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In celebration of Women’s Month, today we open the Go Negosyo Women Entrepreneurship Summit at the World Trade Center in Pasay. Our theme, “Babae, tagumpay ka ng bayan!” says it all.
As we celebrate this month for women, we are also giving the very first Go Negosyo – Philippine Commission on Women (PCW) “Inspiring Women of the Year Award.” This award recognizes highly respected Filipinas who have not only excelled in their fields but also embody admirable traits of compassion, concern for others, caring for the community, and integrity. These women are known for their advocacies, their entrepreneurial and optimistic mindset, as well as their belief in promoting women’s rights.
Today, March 8, we are recognizing nine Inspiring Women of the Year from different sectors.
One of them is Gina Lopez, the managing director of ABS-CBN Foundation, one of this country’s biggest non-government organizations. ABS-CBN Foundation is known for outreach programs that provide assistance to child-abuse survivors and disaster victims, childcare, and support for educational and environmental initiatives.
Gina initiated Bantay Bata’s 163 media-based hotline, one of the foundation’s programs for children. She also spearheaded “Bantay Kalikasan,” implementing projects addressing environmental issues in the Philippines. Among her many other projects, she also produces educational television shows on different subjects for elementary and high school students. Gina is also the vice chairman of the ABS-CBN Bayan Foundation, which provides microfinance assistance to micro-entrepreneurs. She is one of the Filipina icons who extends wholehearted service to her countrymen.
Asia’s Queen of Song Pilita Corrales is also one of the Inspiring Women of the Year. Her musical artistry and flair has led her to a much-acclaimed 50-year career in the performing arts. Pilita is a brand — a name — synonymous with award-winning songs. She is an established name, not only in the Philippines, but also in the world. This Cebuana is truly an institution in the entertainment industry.
Aside from her outstanding accomplishments in the entertainment field, Pilita is also an entrepreneur. She owns and manages her Tangerine Mediterranean Restaurant, which she personally attends to at times. Pilita is a woman who pursues her passions no matter what. She is an inspiration to the many Filipinas out there with the talent and the drive to succeed in their chosen field.
From Gina and Pilita we also recognize one of this country’s most respectable and admirable personalities: teachers. Meet Maria Christina Medina, or Teacher Tina to her students at the Laguna Resettlement Community School. In spite of her loss of sight, Teacher Tina continues to embody the determination and passion for teaching excellence. She overcame physical barriers to pursue her purpose in life, which is to be a catalyst of change through teaching. When Teacher Tina lost her eyesight during her early 30s because of a hereditary condition, she did not give up being a teacher to her students. In fact, she does not even consider losing her eyesight as the weakest point in her life. She believes that it was the point in her life that made her stronger, because she knew that she had a mission to fulfill.
Next in line is Esther Vibal. In the male-dominated world of publishing, Esther stood out and steered her company into becoming the pillar it now is in the industry. She laid the foundations of Vibal’s textbook-publishing division. Esther has also maintained Vibal Publishing House’s 60 years of excellence by successfully steering the publishing house into the digital age and venturing into online and digital publishing.
Aside from Esther’s entrepreneurial ventures, she also devotes most of her time and dedication to being a civic leader and advocate for women’s causes. For many years, she served as one of the commissioners of the National Commission on the Role of Filipino Women (now PCW).
Our next Inspiring Women of the Year Awardee is a very spirited woman who performs her duties as entrepreneur, humanitarian, mother, and wife. Aside from carrying out all these duties, Rosalind Wee also enjoys playing golf despite being legally blind after a brain tumor operation.
We recognize Rosalind for demonstrating her entrepreneurial skill in the food ingredient and real estate business. She has also displayed her commitment to uplifting the welfare of children and women through her relief missions, livelihood development programs and leadership of socio-civic organizations in the Philippines. Rosalind serves as the president of the Pearl S. Buck Foundation Philippines, Inc. and also president of the Philippine Federation of Local Councils of Women, among her other roles in different organizations.
A well-respected public figure, Solita Collas-Monsod or Mareng Winnie is also one of our Inspiring Women of the Year. People draw inspiration from her caring nature, ability to speak independently and competently, relentless pursuit of socioeconomic policies and untiring zeal for fairness and truth. Mareng Winnie is a highly regarded and devoted educator, economist, columnist, political commentator and award-winning broadcaster. She is one of the women who have established solid credibility through hard work, conviction and dedication to her profession.
Our next awardee is one of Go Negosyo’s featured entrepreneurs in our first book. Ma. Auxilio Rufino-Prieto, or simply Marixi, enjoyed the world of business since she was very young. Now, with all her accomplishments and successes in entrepreneurship and other aspects in her life, she serves as an inspiration to many other Filipinas. We recognize her for her print media advocacy and tireless support for various foundations such as Gawad Kalinga, Habitat for Humanity, LRP Foundation, and Lay Education on Heart Disease.
Our eighth awardee is a committed volunteer, multi-awarded environmentalist, feminist, author, journalist, lecturer and researcher. We also have on our list Leonarda Camacho. She authored the RA 9003 Solid Waste Management Law, implementing the “Linis-Ganda” recycling program that promotes environment protection and contributes millions to the underground economy. Leonarda also continues to champion environmental causes here in the Philippines and abroad.
Last but definitely not least is Marylindbert International CEO Linda Legaspi. She is known for her numerous advocacy campaigns in sports development, nutrition and hygiene, music, culture and the arts, crafts and values education. Linda is committed to making quality education accessible among the youth. Aside from books and scholarships, she has also set up engaging exhibitions. Linda has also championed numerous advocacies and partnerships with corporations that aim to create a positive impact on Filipino’s lives.
They are the nine Go Negosyo – PCW Inspiring Women of the Year. Through their positive and enterprising mindset and belief in empowering women, they have proven that highly respected Filipinas not only excel in their fields but also embody admirable traits of compassion, concern for others, integrity, and care for the community.
E-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org, or through my Joey Concepcion Facebook account. Visit www.gonegosyo.net. Watch the Go Negosyo: Kaya Mo! show on QTV every Saturday and Sunday, 8-8:30 a.m., with replays on NBN every Sunday from 9:15-10 p.m.