REMEMBER the movie and the song, “It’s a Woman’s World” by the Four Aces; from the first movie which explored the propensities of womanhood? The trend continues. The Zontians call it “women empowerment,” this time, with a more defined involvement of women—including the underprivileged—in crafting their lives to earn a decent living, uplift their dignity, fight for gender equality and inspire the youth.
We just celebrated Teacher’s Day, and my best women mentors moulded my character: Sr. Rita Ann of Maryknoll College, Dr. Josephine Bass Serrano and Erlinda Rustia of the University of Sto. Tomas, and Dr. Lourdes Quisumbing of the University of San Carlos.
Outside of the academe, I was inspired by the leadership of pioneer Zontians Anita Sanchez, Amparo Rodil and Dr. Suga Yuvienco. Thereafter came presidents Stella Bernabe, Tina Ebrada, Matt Baguia, Merle Cunanan, Flor Streegan, Tess Chan, Nellie Chiu, Fe Necesario, Minnie Yuvienco, Lucille Colina, Chabeng Garcia and Baby Schaff.
Beling Go Ching Hai was the indefatigable president of Forward. Ingrid Sala Santamaria is the icon of arts and culture. Nelia Neri, Cookie Newman, Chinggay Utzurrum and Flor Ynclino, then Honey Loop, are the formidable lifestyle writers. Aida Uy is the active initiator of outbound travels and cruises. Alice Queblatin tops the inbound travels. Marilou Ordoñez started religious pilgrimages. Alice Woolbright and Cherrypie Callelero are the American Chamber’s pacesetters.
Tess Chan and Melanie Ng hold the record for being first women presidents of the Cebu Chamber of Commerce and Industry. The Women in Literary Arts members, led by Linda Alburo and Mayen Tan, are tops in the “circulo literatio.” The Arts Council has Marissa Fernan and Petite Garcia. Me’anne Solomon leads the crusade to fight cancer. Hats off to Jo Magsaysay, Ginny Vamenta, Malou Guanzon, Eileen Mangubat, Nini Cabaero and Michelle So, among so many women editors and writers. In the culinary and baking arts, flagbearers are Julie Urbina, Julie Gandionco, Anita Cabinian, Rufina Tanchan and Jessica Avila.
So... “It’s a woman’s world, ask any man, it’s a woman’s world,” as the song goes. Behind a man’s success is the woman, the “heart of the home.”