What’s the biggest challenge you’ve had to face?
One of the biggest challenges I had to overcome especially, in the beginning, was the emotional struggles I had to face. At Eco Explorations, we work with various Forest & Wildlife Rangers, marginalized communities, and indigenous people. As I was exposed to the injustices that plagued the communities and people I was working with, this took an emotional toll on me – I would feel very heavy and down about things, and I couldn’t separate it from my own personal life. But I soon realized as well that if we wanted to be hope for others or to provide that hope, then we shouldn’t be the first to lose hope and we should take care of ourselves emotionally and mentally.
Was there ever a time when you felt marginalized in the workplace/society because you’re female? If yes, tell us about it.
I am very grateful that in all my encounters and experiences both professionally and personally there wasn’t a time I didn’t feel empowered or encouraged as a woman to use my voice and stand up for the things I believed in. I believe today’s society, for the most part, is respectful and encouraging of women and see the valuable role both women and men play in society. But I believe every woman should be assertive, to be bold in her pursuits and to not allow gender, disposition, or any matter to undermine her unique capacities.
What accomplishment are you most proud of?
The truth is, I believe that we should never feel that we are accomplished or that the things we’ve done are. Because we should always push ourselves to keep elevating what we’ve done, to keep improving and innovating and being creative with how we respond to our times.
I’m very honored to have the opportunity to be entrusted by the communities & people I work with to do the work called for me to do and to collaborate together to achieve collective objectives. Trust is the foundation for many relationships both personal and professional and this is something I value most, building and fostering trust amongst my partners, colleagues, and the local communities.
Who are the women that inspire you?
There are so many! Instead of narrowing down to select individuals which would not give justice to the many amazing women I am inspired by day to day, in general, I have been greatly inspired by the people in my immediate family, community and the different women I’ve encountered both professionally and personally who use their lives to contribute to something greater. Who are not self-centered instead others-centered, who are always seeking ways to use their positions to leave positive contributions where they are, and most of all who not only speak up but act according to what they believe in.
How does GCash empower you?
A mentor, our CEO in The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf would always say, “time is of the essence.” And I’ve been conditioned to be conscious and careful in how I utilize my time because it really is a valuable commodity that should be value-giving and not wasted.
Having GCash enables me to save so much time that I would have otherwise spent on doing the things it conveniently gives me access to do with not much time, and so it is one of those empowering tools in today’s mobile age.
Any words of advice for the women of the Philippines?
Never hold onto just yourself- your will power, your courage, and strength. Hold onto something bigger and do it for something bigger than yourself. For me, that was my faith in God, and the desire to use my life for His glory and to contribute to our nation.