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Bravo, women! by Ma. Stella F. Arnaldo | Business Mirror

Bravo, women! by Ma. Stella F. Arnaldo | Business Mirror

EIGHT remarkable Filipinas were recently recognized for their invaluable contributions in their respective fields, and their work’s impact on the economy and society.

On July 25, Security Bank Corp. (SBC), together with the Zonta Club of Makati and Environs, presented the winners of the 3rd Bravo Empowered Women Awards at the JYD Hall of Security Bank Center in Makati. 

The Bravo Empowered Women Awards program honors changemakers, achievers, and advocates of social change nationwide. It also acknowledges the contributions of notable individuals who demonstrate an incredible dedication to service and leadership.

This year’s winners were selected across a broad range of demographics and interesting backgrounds, which include a tribal chieftain from Davao; a 29-year-old Jiu-jitsu world champion; and a former investment banker who established the first sustainable and most technologically advanced rice processing complex in the Philippines.

MA. RHODORA P. FRESNEDI (Business). Fresnedi was the first global vice president for Unilever in London, and served as one of the most senior Asian women working in the company.

She also holds senior advisor positions in organizations such as the Center for Talent Innovation and the Hidden Brain Drain Project. She founded the Leadership Journey Institute, which provides development programs and coaching for health-care leaders in the country, and Project Diffabilities (or Different Abilities) for people with disabilities, which enables PWDs to secure equal opportunities for employment and for life.

RACHEL MARJORIE RENUCCI-TAN (Science and Technology). Renucci-Tan is the owner of Chen Yi Agventures (CYA), a private company focused on modernizing rice processing and providing assistance to farmers in Leyte.

A former real-estate investment banker and fund manager, Renucci-Tan and her husband established the Renucci Partnership Program after Supertyphoon Yolanda struck Leyte in 2013. The program extends low-interest, loan-in-kind venture to farmers.  Established in 2015, CYA is the first sustainable, fully integrated rice processing complex in the country, which has lowered production costs while yielding high-quality rice.

MARGARITA P. OCHOA (Sports). A three-time jiu-jitsu world champion, Ochoa is also the first and only Filipina to have become the Ju-Jitsu International Federation world champion, and the first Asian to win the top prize.

When not training, Ochoa teaches at Jiu-jitsu Manila. She is currently leading the Fight to Protect movement, which aims to create awareness about child sexual abuse through jiu-jitsu. She was also instrumental in pushing for a Safe Sport Commission, an agency to ensure the localization of policies and measures against abuse and harassment in sports.

MAGNOLIA FERNANDEZ-YRASEUGUI (Media/Public Affairs). As station manager of the Far Eastern Broadcasting Co., Fernandez-Yraseugui began a program called “Blessing Rahab” last February, working with commercial sex workers to teach them livelihood skills so they can leave their profession.

She uses her voice not only to encourage others to take part in her championed causes, but also to spread messages of hope in the various communities and sectors she works with.

DR. ROSARIO ORETA-LAPUS (Education). As president of Miriam College, Oreta-Lapus aims for a fuller integration of Steam (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, Math) in the curriculum.

She also spearheaded Project Cogent (Cooperation for Girls’ Education, Nurturance and Training), where a gathering of 18 girls’ schools led to the creation of Page (Philippine Alliance for Girls’ Education), a partnership towards the pursuit of quality girls’ education.

MONA MAGNO VELUZ (Social SERVICES). Veluz is the national president of the Autism Society of the Philippines and the brain behind its Autism Works economic empowerment program. Among its projects are the ASP AustiMALL Pilipinas, a virtual marketplace for products and services by Persons With Autism, and ASP Project ChocolatA, a workshop for chocolate truffle making.

She is also participating in an Asean mapping project to improve data collection on autism in Southeast Asia to help craft policy in the region.

WAYA ARAOS-WIJANGCO (Culinary Arts). Araos-Wijangco is the owner and founder of the Open Hand School of Applied Arts, a vocational school she established in 2011 for people with special needs to learn basic skills. She is also the owner of Gourmet Gypsy Art Cafe, a social enterprise where 30 percent of the staff have special needs.

Aside from her work in giving PWDs a sense of dignity, purpose, and pride, Araos-Wijiangco aims to promote sustainable and waste-free food preparation and support for local farmers.

BAE ARLYNE SALAZAR (Arts, Culture and Heritage). Salazar heads the Bagobo-Tagawaba tribe in Davao del Sur, and also manages the Bagobo Arts and Crafts Center on behalf of the Bagobo Tagabawa Council. As one of the first female chieftains, Salazar champions Bagobo culture by teaching beadwork to her fellow tribeswomen, while narrating stories about their ancestors.

She strives to promote sustainable livelihood for Bagobo women, with their beadwork and embroidery sold abroad. Aside from mentorship, Salazar also engages institutions to educate the women on financial literacy.

LOURDES REYES-MONTINOLA (Lifetime Achievement). This year’s Lifetime Achievement Award was accorded to Lourdes Reyes-Montinola, chairman emeritus of Far Eastern University’s Board of Trustees, for helping reestablish FEU as a prominent educational institution.

Also, in 1991, she authored Piña, which helped revive the local piña fabric industry. Her memoir about the fate of 100,000 civilians during the Battle of Manila, titled Breaking the Silence, won the National Book Award for Biography in 1997.

“The accomplishments of these women are as breathtaking as the lives they chose to lead,” said Ada Mabilangan, chairman of 8 Bravo Empowered Women Awards. “What’s more inspiring is their unrelenting commitment to uplift the lives of Filipinos from socially marginalized sectors. We are privileged to put a spotlight on the exemplary work they do,” she added.

SBC President and CEO Sanjiv Vohra believes the Bravo awards are aligned with the spirit of the bank’s mission to uphold conscientious decisions and actions for a sustainable Philippines.

“Our corporate success is sustainable only if we lead positive social change. We are committed to the ideals of ‘BetterBanking’, which entails creating better opportunities for all. Our partnership with Zonta, through the Bravo awards, aims to promote the important roles and contributions of women in today’s landscape. Their work needs to be supported, highlighted, and increasingly recognized,” said Vohra.

This year’s judges were Maria Isabel Ongpin, herself an 8 Bravo Awardee for Arts, Culture and Heritage in 2015; Former Supreme Court Justice and former Ombudsman Conchita Carpio-Morales; Olivia Villafuerte, dean of Arts and Sciences, Philippine Women’s University, and director of Zonta Club of Makati and Environs; Dr. Jikyeong Kang, SBC director, and president and dean of the Asian Institute of Management; and Cherrie Atilano, founder and CEO of the Agricultural Systems International Inc.

Founded in 1919, Zonta International is a global organization of executives and professionals working together to advance the status of women worldwide through service and advocacy. With more than 30,000 members belonging to more than 1,200 Zonta Clubs in 63 countries and geographic areas, Zontians all over the world volunteer their time, talents and support to local and international service projects, as well as scholarship programs aimed at fulfilling Zonta’s mission and objectives.

SOURCE: Business Mirror  > https://businessmirror.com.ph/2019/08/02/bravo-women/


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