200 trailblazing women–and one dinner to honor them all | Lifestyle.INQ

OCTOBER 27, 2022

INQUIRER chairMarixi R. Prieto, Elma Tetangco, Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas Governor Amando Tetangco Jr., Sen. Grace Poe, INQUIRER president and CEO Sandy-Prieto Romualdez
INQUIRER chairMarixi R. Prieto, Elma Tetangco, Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas Governor Amando Tetangco Jr., Sen. Grace Poe, INQUIRER president and CEO Sandy-Prieto Romualdez


Jose “Joey” Concepcion III, CEO and president of RFM Corp. and founder of Go Negosyo, challenged his wife Marissa to organize a dinner at home for 200 guests in four days.


The occasion was a tribute to Go Negosyo’s 50 Inspiring Women, a highlight of the Filipina Entrepreneurship Summit.


“For six years, we have been  honoring women. Ninety percent of our female entrepreneurs run micro and small enterprises,” he said. Concepcion said the public should know about their endeavors and be inspired.


The women came from various endeavors: Dr. Victoria Belo pioneered in developing aesthetic medicine into a famous brand, the Belo Medical Group, while her daughter, Cristalle Henares expanded the brand into nonsurgical services and ventured into retail, Belo Essentials.


Leonarda Capuyan introduced Cordillera and ikat craftsmanship to the world, with  Narda’s Handwoven Arts and Crafts. Shiela Marcelo put structure into the caregiver service with Care.com. Rosalind Wee’s agribusiness company PCI Worldwide is the Philippines’ largest producer of carrageenan, an ingredient from seaweed that is used as a food  ingredient.


Destileria Limtuaco scion Olivia Limpe-Aw brought the country’s oldest distillery into the 21st century by introducing Filipino liqueur, and also produced upscale glossy magazines for the Chinese-Filipino community.


Social entrepreneurs


JOEY Concepcion, Maria Ressa, ShielaMarcelo, Jessica Cox, Karen Davila

Then there were social entrepreneurs who founded businesses to help society, such as Nanette Medved-Po and her Hope in a Bottle; and Sen. Cynthia Villar, whose Villar Foundation creates livelihood for women.


Go Negosyo also acknowledged the women who founded influential media organizations, such as Sari Yap of One Mega Group, Maria Ressa of Rappler, and Marixi Prieto and Sandy Romualdez for expanding the Philippine Daily Inquirer and venturing into other publications.


Other women who invested their talents in other people’s business and innovated as intrapreneurs were also honored. Ma. Fe Perez-Agudo, president and CEO of Hyundai Asia Resources Inc., steered the company into dramatic sales. And Convergys senior vice president and managing director for Asia-Pacific Marife Zamora led Convergys Philippines to become one of the country’s largest private employers.


Filipino-American Jessica Cox, the world’s first armless pilot and blackbelter, was a special guest at the dinner.


The event was catered by Margarita Forés, who is on Go Negosyo’s list for inspiring the younger generation to build culinary careers, and for transforming her passions into profitable ventures. Her company Fiori di M adorned the tables with succulents, agapanthuses, purple cabbages and knotted vines from Subic.


Exotic jams


For cocktails, guests went to the formal dining room for the antipasti of homemade piadina from Negros, cold cuts, olives and local cheeses, some produced by entrepreneur Jackie Alleje of Rizal Dairy Farms; and Malagos cheeses, produced by Go Negosyo honoree Charito Puentespina. These went with exotic jams and Cordillera oranges.


In the garden, the buffet table was laden with signature dishes such as the Three-Page Salad made with grilled flatbread and organic greens, pappardelle with organic duck ragout, a carving station and a wide array of meat dishes.


Concepcion acknowledged his wife, Marissa, as the copilot for the event.


Marissa is a hostess well-known for her stylish and well-planned parties. The minimalist house and dramatic lighting, designed by architect Eduardo Calma, made a dramatic background for the fabulous parties.


Despite all the entertaining and good food overflowing in the residence, Concepcion said he has lost at least 10 lbs.


“I run every day for 30 minutes to keep the weight off.”