered and not afraid to mark her own path in the world.