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Women of impact

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Women’s position in society evolved remarkably over the decades. Knowing the gentle yet fierce nature of a woman, the long struggle to gain a significant right and seat, to be heard and seen. Temendously changed the world positively.This twist of fate awakened the sleeping goddess, which embodies both the sun and the moon or “hatha”. The sun that  gives hope, strength & courage, and the moon that brings your attention inward – shifting your perspective in the highest form of wisdom – cultivates kindness and compassion. The force of the evolution of women standing today, carried to sky heights prominence – perhaps our women ancestors could only dreamt of.

I am privileged to be surrounded with strong sharp beautiful kind women in business and in my personal life. To bring more cheers and inspiration, I picked some incredible wonders to share their stories, not only because of the impact they made in shaping communities, touching lives,– but foremost, because of their unbelievable life inspiring stories and authenticity.

Questions: 1. How do you empower yourself and the women around you? 2. What are some of your personal experiences (or reasons) that motivated you to think/care about women’s empowerment? 3. What makes you a strong woman?How do you maintain your overall wellbeing?

IMG_7182.jpegMonette Iturralde-Hamlin, CEO/Founder, TeamAsia; President GAIN (Government Academe Industry Network; Chairwoman, Hopkins International Partners Inc.

Empowering women starts at home.  By treating each other with respect, love, service, and equity, parents teach their children the right values to live by.  Education and continuous learning enable women to become financially independent, boosting their confidence, and serving as their protection. By serving as mentors, role models, and supporters, we can empower under-represented women to achieve their full potential. I help by writing and talking about the challenges women face and what can be done to overcome these.

When my father died, our finances changed drastically, and my mother converted our home into a boarding house. Despite the difficulties of bringing up five children in a foreign country and without a formal higher education, my mom never gave up. She told us she could only give us a good education. Thisinspired me to study and work hard so I too could take care of my family.

I grew up surrounded by strong women who taught me that I could do anything if I put my heart and passion into, worked hard, and did my best always, and that however difficult life is, God will see me through it. For self-care: I pray, exercise, and eat healthy.  To de-stress, I read, paint, and travel.

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Priyalashmi Murugesan, Co-Founder & President of Indian Women in Enterprise Philippines Inc/BPO Leader/Human Values Educator

I empower myself and women around me through mentorship, advocacy, and creating opportunities for growth. I believe in fostering a supportive community where women can network, learn from each other, and access resources to thrive in their entrepreneurial and professional endeavors. My personal experiences as a woman navigating the corporate world  inspired to prioritize women’s empowerment. I witnessed firsthand the challenges and barriers that women face in male-dominated families and businesses. My passion for gender equality and creating a level playing field for women motivated me to establish Indian Women in Enterprise

My strength lies in my spiritual grounding, resilience and unwavering commitment to championing women’s rights and empowerment. I am a challenger of societal norms and stereotypes, paving the way for other women to break barriers and achieve their full potential. I lead to inspire and empower.Maintaining overall well-being is work in progress. I used to put myself last being the eldest in the family. But I consciously improve on myself now. I have a schedule for physical, spiritual and mental exercise. I am very conscious of the company I keep. For anything that I lack there is always my family to compensate and keep me well.

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Maria Venus Tan, Chairperson, Creative Baguio City Council CBCC), Former COO, Tourism Promotions Board of the Philippines 

Passion is what keeps me empowered. Having been privileged to be a public servant  for many years provided me insightful exposures, to different scenarios, cultures and traditions. Meeting encounters, various travels, both local and global. Unique experiences are valuable motivations that kept me grounded and focused – inspired me to  pursue  ambitious programs I advocate. To uplift not only women, but all Filipinos spirit.

I probably inspired women through my speaking engagements, sharing the valuable knowledge and inspiring experiences I earned throughout the years. Plus them witnessing the successes of my original initiated projects. I am fortunate to hold an executive position in the government, which provides a platform to execute reforms and programs for the greater benefit of communities especially women.

As a woman who experienced the different tides of life, nothing is more rewarding than to see other women win their wars. Strength is about  the wisdom  to do what is right. If i am  able to uplift and make a difference in people’s lives, that satisfaction is the most rewarding motivation to keep me challenging the status quo. For my wellness, I balance my work and family activities. I pray regularly to maintain a personal relationship with our Maker. Health and wellbeing comes from a positive  attitude and a hopeful view of life.

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Maria Pia Paz-Sy, Founder & Proprietor, For Keeps (clean beauty)

As a mother and entrepreneur, nurturing the people I love and advocating for the things I care about is how I best empower myself. By starting my own company, I found my voice and spot. Working alongside many strong women is another important ingredient that built my confidence. Our world today is led by such independent and vocal female figures, I realized from them, that by empowering myself I unconsciously empower others through being a good example and through my generous selfless acts.

Being born on 1966, I witnessed how times have changed the stature of a woman in our now modern society. In my era, women were expected to behave in certain manner, had no say and not seen. Growing up in the province and moving to Manila alone at a young age, was not only challenging that time, but also isolating – made me tough. Before founding my company “For Keeps”, I was a mom first to my three children. After raising my youngest daughter, whom I made sure I equipped well with all the qualities and things that I did not have when I was  growing up, I started venturing into business. It is presentlythe inspiration that makes push my limits and set me on fire.

Being a woman alone is a gift, for it means you are strong. I fought many battles in my life which made me stronger. I am thankful because these experiences stimulated my personal growth and grounded my values. My family who I cherish so much gives me more strength to be at my best. Treatingeveryone with kindness and love especially the less fortunate empowers me. This simple acts makes me whole.

Every day, I choose my foods and drinks mindfully to stay healthy. I make a conscious effort to be physically active, get enough sleep, pray a lot, and surround myself with positive energy. I never sweep my problems under the rug but rather, address them head on. I appreciate every single blessings – big or small. It truly makes me happy in the mind and spirit.

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Joana Sy-Yang, Entrepreneur, Board of director, Mary the Queen Church 

I empower myself by building up my self-confidence continuously. I do a lot of travelling and immersed in different cultures to further my understanding and enrich my knowledge. Reading books is another way that broadened my outlook and knowledge., I participate in educational conventions and seminarswhich made me discover my own abilities and possibilities. I empower other women by sharing my life experiences specially the unpleasant ones I championed at the end. I do life mentorship programs to those who needs helpand guidance free of charge.

Dad left us when i was a baby, i saw the difficulties of a broken family.  From those experiences, i told myself to work on creating a solid happy family and empower my three lovely daughters. I financed my studies, studying at night and working at daytime. That circumstance is a big proponent of my resilience, strength and strong mindset. I remember when I was young, I dreamt of being a president of a big company, which eventually happened. I realized that by believing in yourself, you can be who you want to be, no matter what.

Throughout the years I manage to handle my family and work duties with proper balance – to keep my mind at peace and to ensure my mental wellbeing.I also regularly exercise, eat a well-balanced diet, stay optimistic, avoid negative environment and get together with my dear fun friends. To keep me well, I keep myself busy by engaging in handy crafts or travel, read a book and mostly, pamper myself.

 

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