“We are all beautifully created.”
This was the common message that some of the most empowering women in the country sent to the Filipino women at the second Belle de Jour Women’s Summit on Saturday, March 25 at the Samsung Hall.
The gathering was graced by Filipino women of all shapes and sizes where they learned to embrace themselves and their potential in being the best woman they can be.
“This is what it truly means to be empowered and be empowering. It means to stand by each other’s side and fight for a seat at a table to make a change in society. It means to invest, to give the Filipina a fighting chance to transform herself,” Vice President Leni Robredo said in her keynote speech.
Inspiring women in the likes of Abbygale Arenas – De Leon, Rebecca Bustamante – Mills, Jodi Sta. Maria, Hidilyn Diaz and much more shared their hardships and inspirations into becoming an empowering woman today.
Abbygale Arenas, the country’s Miss Universe representative in 1997, shared how becoming a mother became her most empowering moment in her life, and that marriage is supposed to help you grow as a person.
“Marriage is supposed to give you wings. If not, then you’re in the wrong company,” Arenas said.
Meanwhile, Emmy Nominee Jodi Sta. Maria talked about her journey into becoming one of the most successful actresses in the Philippine Entertainment industry. She said dreams are doable when broken down into goals.
“If a dream has a deadline then it turns into a goal. And when it turns into a goal, it becomes more doable. Your dream now becomes possible,” Sta. Maria said.
Meanwhile, the story of Rebecca Bustamante becoming a successful woman from an Overseas Filipino Worker has inspired the women in the summit to keep working hard no matter how much hardships life throws at you.
“If [they] can do it, so can you. It doesn’t matter where you start,” Bustamante said, adding that if anyone can be successful, a Filipina can too.
Danah and Stacy Gutierrez, founders of Plump.ph, talked about their body positivity movement and encouraged the women that they are not defined by how they look and that their looks do not define their potentials.
“You can have flaws and be flaw-some!” The Gutierrez twins said.\
Other inspiring speakers included Silver Oympic Medalist, Hidilyn Diaz; International Fashion Designer, Pia Gladys Perey; and The Bull Runner founder, Jaymie Pizarro.
The second Belle de Jour Women’s Summit with the theme “Woman Can. Women Will.” is in celebration of BDJ’s 11th year as an all-female community. Proceeds from the event will go to Ahon sa Hirap Inc., an institution that gives microfinance and other services to female entrepreneurs who live in poor urban and rural areas.