“Pinay and Proud!”
Sun.Star Davao, Aug. 11, 2012
Human Nature, the leading social enterprise brand for natural and organic personal care and beauty products, in partnership with Beauty Bar recently held its “Pinay & Proud Exhibit” at different partner mall establishments in Manila.
Established in November 2006 by dynamic mom of four Anna Meloto-Wilk and her sister Camille Meloto, the Human Nature founders are the daughters of Gawad Kalinga stalwart Tony Meloto. Their world-class creations are 100% made in the Philippines and 100% free from harmful chemicals. And, because the people behind the brand are celebrated social entrepreneurs, it is no surprise that the company is driven by its core philosophy: Pro-Philippines, Pro-Poor and Pro-Environment.
In its latest campaign, Human Nature’s “Pinay & Proud” is a “tribute to the uniqueness of the Filipina woman”. The company describes the Filipina as “NURTURING and encourages others to reach the full potential of their God-given talents. She is COURAGEOUS, whose inner strength goes beyond selflessness and enables her to make sacrifices for her family and country. She is an INSPIRING role model by sharing her story so they, too, can achieve great things. Lastly, she is BEAUTIFUL both inside and out, and shines her light on everything and everyone around her”.
Be inspired with these 15 remarkable women (some of them are moms!) featured during the “Pinay & Proud Exhibit” whose “astounding life stories epitomize what it means to be a true Filipina at heart” (Source: Human Nature press kit):
Aliah Dimaporo – Trailblazing Leader
Why would a successful New York-based Executive Director of the World Youth Alliance want to move back to the Philippines? Aliah, Congresswoman of the 2nd district of Lanao del Norte, shows us that going back to her Maranao roots (of which she has royal blood) fueled her return to her motherland to serve both the country and her countrymen.
Rachel Grant – The Compassionate Beauty
British-Filipina Bond girl, fearless international adventurer, actress, martial arts enthusiast and avid humanitarian. Most people associate these glamorous words with Rachel. What many don’t realize is that this beauty has an overwhelming love for the poor, and together with her mom, run the Padua Charitable Fund to give help and hope to Filipinos in need.
Lisa Macuja-Elizalde – The Devoted Dancer
Perhaps one of the most recognizable faces in the country and in the world of ballet is that of the graceful Lisa whose extreme talent and perfect ballet movements shot her to global acclaim. Today, with a heart burning with love for the craft, Lisa’s efforts are now to serve her country and countrymen, this time, by bringing ballet to the Filipino masses.
Noreen Bautista – Young Innovator
“Life is so short, and if you have the opportunity to create change, why wait?” These very words pushed Noreen to pursue her dream and co-found Jacinto & Lirio, a social enterprise creating high-end fashion bags made from water hyacinth leather. It empowers community partners all across the Philippines through sustainable livelihood.
Akiko Thomson-Guevara – The Heart of a Champion
Known for her powerful kicks and flawless strokes, Southeast Asia Games medalist and Olympian Akiko has brought much pride to the country. Despite not having a drop of Filipino blood in her (she is actually half Japanese and half American, was naturalized as a Filipina citizen by the age of 12), her love for the Philippines is what drives her to be the best, making her a true Filipina at heart.
Xilca Alvarez-Protacio – Defender of the Poor
It wasn’t an easy decision for Xilca to give up her role as a lawyer to become a full-time social entrepreneur, but the calling to help provide jobs to unemployed youths was impossible to ignore. Now the founder of Gourmet Keso and Café de Sug Sulu Coffee, she’s found fulfillment in her job by helping communities in need, in ways she never did before.
Bai Linda Eman – The Peace Builder
Many people get stunned upon learning that Bai Linda, now the Gawad Kalinga Regional Coordinator for Southern Luzon and Muslim Affairs Coordinator, was formerly an MILF Commander. A painful childhood encounter led her to believe the war between Christians and Muslims would never cease. However, through her courage and immense love for the country, she was able to overcome her pain and become an instrument of peace.
Cheche Lazaro – Pillar of Integrity
You’ve seen her on TV, in the news, on the quest to uncover the next big truth. Cheche has become an institution in the field of Philippine broadcast journalism for her unwavering integrity and her fearless exposes on the hard realities in society. She believed her job meant more than finding a “good” story. It meant giving the Filipino the truth the way it should be—unbiased and honest.
Isabel Cuevas-Santos – The Wounded Healer
After witnessing the murder of her father at 13 years old, a traumatized Isabel grew up with questions in her heart and deep-seated anger against the world. It was only upon entering Gawad Kalinga years later that she learned how to heal, forgive and live again. Now a full-time GK employee, Isabel says it’s in the very fabric of our Filipino humanity simply, “love…and be loved in return”.
Ditsi Carolino – Hope of the Forgotten
One of the most powerful instruments in the world is the camera. It can bring you to tears; make you laugh with joy, even move you to become a believer. This is why filmmaker Ditsi chose the camera as her weapon of choice in fighting for the human rights of the Filipino. Ditsi uses the power of film to show what’s not usually seen, expose truths that are kept hidden and fight tirelessly for what’s right.
Maricel Valderama – The Tireless Provider
If the value of living a life for your children could be embodied, it would be through Maricel. Simple though she may be, her life revolves around providing her family with only the best that she can give them. Despite hardships, challenges and difficulties encountered, the fire within her to be a mother and role model to her children will never cease to burn.
Eugene Domingo – The Joyful Artist
You see her face, you recognize the name, but what you don’t know is that Eugene’s passion for the arts goes beyond giving you an exceptional movie experience with her hilarious antics. Pride for both her craft and Filipino roots are the fuel to doing her best and making a mark in the local and international filmmaking scene. With numerous awards and honors under her belt, that’s just the beginning of Act 1. Eugene is full speed ahead making a name for the Philippines, one comedy at a time.
Anna Oposa – Ambassador of the Seas
Can you ever be too young to make a difference in the world? 24-year old Anna proves that age is but a number when it comes to pursuing your passion and the advocacy closest to your heart. In her case, it would be the Philippine seas. No, it’s not about being noble or gallant. For Anna, it was always the most natural thing to care for something she loved dearly. In our eyes, that makes her a hero in every way.
Maria Montelibano – The Herald of Good News
From arranging Cory Aquino’s famous speech at the US Congress in 1986 to handling Gawad Kalinga’s communications, perfectionism, a meticulous eye for detail and the drive for nothing less than excellence have always propelled Maria forward. This sought-after TV, radio, film, stage and events producer and director turned her back on running political campaigns, giving up and much more lucrative and financially-rewarding path to instead serve Gawad Kalinga almost a decade ago. Her self-sacrifice and infectious, unquenchable passion for nation building has been a beacon of inspiration for countless thousands of Filipinos volunteering for GK.
Rose Cabrera – The Homecoming Patriot
Rose was well on her way to becoming the first Filipina judge in the USA when she felt God’s gentle nudge to share her blessings and help uplift fellow Filipinos from poverty. She sold her Mercedes, left her lucrative career and took on the leadership of Gawad Kalinga USA instead. With her husband, she then built GK Cambodia, one of the first overseas GK communities. She has since come home to the Philippines and helped start GKonomics, turning her back on a life of plenty for herself to bring hope and plenty to thousands of poor Filipinos instead.
E-mail the author at email@example.com. Visit www.momabouttowndavao.blogspot.com.