Published November 13, 2019, 12:00 AM

by manilabulletin_admin

Flor G. Tarriela
Flor G. Tarriela

October was a very busy month of significance starting with TOWNS 2019. I was privileged to be one of the judges in search of The Outstanding Women in Nations Service (TOWNS) 2019. The board was headed by feisty former Ombusdman Conchita Morales, TOWNS President Olivia Ferry, the brilliant Gibo Teodoro, and former PEZA Director Lilia de Lima. All nominees were all winners, they are empowered, capable women with love of country that it was extremely difficult to choose. But we must and the result as Tony Lopez puts is “one of the best batches and among the most diversified.” The 12 TOWNS awardees are:

1) Bacani, Xyza De La Cruz (Humanities) – daughter of an OFW and an OFW herself, a street and documentary photographer based in Hong Kong who raised awareness about under-reported stories of OFWs.

2) Bayombong, Carmina F. (Entrepreneurship) – founded InvestEd, giving education loans to college students declared unbankable by the financial system; developed a credit scoring algorithm that can predict if a borrower will repay or not in the absence of credit history and collateral.

3) Delgado, Clarissa Isabelle L. (Education) – co-founded Teach for the Philippines to address the reality of students’ poverty and help public school teachers become community leaders.

4) Estuar, Ma Regina Justina E. (Science & Technology) – digitized collective text narratives on the use of information and communication technologies for civic engagement.

5) Gutierrez, Karla Patricia T. (Performing Arts) – founded the Philippine Opera Company promoting the revival of and popularization of classic Filipino compositions; bringing opera to the masses from its elite status.

6) Gutoc, Samira A. (Peace Advocacy) – recognized as one of the 500 most influential Muslims by Georgetown University’s center for Muslim Christian understanding, an advocate for peace in Muslim Mindanao.

7) Perez, Gay Jane P. (Science & Technology) – worked on Satellite Remote Sensing for improving agriculture and aqua-agriculture yield.

8) Prodigalidad, Patricia Ann (Law) – topped the bar exams in 1997; an active advocate of Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR). Lone female on the Philippine panel of five accredited arbitrators of the Singapore International Arbitration Centre (SIAC).

9) Sy, Stephanie L. (Technology Entrepreneurship) –30-year-old CEO of Thinking Machines, a data consultancy company, helping institutions change the way they make decisions through data engineering, data storytelling and data strategy.

10) Usman, Rohaniza S. (Education) – founder of Teach Peace Build Peace Movement, molding young people to be peace builders through peace education, inter-faith, inter-cultural engagement.

11) Zambrano, Chiara Anne (Journalism) – Her courage to expose massive harvesting of giant clams by China in Scarborough shoal and hundreds of Chinese vessel in Pagasa Island, which is why Ms. Zambrano is now considered an authority in the West Philippine Sea and has been invited to speak on the matter by the United States and the Philippines.

12) Zamora, Geraldine T. (Health & Medicine) – Expert in rheumatology and internal medicine; powerful voice off- and on-line discussing medical topics useful to the public as well as professional growth of her colleagues.

Eventful October and hopefully make a difference in the lives of others.

Ms. Flor Gozon Tarriela is the Chairman of the Philippine National Bank. She is former Undersecretary of Finance and the First Filipino Vice President of Citibank N.A. She is a Go Negosyo 2018 Woman Intrapreneur Awardee. She is a FINEX Foundation Trustee and an Institute of Corporate Directors (ICD) Fellow. Contact her at [email protected]