Bravo, Women: Women Leaders Lead to Good Things

Photo by CoWomen on Unsplash

Women lead — everywhere.

They lead at home. They lead in their communities. They lead companies. They have led countries. Their leadership can be so effective that it inspires change. True change.

And eight outstanding women prove just that.

Filipina Trailbazers

All awardees received P50,000 from Security Bank to help them further their cause. Also in the photo is Lifetime Awardee Lourdes Reyes-Montinola (middle), who was instrumental in re-establishing FEU as a reputable academic institution.
Image from Security Bank

The Zonta Club of Makati and Security Bank paid tribute to eight of the most remarkable women you’ll come across. They represent different sectors and diverse backgrounds. There is the real estate investment banker, the doctor, the educator, the athlete, the chef, the media personality, the social services advocate, and the chieftain. That’s right, a chieftain.

Although the contrasts were distinct, the awardees share a common goal: to make life better for others.

Meet the women driving change in their fields:

Bae Arlyn Salazar

The Bravo Woman for Arts, Culture & Heritage, Bae Salazar is the Bagobo-Tagawaba chieftain. She is recognized for her stellar work in promoting sustainable livelihood for the women in her tribe. Because their livelihood depends on the intricate beadwork that tells the story of their tribe, Bae Salazar’s achievement also extends to keeping their culture alive.

Waya Araos-Wijangco

The founder and owner of the Open Hand School of Applied Arts, a vocational school for people with special needs, is the Bravo Woman for Culinary Arts. Araos-Wijangco runs businesses that provides equal work opportunities to PWDs. She is also a supporter of sustainable and waste-free food preparation, and local farmers.

Magnolia Fernandez-Yrasuegi

The Far Eastern Broadcasting Company station manager started Blessing Rahab, a program that teaches livelihood skills to women who have been rescued from commercial sexual exploitation. The Bravo Woman awardee for Media and Public Affairs also uses her voice to inspire others to help with her cause and spread the message of hope in different communities.

Mona Magno Veluz

Image from the ASP Facebook page

President of the Autism Society of the Philippines, (ASP), Mona Magno Veluz is the Bravo Woman for Social Services. She created the ASP’s Autism Works economic empowerment program, which has given birth to projects like the AustiMALL Pilipinas, an online marketplace for products and services by persons with autism and ASP Project ChocolatA, a workshop on chocolate truffle making. She’s also taking part in an ASEAN mapping project to improve data collection on autism in the region, in aid of policy making.

Rachel Marjorie Tan

Image from the CYA website

The Bravo Woman for Science and Technology is the owner of Chen Yi Agventures (CYA), a company working to modernize rice processing and offering assistance to Leyte farmers. It’s also the first fully-integrated, sustainable rice processing facility in the country, lowering production cost but producing high-quality rice. Renucci-Tan, a former real estate investment banker, also founded the Renucci Partnership Program. The program was established after Typhoon Haiyan, and it offers low-interest, loan-in-kind venture to farmers.

Margarita Ochoa

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My entire life is an overflow of Your love, Oh Lord. ❤️☝🏼Everything I do, everything I am, is for Your glory. I love You, Jesus, with every fiber of my being. ❤️ Gold in the -45kg division at the Jiu-jitsu Asian Championship in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia! Nothing but absolute gratitude for everyone that made this possible! So so grateful to my coaches @jiujitsumanila @alisulit Hansel Co, for constantly being there and for telling me exactly what I need to know and do during my matches! Thank you also @ralphgojj back home for always helping improve my jiujitsu! Thank you to the entire @jjfphilofficial crew in Mongolia for the all out help and support! You guys are amaazing! Thank you to Oli, our miracle worker PT for helping us recover between matches. Thank you to my training partners back home in @jiujitsumanila, @atosphwolfpack, @atosjjphilippines @subsportph for always pushing me to get better and to be at my best come competition day. Thank you @phil.sportscommission For making this all possible! Thank you to @intercarechiropractic @kimmyacervo and kuya sonny for repairing my constantly broken body. Thank you coach @jeaneth_aro For helping me make weight and perform well! Thank you so much as well to my friends and family for earnestly praying!! Thank you to @jj_asianunion @jujitsuinternational @mongolianjiujitsu2007 For organizing a great event!! @hyperfly @hyperflyasia @underarmourph @anytimefitnessph #nlexcorp @bughawdigital Thank you so much oh Lord!! All for the Philippines, all for God’s glory!! ❤️🇵🇭☝🏼 #fighttoprotect #jiujitsu #jujitsu #jjfp #jjau #jjif #teamph #PSC #POC #roadtoseagames2019 #hyperflySEA #hyperfly #ycth #underarmourph

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Meggie Ochoa is blazing a trail in jiu-jitsu as a three-time world champion, and the first and only Pinay (so far) to win the Jiu-Jitsu International Federation World Champion. The Bravo Woman for Sports is also leading a movement that creates awareness on child sex abuse through Fight to Protect. She’s also been pivotal in the Safe Sport Commission, which ensures the localization of policies and measures against harassment and abuse in sports.

Ma. Rhodora Palomar-Fresnedi

Ma. Rhodora Fresnedi is the Bravo Woman for Business. She was one of the most senior Asian women to sit as Univeler’s first global vice president. She’s founded the Leadership Journey Institute, which provides development programs and coaching for health care leaders in the country. She’s also established Project Diffabilites (“different abilities”) for PWDs, which provides equal opportunities for employment and life.

Dr. Rosario Oreta-Lapus

Image from the Miriam College website

A recognized advocate of women in STEM, Dr. Oreta-Lapus is the Bravo Woman for Education.  The president of Miriam College has organized several projects to this end, including PAGE, which is a partnership of schools for girls pursuing quality education. She’s also established the first integrated makerspace in the country: the Innovation Center. The Center promotes research and creative thinking among students, giving them the tools to think outside the four walls of the classroom.

 

The energy during the awarding ceremony was overwhelming that it prompted one of the awardees, Palomar-Fresnedi to say: “So much women power here, we could run the country! Go 2020!”

No truer words were uttered, especially in a time when the country suffers from an absence of any kind of leadership from every branch of government.

But the Bravo awardees are proof that you don’t need to hold a position in government to have some kind of economic and social impact. Each one has made a mark (and continue to do so) in their respective fields, creating a wave of opportunities that would benefit generations of Filipinos.

The Bravo Empowered Women program honors women who have contributed significantly to nation building; and those who have dedicated their life’s work to service and leadership.  Modern Filipina salutes and thanks you all for your tireless efforts in uplifting the lives of so many Filipinos.

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