“Each time a woman stands up for herself, without knowing it possibly, without claiming it, she stands up for all women.” —Maya Angelou
My love of Africa has brought me on unforgettable safari trips for almost two decades. During each African safari adventure, I have experienced the incredible wonders of the African wilderness. The spirit of this beautiful continent has connected with me, and it still remains on my “bucket list” as a destination.
In the wild, I have seen the big cats—leopards, lions and cheetahs—at close quarters in broad daylight, allowing me to capture their essence and learn about their behavior. I have also witnessed the challenges in their continued survival.
During the hunt of a pride of lions, we watched the lionesses hunt wild boars. After several minutes of the chase, they were unsuccessful and went away to hunt another prey.
On another safari ride, we saw a pack of wild dogs hunting impalas. Here, they were more successful because they banded together to corner their victim. And just like life (like a pack of wolves), when we stay together, we are stronger and can win the fight for women.
As we celebrate Women’s Month this March, we focus on women empowerment. Empowering women is viewed as one of the central concerns in the process of sustainable development for many nations.
We may be on our individual journeys of defining our purpose as women, but we all are part of the communal change to make this world a better place for all women. When we put aside our judgments of indifference and bitterness to fellow women, we become a beautiful community of love.
Sometimes all that a woman needs is a listening ear. Being there for a friend also means being there with an open mind to listen to them when they share or vent. Especially during this rough phase in the pandemic, staying connected to a girlfriend or someone in an emotional crisis, and being present for them just to listen without judgment, is extremely helpful.
I am happy to be part of a batch of empowered women who continuously work on giving back. We were classmates more than 40 years ago.
Keeping our Assumption HS ‘81 Foundation alive, some of my classmates have started a pickleball campaign to bring communities together. Classmates Stella Almeda-Lopez Lavy, a member of the Pretty Picklers in New Jersey, and Maite Gonzales started collecting donations to start this sport in remote communities.
The fastest growing sport in America is slowly making its way to other countries, including the Philippines. A combination of tennis, pingpong and badminton, it is becoming popular, as it’s very easy to pick up and learn for anyone, from age 8 to 80. People who have tried it for the first time find themselves playing the game in 30 minutes or less.
Since the game is played in a court that is 20 feet wide and 40 ft long, with paddles and a net, it can be easily played on a street and is a relatively low-cost sport. Communities throughout the Philippines, in Pangasinan and other parts of Metro Manila, have found that it is a great activity for both children and adults to play in the street or in the barangay park of a community center, especially during the pandemic.
In Rosales, Pangasinan, many clubs have sprouted up with tournaments that have been a great way to build community spirit, bringing people together. There have also been several pickleball organizations that have formed, such as the Philippine Pickleball Federation, to promote the sport in the Philippines.
Even groups in the United States have formed to promote it in the Philippines. One group of pickleball enthusiasts from the United States called Pickleball Without Borders, headed by Rodel Chiu of Texas, has planned a mission trip to the Philippines this June to teach kids how to play the sport. As the Filipino pickleball community in the United States learned about this, one pickleball club in New Jersey called the Pretty Picklers quickly wanted to support and promote the mission trip.
Stella and childhood friend Maite collected paddles, balls, cash donations with the help of the local pickleball clubs and friends in New Jersey and New York to support the several communities that mission trip plans to visit this summer.
Throughout the whole month of March, women take center stage at SM Supermalls. For inspiring us with their voice, their courage in everything they do, SM Supermalls salutes all “Women of The World” by giving them what their hearts desire most.
Great finds are on sale at the Womenpreneur Market, a gathering of pop-ups of small and medium business endeavors for women, by women. This market will continue until March 15.
The Home Edit Fair for Women opens a world of hobbies that women love to indulge in. Interior designing, gardening, baking, art and other ways of sprucing up the home have taken the fancy of today’s women. The Home Edit Fair is open from March 16 to March 31.
Availing of discounted prices for pampering treats makes it even more irresistible. For the whole month of March, women can get great deals from wellness salons at SM Supermalls, from facials, hair and body treatments to nail care and massage. Women’s Wellness is on until March 31.
At the hybrid summit on March 8, women empowerment was the focus. Hosted by Karen Davila, the event featured guest speakers like Rissa Mananquil-Trillo, Antoinette Taus, Sam Tamayo and many more. Keynote speaker was Steven Tan.
Wilcon Depot, the Philippines’ leading home improvement and construction supply retailer, opened their 74th branch on Friday in Mayamot, Antipolo. The powerhouse women behind Wilcon Depot, president and CEO Lorraine Belo-Cincochan and Wilcon Depot SEVP-COO Rosemarie Bosch-Ong, headed the ribbon cutting ceremony at the third branch in Rizal.
Wilcon Depot Mayamot is the company’s first branch to open this year. They are targeted to open a total of 10 branches by the end of the year. I am proud to be the Wilcon Depot ambassador for many years now.
Happy Women’s Month to all the empowered women out there! Make a difference in your tribe! INQ
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