Women in Focus:

Celebrating Inspiring Narratives

Project Headshot Clinic, Ayala Malls, and Pinay Girl Boss proudly present “Women in Focus,” a captivating photo exhibit in honor of International Women’s Month 2024. This exhibition showcases a remarkable collection of past and present headshots, featuring extraordinary women and their inspiring stories—stories that have shaped and nurtured their respective communities.

Why Women Matter:

A Call for Inclusion

This year’s International Women’s Month theme underscores the vital role women play in society. It’s a reminder to recognize and celebrate their immense contributions. As we focus on women’s narratives, we acknowledge their resilience, creativity, and unwavering commitment to progress. Investing in women isn’t just essential; it’s imperative for a thriving and equitable world.

Empowering Collaborations

At the Project Headshot Clinic, led by photographer Niccolo Cosme, we are dedicated to illuminating the diverse stories of inspiring women. Their narratives serve as beacons for the next generation of dreamers and change-makers. This year, our theme collaborates with designer Nat Manilag, whose fashion creations have empowered women for years. Some of these remarkable women proudly wear Nat’s designs in their headshots, complemented by flawless makeup from Strokes Cosmetics by Momoi Supe—an ally in women’s empowerment.

A Grateful Partnership

None of this would be possible without our partnership with Mango Tree restaurant who has supported Project Headshot Clinic’s Women’s Month campaigns for many years now and together with Pinay Girl Boss, under the leadership of Atty. Tina de Guzman. This community of powerful advocates ensures that these narratives and headshots are accessible digitally through pinaygirlboss.com.

Together, we amplify the voices of women, celebrating their strength, resilience, and boundless potential.

Myrza Sison

Confidence Coach, Podcaster, Journalist, Model

Photo: Project Headshot Clinic’s Women’s Month Campaign 2024 By Niccolo Cosme / Kevin Cosme

Myrza Sison:

Empowering Dreams and Amplifying Voices

Myrza Sison is on a mission—to ignite the flames of empowerment within women, fueling their aspirations and turning dreams into reality. As a motivational speaker, certified executive, and confidence coach, she stands at the forefront of inspiring change.

The “You Can Do This” Podcast: A Beacon of Empowerment
Every week, Myrza hosts the captivating podcast “You Can Do This” on Spotify, presented by The PodNetwork Entertainment. In this empowering space, she engages with experts, entrepreneurs, leaders, and go-getters. Through insightful interviews, she equips her listeners with knowledge, motivation, and inspiration to dream boldly and embrace their fullest potential.

A Journey Forged in Words
Myrza’s gift lies in her ability to connect with audiences. Her journey began in the vibrant world of lifestyle journalism, where she held the prestigious position of editor-in-chief at Cosmopolitan, Marie Claire, FemaleNetwork.com, and Spot.ph. Her words have always resonated through the years: shaping trends, sparking conversations, and celebrating the essence of womanhood.

Literary Pursuits and Empowerment Manuals
Beyond the headlines, Myrza is a Palanca Awardee for fiction—a testament to her literary prowess. She still weaves magic through her pen, crafting two significant works. The first—a collection of short stories that delve into the human experience, touching hearts and minds. The second—an empowering manual titled “Join Lang Nang Join” urging readers to embrace their unique paths and rise together.

Myrza Sison’s legacy is one of empowerment, resilience, and unwavering belief in the power of women. Through her words, she invites us all to join hands, dream fearlessly, and create a world where every voice matters.

Elizabeth Angsioco

Multi-awarded veteran feminist, advocate of human and women’s rights.

Photo: Project Headshot Clinic’s UN Women Campaign 2023 By Niccolo Cosme

Elizabeth Angsioco:

Champion of Women’s Rights

National Chairperson, Democratic Socialist Women of the Philippines (DSWP)
Elizabeth Angsioco, a feminist and internationally acclaimed women’s rights advocate, leads the Democratic Socialist Women of the Philippines (DSWP). Her unwavering commitment to empowering women—especially those from marginalized backgrounds—has shaped her remarkable journey.

NGO Representative, Inter-Agency Oversight Committee on the Safe Spaces Act (IAOCSSA)
As an influential voice, Elizabeth actively contributes to policy discussions and initiatives related to safe spaces for women. Her advocacy ensures that women’s voices are heard and their safety protected.

Co-Convenor, Reproductive Health Advocacy Network (RHAN)
Elizabeth’s dedication extends to reproductive health rights. Through RHAN, she collaborates with fellow advocates to promote comprehensive reproductive health services, education, and empowerment.

Board Member, Philippine Council on Population and Development (PCPD)
Her strategic role within the PCPD allows her to influence policies that impact population dynamics, family planning, and women’s well-being.

Elizabeth Angsioco’s legacy is one of resilience, compassion, and tireless advocacy. Her work continues to inspire generations of women, fostering a more equitable and empowered society.

Bai Rohaniza Sumndad-Usman:

Peace Hero, Teach Peace Build Peace Founder

Photo: Project Headshot Clinic’s Women’s Month Campaign 2020 By Niccolo Cosme

Bai Rohaniza Sumndad-Usman:

Teach Peace Build Peace Movement: Building a Citizenry of Peace Heroes, One Child, One Family, One School and One Community at a Time.

A Visionary’s Quest
Bai Rohaniza Sumndad-Usman’s foundation of the Teach Peace Build Peace Movement (TPBPM) stands as a testament to her profound belief in peace’s transformative power. Her leadership has not just given birth to a movement; it has sparked a revolution of peace that permeates through the fabric of Philippine society.

Nurturing Empathy and Compassion
Bai Rohaniza’s philosophy centers on the conviction that every child possesses an innate capacity for peace, necessitating only guidance and nurture. Her approach through TPBPM, which is Peace Education at the very core, emphasizes the development of empathy, compassion, and tolerance, addressing societal prejudices and fostering a generation committed to harmony.

Building a Peaceful Tomorrow
Her relentless dedication has cultivated a diverse community, united in the pursuit of peace. Bai Rohaniza’s efforts have transformed TPBPM into a sanctuary where trust, dialogue, and alliance flourish, proving that peace begins with the individual and expands to encompass the world. Peace Education of TPBPM is a meticulously crafted design to address the multifaceted nature of conflict and the essence of proactive citizenship peacebuilding, meant to be sown in the fertile minds of learners across schools and communities. Here, the cognitive, affective, and active dimensions of learning coalesce to form a robust foundation for peace-building.

Legacy of Transformation
The impact of Bai Rohaniza’s work shines in the lives she has touched and the societal shift towards non-violence and understanding she has inspired. Her vision for a peaceful future is a guiding light for many, showing that true peace is achievable through education, understanding, and collective action. TPBPM’s family is ever-growing, a mosaic of young souls from diverse faiths, cultures, and languages, united in their quest for peace. Their collective journey is built on the pillars of trust, familial bonds, dialogue, and alliance—each element crucial in the building of a citizenry of peace heroes. The movement continues to transform lives, fostering a more peaceful and mindful society—one child, one hero at a time.

Under Bai Rohaniza Sumndad-Usman’s stewardship, TPBPM embodies the enduring power of peace advocacy. Her journey is a beacon of hope, demonstrating that one person’s vision can indeed pave the way for a more harmonious world, making Bai Rohaniza not just a founder but a true architect of peace.

Maxene Magalona

Actress. Mental Health Advocate.

Project Headshot Clinic’s Women’s Month Campaign 2022 by Niccolo Cosme

Maxene Magalona:

From Showbiz Legacy to Wellness Luminary – A Tale of Resilience and Healing

Embracing Wellness Amidst Adversity
Maxene Magalona’s transformation into a wellness and holistic advocate is a powerful narrative of self-discovery and healing. Her journey began amidst the global lockdown, where she found herself in Bali, embarking on a 200-hour Yoga Teacher Training. This was not just a retreat; it was a pivotal moment for Maxene, who was grappling with Complex Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (C-PTSD). Through yoga, meditation, and therapy, she sought to balance her emotions and release the negative energy that had accumulated from past traumas.

Inspiring Resilience and Empowerment
Her story, deeply resonant during this celebration of International Women’s Month, showcases resilience and empowerment of facing vulnerabilities head-on. Maxene’s commitment to mental health advocacy and her openness about her struggles serve as an inspiration to women worldwide. She embodies the essence of women’s empowerment: the courage to face one’s vulnerabilities, the strength to seek help, and the determination to turn one’s life around.

Advocating for Societal Change
Maxene’s advocacy for wellness goes beyond personal transformation; it’s a beacon for societal change. By sharing her tools of kindness, compassion, devotion, and love, she contributes to alleviating the ongoing challenges in her home country. Her work aligns with the broader movement of women’s empowerment, which emphasizes promoting women’s sense of self-worth, their ability to determine their own choices, and their right to influence social change.

A Chapter in Women’s Empowerment
Maxene Magalona’s evolution into a wellness and holistic advocate is not just a personal triumph but a chapter in the larger story of women’s empowerment. It’s a testament to the idea that when women heal themselves, they can become powerful agents of change for their communities and beyond

Maxene Magalona’s journey reflects a powerful message: personal healing fosters universal empowerment. Her commitment to wellness transcends individual triumph, lighting a path for collective resilience and change. As she shares her story, she embodies the transformative power of facing adversity with courage, inspiring a ripple effect of empowerment that resonates far beyond her own experiences. Maxene’s narrative is not just her own but a beacon of hope for all, proving that true strength lies in the heart of healing and the spirit of advocacy.

Karen Davila
Rissa Mananquil – Trillo
Bianca Gonzalez
Iza Calzado

Photo: Project Headshot Clinic’s UN Women Campaign 2023 By Niccolo Cosme

Empowering Voices:

The She Talks Asia Movement Against Violence

Empowering Voices: The She Talks Asia Movement Against Violence

A Unified Call for Change
In the realm of advocacy, the collective power of individual voices can forge a path toward significant societal transformation. Last year, a campaign driven by the shared vision of She Talks Asia against violence towards women saw the coming together of influential voices, each adding their unique hue to the collective call for action.

Champions of Empowerment
Karen Davila, renowned journalist and UN Women National Goodwill Ambassador for the Philippines, utilized her extensive experience and platform to amplify the campaign’s message. Her dedication to women’s and children’s rights added a powerful dimension to the advocacy, echoing the call for justice and protection.

Rissa Mananquil-Trillo, celebrated entrepreneur and beauty expert, infused the campaign with her passion for women’s empowerment, blending her entrepreneurial spirit with a commitment to uplift women from all walks of life.

Bianca Gonzalez, a respected television host and writer, contributed her influential voice to champion equality and the empowerment of women, advocating for a society where every woman can thrive free from discrimination.

Iza Calzado, an award-winning actress, shared her personal advocacy for mental health, body positivity, and women’s rights, enriching the campaign with her insights and inspiring stories of resilience.

A Tapestry of Solidarity
Together, these women stood united in their campaign, touching hearts and inspiring action nationwide. Their collective efforts underscored the importance of community and the power of collaborative advocacy in addressing critical social issues. By standing in solidarity, they highlighted the urgency of creating a safe and dignified environment for all women, pointing toward a future free from violence.

The Legal Framework: A Beacon of Hope
The campaign also shed light on the Philippines’ Anti-Violence Against Women and Their Children Act of 2004 (VAWC), a comprehensive legal framework aimed at protecting women and children from violence. Highlighting the scope of protection, types of violence addressed, legal remedies, and penalties, the discussion around VAWC emphasized the country’s commitment to safeguarding the rights and well-being of women and children, marking a step forward in the fight against violence.

Through their unwavering commitment and advocacy, the voices of She Talks Asia, its co-founders and allies resonate as a powerful force for change, inspiring courage and fostering a future where every woman is respected, protected, and valued.

Pia Wurtzbach

Goodwill Ambassador for UNAIDS

Photo: Project Headshot Clinic’s World AIDS Day campaign 2019 By Kevin Cosme

Pia Wurtzbach:

Reigning Awareness to Championing the Fight Against HIV and AIDS

Advocacy with a Crown
Pia Wurtzbach, the Miss Universe 2015, has been a fervent advocate for HIV and AIDS awareness both in the Philippines and on the global stage. Her advocacy work began during her reign as Miss Universe, where she used her platform to shine a light on the issue and combat the stigma associated with the disease.

Local Action, Global Impact
In the Philippines, Pia has been actively involved with organizations like LoveYourself, which provides HIV counseling, testing, treatment, and life-coaching. She has participated in benefit galas and fashion shows to raise funds for medical equipment and support for HIV patients at treatment hubs like San Lazaro Hospital and the Research Institute for Tropical Medicine (RITM).

Globally, Pia has taken her advocacy to the United Nations, serving as a Goodwill Ambassador for UNAIDS. She has addressed students and youth leaders at events like the Global Youth Summit, emphasizing the importance of HIV awareness and prevention.

A Call for Comprehensive Education
Highlighting the surge in HIV cases, Pia emphasizes the crucial need for enhanced awareness and comprehensive sexual education to combat the epidemic. She aims to dismantle the barriers of ignorance and misinformation, advocating for a proactive approach to stem the epidemic’s tide.

Inspiring Change
Through her continued efforts, Pia Wurtzbach has become a symbol of hope and progress in the fight against HIV and AIDS, inspiring many to join the cause and spread awareness to create a world free of the disease. Her work exemplifies the power of using one’s voice and influence to make a significant impact on public health and social issues.

Visit https://loveyourself.ph/ to learn more about Loveyourself and UNAIDS

Pia Cayetano

Senator, Gender Equality Advocate

Photo: Project Headshot Clinic’s World AIDS Day campaign 2017 By Niccolo Cosme

Senator Pia S. Cayetano:

A Beacon of Gender Equality and Social Innovation

Empowering Women through Legislation
Senator Pia S. Cayetano has become synonymous with transformative change in the Philippines, driving gender equality and social welfare with a focus on empowering women. Her legislative contributions, such as the 105-Day Expanded Maternity Leave Law and the Magna Carta of Women, have laid the groundwork for a more equitable society, ensuring women’s rights and promoting gender equality.

Champion of Healthcare and Work-Life Balance
Cayetano’s advocacy extends to healthcare, highlighted by her work on the Sin Tax Reform Law to fund health services, and her proactive response to the COVID-19 pandemic. She has also been a strong voice for creating supportive workplace environments, advocating for policies that recognize the dual roles women play as professionals and caregivers.

Inclusive Education and Child Welfare
Dedicated to accessible education, Cayetano’s efforts have led to significant reforms, including the Ladderized Education Act and initiatives supporting learners with disabilities. Her passion for children’s rights, informed by her experience as an adoptive mother, has influenced laws providing loving homes for children without parental care.

Futures Thinking for Sustainable Development
Guiding the Senate Committee on Sustainable Development Goals, Cayetano’s forward-looking leadership aims to align the Philippines with global sustainability targets, focusing on innovation and sustainable development to secure a prosperous future for all Filipinos.

A Legacy of Advocacy and Progress
Senator Pia S. Cayetano’s commitment to women’s rights, social welfare, and sustainable development resonates beyond the halls of the Senate, leaving a lasting impact on Filipino society. Her work exemplifies the power of dedicated public service in creating a more inclusive, equitable, and sustainable future. For further information on her initiatives and achievements, visit the Senate of the Philippines website.

Bea Rose Santiago

Miss International 2013, Kidney Warrior & Awareness Advocate

Photo: Project Headshot Clinic’s Women’s Month Campaign 2020 By Niccolo Cosme

Bea Rose Santiago:

Beyond the Crown – Championing Resilience and Hope in Adversity

Bea Rose Santiago, the Miss International 2013, who has left an indelible mark beyond the pageant world.

Bea’s triumph on the global stage was not just about beauty and grace; it was a moment of pride for the Philippines. Her victory in Tokyo, Japan, made her the fifth Filipino to win the prestigious Miss International title. But her impact went far beyond the runway:

Advocacy Amid Tragedy:
During the competition, Bea dedicated her speech to the victims of Super Typhoon Yolanda. Her heartfelt words emphasized the importance of international camaraderie, unity, and support during the country’s darkest hour. In that moment, she became more than a beauty queen; she became a symbol of resilience and compassion.

Chronic Kidney Disease Journey:
In 2018, Bea revealed her battle with chronic kidney disease (CKD). Despite her health challenges, she remains a role model for many. Her openness about her health journey has made her a beacon of hope for others facing similar struggles. She embodies the idea that beauty transcends physical appearance—it lies in the strength of the human spirit.

Her advocacy extends to The Red Whistle, an organization focused on raising awareness about HIV/AIDS and promoting safe practices. Bea participated in several successful #SaveSexy events with them, reaching a wide audience and spreading crucial information on HIV prevention and providing free HIV screening to all.

Bea Rose Santiago’s legacy continues to inspire generations of Filipinos. Her compassion, advocacy, and unwavering spirit remind us that true beauty radiates from within.

Watch Bea Rose’s participation with The Red Whistle’s #SaveSexy

Abby Asistio

Singer-Songwriter, Alopecia Awareness Advocate

Photo: Project Headshot Clinic’s Women’s Month Campaign 2022 By Niccolo Cosme

Abby Asistio:

Singing a Song of Courage – The Voice of Alopecia Awareness and Empowerment

Abby Asistio, a talented Filipino singer-songwriter, has not only graced the stage with her music but has also become a powerful advocate for alopecia awareness.

Abby was diagnosed with Alopecia Areata at a very young age. Despite facing this auto-immune hair loss condition, she decided to rise above her insecurities. In September 2012, she took a bold step: she shaved her head and embraced her baldness. Abby initiated an Alopecia Areata Awareness Month Instagram campaign. Through this campaign, she invited friends and family to pose with a double “A” sign using their fingers, spreading awareness about this often misunderstood condition.

Alopecia affects people of all ages, but most cases first develop in teenagers and children. For Abby, it was more than just hair loss; it was a journey of self-acceptance and empowerment. She continuously inspires others by sharing her life’s testimony through her writing and songs. Abby’s music uplifts, empowers, and gives hope to those dealing with insecurities. Her heart’s desire is to share the light within her, awakening souls and proving that there is life after Alopecia.

In 2019, Project Headshot Clinic in partnership with Momoi Supe of Strokes collaborated with Alopecia Philippines and Abby Asistio for Alopecia Awareness Month with a Headshot Clinic Campaign and through a powerful video campaign celebrating unique stories of beauty and resilience of people living with Alopecia.

Ayn Bernos

Morena Beauty Queen, Author, Multimedia Host

Photo: Project Headshot Clinic’s Women’s Month Campaign 2020 By Niccolo Cosme

Ayn Bernos:

Shattering Stereotypes and Dreaming Boldy – The Journey of a Morena Beauty Queen

Ayn Bernos, the Miss Universe Philippines 2021 delegate, has become a beacon of inspiration for countless young Filipino women.

Breaking Beauty Standards
Ayn Bernos fearlessly challenged norms when she joined the Miss Universe Philippines pageant. Standing at 5’3″ and proudly morena, she defied critics who believed beauty queens should conform to Eurocentric features. Her decision to participate despite the odds sends a powerful message: we should chase our dreams, no matter how far-fetched they may seem to others.

Fearless Pursuit of Dreams
Ayn actively pursues her aspirations without fear of failure. She doesn’t shy away from starting from scratch or making mistakes. Her journey—from being an academic assistant in Spain to an international speech champion, podcast host, TikTok content creator, and now a beauty queen—inspires us to embrace our ambitions.

Self-Imposed Limits
In a poignant TikTok video, Ayn asks, “If we tell ourselves things like ‘you can only reach up to here,’ ‘this is all you can do,’ ‘you can’t be there,’ ‘you don’t deserve it,’ then what are we going to achieve?” Her words remind us to break free from self-imposed limitations and strive for greatness.

Colorism Advocacy
Ayn uses her platform to challenge colorism in the Philippines. Her morena skin, once a source of insecurity, now becomes a symbol of empowerment. Through her content, she aims to make a difference for younger Filipinas, encouraging them to shine unapologetically.

Ayn Bernos embodies fearlessness, resilience, and the unwavering pursuit of dreams. Her impact extends beyond pageantry—it reaches the hearts of those who dare to believe in themselves.

Katarina Rodriguez

Miss Intercontinental 2017 1st Runner-Up, Save the Children Philippines Ambassador

Photo: Project Headshot Clinic’s Women’s Month Campaign 2020 By Niccolo Cosme

Katarina Rodriguez:

A Crown for Peace – Bridging Divides Through Beauty and Advocacy

Katarina Rodriguez, the Miss World Philippines 2018, has not only graced the pageant stage but has also left an indelible mark as a peace advocate.

Beauty with a Purpose
Katarina’s reign as Miss World Philippines was marked by her commitment to the Teach Peace Build Peace Movement. She chose to highlight the plight of the children of Marawi, a city deeply affected by conflict. Her Beauty with a Purpose project aimed to promote peace education, emphasizing acceptance over exclusion. Katarina recognized that where peace is lacking, other challenges persist.

Global Vision for Peace
Beyond Marawi, Katarina’s vision extends globally. She believes that peace education is a simple yet powerful solution to war, violence, and stigmas worldwide. Her involvement with organizations like Red Whistle, dedicated to HIV/AIDS awareness education, further underscores her commitment to positive change.

Katarina Rodriguez’s legacy lies in her unwavering dedication to peace-building. Her advocacy transcends borders, reminding us that true beauty lies in making a difference. She first joined Project Headshot Clinic in the year 2014 for HSC’s World AIDS Day campaign.

Katarina’s Beauty with a purpose video

Lynn Pinugu

Education and Women Empowerment Advocate, Columnist

Photo: Project Headshot Clinic’s Women’s Month Campaign 2020 By Niccolo Cosme

Lynn Pinugu:

Championing Education and Women Empowerment

A Visionary Leader in Social Change
Standing at the forefront of amplifying and elevating the discourse on women’s issues is Lynn Pinugu, the Co-founder and CEO of She Talks Asia and the Executive Director of Mano Amiga Philippines.

Transforming Lives Through Learning
With her vision of making education affordable and accessible to children of all backgrounds, she started Mano Amiga, a development center providing students and their families the necessary building blocks towards building a better life. Her remarkable work in media also focuses on inspiring and empowering females worldwide through the stories and experiences shared via She Talks Asia.

Empowering Women Across Borders
With several well-deserved recognitions to her name (The Outstanding Women in the Nation’s Service Award in 2013, Asian Social Enterprise Star in 2014, United Nations Alliance of Civilizations, and more) and thousands of lives impacted across the globe, Lynn is a testament to to what intentional social entrepreneurship, coupled with an unwavering passion and desire, can do.

Roxanne Farillas

Visionary Entrepreneur, Local Fashion Retail Innovator

Photo: Project Headshot Clinic’s Women’s Month Campaign 2024 By Niccolo Cosme

Roxanne Farillas:

Weaving Success Through Fashion and Innovation – The Plains & Prints Story

A Visionary’s Journey
In the vibrant tapestry of the Philippine fashion industry, Roxanne Farillas stands out as a visionary entrepreneur whose journey with Plains & Prints has redefined local retail. Co-founding the brand in 1994, Farillas embarked on a mission to offer women elegant, timeless, and sophisticated clothing. Her keen eye for detail and unwavering commitment to quality has catapulted Plains & Prints into a beloved household name, synonymous with empowering the modern Filipino woman through fashion.

Merging Tradition with Modernity
Under Farillas’s leadership, Plains & Prints has flourished, marrying contemporary designs with classic styles to create pieces that are both fashionable and functional. The brand’s signature aesthetic—bold prints, vibrant colors, and chic silhouettes—reflects Farillas’s belief in the power of clothing to uplift and inspire confidence.

Innovating Fashion Retail
Beyond aesthetics, Farillas is a pioneer in integrating technology with fashion retail. Embracing e-commerce long before it became a norm, she ensured that Plains & Prints remained at the forefront of digital innovation, providing customers with a seamless shopping experience. Her forward-thinking approach has not only expanded the brand’s reach but has also set new industry standards in customer engagement and online retail.

A Legacy of Inspiration and Impact
Roxanne Farillas’s journey with Plains & Prints is a testament to the transformative power of vision, innovation, and passion. As a businesswoman, she has not only crafted a brand that resonates with Filipino women but has also contributed significantly to the local fashion industry’s growth. Farillas’s story is one of inspiration, proving that with creativity and determination, it’s possible to weave a narrative of success that is both stylish and substantive.

Emelda Teng

Entrepreneur, Restaurateur, Philanthropist

Photo: Project Headshot Clinic’s Women’s Month Campaign 2024 By Niccolo Cosme

Emelda Teng:

Crafting a Legacy of Flavor and Philanthropy as a Culinary Visionary

Revolutionizing the Culinary Scene
Emelda Teng, an extraordinary Filipina entrepreneur and restaurateur, has made an indelible mark on the culinary landscape of the Philippines.

As the CEO of Babyspice Food Corporation, Emelda Teng spearheads a group of companies that boasts several beloved restaurants: Mango Tree: Renowned for its authentic Thai cuisine. Genki Sushi Philippines: A popular sushi chain. Kureji and Sen-Ryo: Both Japanese restaurants and Tunglok Seafood, a Singapore and Chinese restaurant.

Entrepreneurial Spirit from the Start
Emelda’s entrepreneurial journey began at a young age. She recalls selling candies to her classmates during preschool breaks—a formative experience that ignited her passion for business. Through unwavering determination and hard work, she has achieved remarkable success.

Emelda draws inspiration from her remarkable mother, Maria Tinquico. Maria’s lessons in generosity and the unwavering strength she exhibited have left an indelible mark on Emelda’s journey.

A Heart for Giving Back
Beyond her business ventures, Emelda actively supports various causes. Notably, she has championed Miss Possibilities, a pageant that uplifts children with special needs, providing them a safe space to shine. Additionally, her contributions to The Heart at Play Foundation demonstrate her commitment to providing support for free therapy for individuals with special needs.

Established in May 2017, the Patrick Donald Teng Foundation honors the memory of Emelda and her husband Erick’s beloved son, Patrick Teng. This non-profit organization focuses on raising awareness for brain cancer and empowering the lives of special needs children.

A Model of Filipino Entrepreneurship
Emelda Teng’s dedication, passion for the restaurant industry, collaborative spirit, and forward-thinking mindset embody the essence of Filipino entrepreneurship. Her story is one of inspiration, proving that true leadership involves not just achieving personal success but also lifting others along the way.

Mix Fenix

Singer-Songwriter & Content Creator

Photo: Project Headshot Clinic’s Women’s Month Campaign 2024 By Niccolo Cosme

Mix Fenix:

Harmonizing Passion and Empowerment in the World of Music and Arts

Mix Fenix, a talented singer-songwriter & content creator deserves the spotlight as we delve into the intersection of women, music, and the arts.

Inspiration and Family Bonds
Mix Fenix draws inspiration from her family. Growing up, they encouraged her to perform during parties and gatherings. Their unwavering support boosted her confidence and drive to pursue a singer-songwriter career. It’s a testament to the power of nurturing and empowering children to follow their passions.

Musical Influences
Her eclectic taste spans various genres, influenced by artists like Incubus, One Republic, Jakubi, Foster The People, Bill Withers, Rico Blanco, Bamboo, and the beloved local band Up Dharma Down. These diverse influences shape her unique sound.

Style and Empowerment
Mix Fenix aspires for her music to be fresh, cool, and empowering. She wants listeners to connect with her songs on a personal level. Through her art, she encourages self-expression and resilience.

Navigating the Current Scene
Like many artists, Mix Fenix faced pandemic-related challenges. However, she adapted by maximizing her online presence. Live busking sessions, vlogs, and online fundraising events keep her connected to fans. The local music community supports each other, sharing links and cheering one another on.

Mix is also a co-partner and Editor-in-chief at the New Hue, a digital publication for music of all hues.

Remember, behind every melody and brushstroke, there’s a woman leaving an indelible mark on the canvas of creativity. Let’s celebrate their contributions!


Actress, News Anchor

Photo: Project Headshot Clinic’s Women’s Month Campaign 2024 By Niccolo Cosme


Shattering Ceilings – A Beacon of Transgender Triumph in Entertainment and Beyond

Kaladkaren (Jervi), a remarkable trailblazer in the entertainment industry, has left an indelible mark as a champion for the trans community.

Historic MMFF Win
Kaladkaren etched her name in history by becoming the first transgender woman to win the best supporting actress award at the Metro Manila Film Festival (MMFF). Her stellar performance in the comedy film Here Comes the Groom earned her this well-deserved recognition. In her acceptance speech, she dedicated the award to all transgender individuals, drag artists, and members of the LGBTQ+ community whose lives are often threatened. She reminded everyone that they are “more than enough” and expressed gratitude to the team behind the film for hiring a transgender actress to portray an authentic transgender character.

Breaking Barriers in Journalism
Not content with just making waves in acting, Kaladkaren continued her trailblazing journey. She became the first transgender news anchor in the Philippines, joining TV5’s Frontline Pilipinas. Her presence on-screen represents a significant step toward inclusive journalism, where diverse voices are heard and celebrated.

From Impersonation to Empowerment
Kaladkaren initially gained fame through her spot-on impersonation of broadcast journalist Karen Davila. However, she didn’t stop there. Hosting shows like Umagang Kay Ganda and I Can See Your Voice, and serving as a resident judge on Drag Race Philippines, she shattered stereotypes and paved the way for greater visibility and acceptance. Her journey exemplifies resilience, authenticity, and the power of representation.

A Message of Heart and Soul
In her acceptance speech, Kaladkaren echoed the message from Here Comes the Groom: “It’s not your looks or gender that’s important, but your heart and soul.” Her advocacy extends beyond the spotlight, touching hearts and inspiring countless others to embrace their true selves.

Let us celebrate Kaladkaren’s courage, talent, and unwavering commitment to making the world a more inclusive and compassionate place.

Rod Singh


Photo: Project Headshot Clinic’s Women’s Month Campaign 2024 By Niccolo Cosme

Rod Singh:

Behind the Lens of Change – The Salamat Pose Revolution in Philippine Cinema

Rod Singh, a visionary filmmaker, stands at the intersection of creativity, representation, and empowerment. Let’s explore her remarkable journey and the impact she has made.

Historic Moments
In 2018, Rod Singh played a pivotal role in the groundbreaking film Mamu; and A Mother Too. The movie centered around a trans sex worker (portrayed by the talented Iyah Mina) navigating life to support her daughter. Iyah Mina’s raw and unfeigned performance earned her the title of Best Actress at the CinemaOne Originals Festival, making Iyah the first-ever trans woman to achieve this honor in Philippine cinema. Rod Singh’s direction and storytelling were the nucleus behind this historic achievement

Championing Queer Cinema
Rod Singh believes that cinema isn’t just an escape from reality; it can be a catalyst for change. She encourages audiences not to stop at the screen but to carry acceptance, kindness, and love into the real world. Her films serve as mirrors reflecting the complexities of life, especially for marginalized communities. Her project, Drag Den Philippines, draws from her personal experiences participating in drag artistry. Through this competition show, she aims to empower and celebrate the vibrant LGBTQ+ community.

Living Her Truth
As a trans woman, Rod Singh’s journey to self-acceptance was multifaceted. From Grade 2 to high school, she grappled with her queerness, gradually embracing her true identity. Her resilience and authenticity shine through her work, inspiring others to express their own truth.

Hope and Impact
Rod Singh’s undying hope fuels her storytelling. She envisions a world where queer fantasies become reality, where trans individuals can live authentically without fear. Her films remind us that hope is an imperative part of winning battles beyond the screen.

As a filmmaker, she embodies resilience, creativity, and compassion. Her impact resonates far beyond the frames of her movies, touching hearts and minds across the Philippines.

In celebrating Rod Singh, we honor her as a trailblazer, a storyteller, and an advocate for a more inclusive and compassionate society

Dixie Mariñas

Mixologist, Ecotourism and Turtle Conservation Advocate

Photo: Project Headshot Clinic’s Women’s Month Campaign 2024 By Niccolo Cosme

Dixie Mariñas:

Guarding the Future – A Crusade for Pawikan Conservation in Palawan

Dixie Marinas, a passionate turtle advocate, has made significant contributions to turtle conservation in San Vicente, Palawan.

Dixie Marinas was inspired by her children to continue her advocacy for saving these magnificent creatures. Witnessing a nest of baby turtle hatchlings on Long Beach three years ago was her “eureka moment.” She realized that something must be done to protect these turtles, ensuring their presence for future generations.

Marinas believes that educating children about respecting and loving these creatures sets them up to be better stewards of the environment.

Turtle Conservation Project
The turtle conservation project in San Vicente started in 2018 in partnership with WWF, PCSD, DENR and Club Agutaya Resort, La Zuli Resort, Branggay San Isidro and the LGU of San Vicente. Currently working together with LAMAVE (Large Marine Vertebrates Research Institute Philippines).

On its 5th season of saving and protecting the turtles and have been able to help grow awareness, respect and love for these animals. A special mention to the passionate youth group of Pawikan Savers as they have grown to be the backbone of this movement, starting as early as eight year old kids six years ago to now teenagers and university students.The future is bright for our beloved San Vicente. These kids have wholeheartedly embraced protecting their playground and vouches to protect it for future generations to come. They are also very proud to have shared our passion with another youth organization called Sagip Pawikan who has been active in the conservation of the turtles.

Long Beach Turtle Hatchlings Release
The conservation effort is synergized with the resort sector local community and local non government organizations and has resulted in a total of ( ) hatchlings released from December 2018 to March 2024.

Turtle Nesting Project
The Turtle Nesting Project, initiated by the Large Marine Vertebrates Research Institute Philippines (LAMAVE), focuses on the northwest municipalities of Palawan, with San Vicente as a key base. San Vicente’s coastal villages boast 284 kilometers of white beaches and small coves. From mid-November to March, hundreds of olive ridley turtles lay nests at night, contributing to the conservation efforts.

Dixie Mariñas’ dedication exemplifies how individual actions can make a profound impact on preserving our marine ecosystems and the incredible creatures that inhabit them

Reese-Fernandez Ruiz

Founder Rags2Riches

Photo: Project Headshot Clinic’s Women’s Month Campaign 2024 By Niccolo Cosme

Reese-Fernandez Ruiz:

Weaving Change with Sustainable Fashion

Pioneering Sustainable Fashion
Reese-Fernandez Ruiz started the social enterprise Rags2Riches (R2R) in 2007 with a desire to bring eco-friendly and ethical fashion to the Philippines. Fast forward to the present, R2R has become a game changer in the world of sustainable clothing and preservation of Filipino culture and artistry.

Accolades and International Recognition
Reese’s efforts have garnered her numerous accolades and honors, including being named a Young Global Leader by the World Economic Forum and being featured on Forbes Asia’s 30 Under 30 list. Her tireless advocacy for social and environmental justice has not only earned her recognition on the international stage but has also inspired a new generation of entrepreneurs and changemakers to prioritize purpose-driven business models.

Advocacy Beyond Business
Beyond her work with Rags2Riches, Reese is a passionate advocate for sustainability and women’s empowerment, leveraging her platform to raise awareness about pressing issues such as climate change, gender equality, and social justice. Through initiatives like the R2R Foundation and her active participation in various forums and conferences, Reese continues to champion causes that resonate with her values and beliefs, striving to create a more equitable and sustainable world for future generations.

A Legacy of Ethical Innovation
In essence, Reese Fernandez-Ruiz’s legacy extends far beyond the realm of fashion; it embodies the transformative power of business as a force for positive change. Her unwavering commitment to ethical principles, coupled with her innovative spirit and relentless determination, serves as a testament to the profound impact that one individual can have in shaping a more just and sustainable future for all.

Zarah Juan

Designer, Founder and Creative Director of Zarah Juan

Photo: Project Headshot Clinic’s Women’s Month Campaign 2022 By Niccolo Cosme

Zarah Juan:

Weaving Dreams – Fashion as a Force for Community Empowerment and Sustainability

Zarah Juan’s journey in the world of fashion is nothing short of inspiring, marked by her relentless pursuit of excellence and dedication to empowering marginalized communities.

Redefining Filipino Craftsmanship
As the founder and creative force behind her eponymous brand, Zarah Juan has redefined Filipino craftsmanship, blending traditional techniques with modern aesthetics to create exquisite handcrafted accessories and footwear. Through her commitment to ethical production practices and sustainable materials, Zarah has not only reshaped the landscape of Philippine fashion but has also championed the rights and welfare of local artisans.

Empowering Communities through Entrepreneurship
Beyond her accomplishments in the fashion industry, Zarah Juan’s influence extends into the realm of social entrepreneurship and community development. Through initiatives like The Tarp Project, she works tirelessly to provide skills training and economic opportunities to underprivileged individuals, empowering them to build better futures for themselves and their families.

Inspiring Change with Creativity
Zarah’s remarkable journey serves as a shining example of how passion, creativity, and a commitment to positive change can transform lives and inspire others to dream big. In her hands, fashion becomes not just a means of self-expression, but a powerful tool for empowerment and social transformation.

Pinky Tobiano

Chemist, Philanthropist, Motivational Speaker, CEO of Progressive Libraries

Pinky Tobiano

When discussing influential Filipino women who constantly push the bar of what is possible, one would be amiss to leave out Pinky Tobiano.

Pinky wears many hats, being a multi-awarded Filipina chemist, entrepreneur, philanthropist, motivational speaker, cancer survivor, and influential figure in the beauty and wellness sphere.

She stands as a radiant beacon of empowerment, redeeming the standards of success, and igniting a flame of inspiration in the hearts of countless individuals.

Moreover, her philanthropic efforts reflect her compassionate and unwavering spirit, manifested in her endeavors such as the Pinky Cares Foundation, providing support to multiple institutions in the country such as the GRACES Home for the Aged, and Reception Center for Children.

Through the COVID-19 pandemic, her Grateful Tuesdays online show became a channel for reaching thousands of families who had been affected by the effects of the country being put into lockdown.

In a world hungry for guidance and inspiration, Pinky Tobiano shines brightly as a guiding light, reminding us all that with courage, perseverance, and a steadfast belief in oneself, anything is possible.

AC Legarda

Vice President, AyalaLand Malls Inc.

Photo: Project Headshot Clinic’s Women’s Month Campaign 2020 By Niccolo Cosme

AC Legarda

Ayala Malls has stood as a fashion capital and shopping mainstay in the country for many years, elevating the country’s claim on being a fashion and luxury destination. Standing at the helm is AC Legarda, Vice President of AyalaLand Malls, Inc.

Leading the continuous expansion and innovation of Ayala Malls in the country, AC has been a powerhouse in her own rite by helping cement the country’s name in the global market.

Margarita Fores

Chef, Filipino Cuisine Advocate

Margarita Fores

Margarita Fores is not just a chef; she is a culinary virtuoso whose passion for food transcends borders and cultures. With a repertoire that spans continents and a talent for blending flavors with finesse, Margarita has firmly established herself as a trailblazer in the culinary world.

Renowned for her mastery of Italian cuisine, she brings a touch of Filipino flair to every dish she creates, infusing it with the vibrant flavors and rich heritage of her homeland.

Her culinary journey is one of relentless pursuit of excellence, fueled by a deep love for cooking and a relentless dedication to her craft. As the recipient of numerous prestigious awards, including Asia’s Best Female Chef, Margarita is not only a culinary icon but also an inspiration to aspiring chefs around the globe. Her culinary creations are more than just food; they are a celebration of culture, creativity, and the joy of sharing meals with loved ones.

Through her culinary expertise and unwavering passion, Margarita Fores continues to redefine the boundaries of taste and elevate the Filipino dining experience to new heights.

Tina de Guzman

Lawyer, Entrepreneur, Women Empowerment Advocate, Community Builder

Atty. Tina de Guzman

Empowering Dreams: Inspiring Women to Action through the power of E-Learning, Community, and Collaboration

Atty. Tina de Guzman shines brightly in the realm of entrepreneurship, empowerment, and advocacy. Tina, a mother of 2 young kids, lawyer, the Founder and CEO of Pinay Girl Boss, and community builder, believes that there is power in dreaming big, learning, and in collaborating with communities to achieve great impact.

With over 15 years of experience in legal, government, international NGO work, and project implementation, Atty. de Guzman has navigated the intricate corridors of judicial reform. Her work with global partners like the American Bar Association, USAID, AusAID, and the World Bank reflects a commitment to shaping a fairer, more equitable society. She has also dedicated herself to uplifting Filipino women. As the visionary behind initiatives like the Pinay Girl Boss Academy and PGB Job Fiesta, she has erected platforms for women to flourish in the realms of entrepreneurship, creativity, content creation, and personal development, thus igniting flames of ambition and resilience across communities.

Beyond her legal prowess, Atty. de Guzman stands as a beacon of wellness and financial freedom through her entrepreneurial endeavors, including The Oil Natural Project. As a Royal Crown Diamond leader in Young Living essential oils distributorship, she leads thousands of women on a transformative journey towards holistic well-being and economic independence. With each step she takes, Atty. de Guzman not only reshapes legal landscapes but also inspires women to reach for the stars, reminding us all that true empowerment knows no bounds.

Atty. Tina de Guzman stands as a testament to the transformative power of perseverance, inspiring women everywhere to harness their potential and carve out their own paths to success.

Ana Maria Nemenzo

National Coordinator, WomanHealth Philippines

Ana Maria Nemenzo:

A Lifetime of Advocacies in Shaping Policies for Justice and Empowerment

Ana Maria Nemenzo, an influential advocate in the Philippines, has dedicated her career to fighting poverty, debt, and advancing women’s rights. Her tenure as the first Vice-Chairperson for the Basic Sector of the National Anti-Poverty Commission (NAPC) set the stage for her impactful work. As the past President of the Freedom from Debt Coalition, Nemenzo led initiatives for economic justice and sustainable development, advocating for equitable policies to alleviate debt burdens on Filipinos.

Her international efforts include serving as the International Convenor of the NGO Forum on the ADB, pushing for policy reforms to prioritize environmental and community well-being. Nemenzo also contributes to governance transparency as a member of the Citizens Debt Audit Commission, aiming for responsible government borrowing.

As the founder and National Coordinator of WomanHealth Philippines, she tirelessly promotes reproductive rights and health, influencing policy through collaboration with health organizations and poverty action groups. Nemenzo’s advocacy extends to monitoring international commitments on gender equality, showcasing her comprehensive approach to social reform.

Ana Maria Nemenzo’s legacy is a testament to her commitment to justice, empowerment, and societal betterment, standing as a beacon of resilience and dedication.

Karen Tanchanco

Deputy Secretary General, Philippine Olympic Committee

Karen Tanchanco

A champion of women in the world of sports, Karen Tanchango, Deputy Secretary General, The Philippine Olympic Committee, continues to fuel the flames of equality and empowerment. In partnership with some of the country’s greatest athletes, she continues to rewrite the narrative of sports, one victory at a time.

Shattered Barriers and Pioneered Pathways
As the first woman Vice President for the Continental Sports Federation of Sepaktakraw, she shattered barriers and paved the way for future generations of female leaders in the sports industry. Her ascension to the presidency of the Pilipinas Sepaktakraw Federation Inc. further solidifies her position as a trailblazer in the realm of sports governance.

Athleticism Without Limitations
Through her leadership roles and collaborative efforts with esteemed athletes, Tanchango continues to champion inclusivity, diversity, and empowerment, inspiring countless individuals to pursue their passions without limitations.

Sharing her advice to young Filipina athletes: Take on the challenge. Keep showing up even on days you feel you are at your worst. Figure it out and know that there’s nothing you cannot do and conquer so long as you put your heart and mind in it.

Hidilyn, Nesthy, the Filipinas (women’s football team) and a lot of women athletes are on the rise in the local and international sporting scene.

The future of Philippine sports is indeed Filipina women.

UST GROWLING TIGRESSES: Angelina Villasin, Erika and Nicole Danganan

UAAP Season 86 Women’s Basketball Champions

UST Tigresses’ Trailblazing Triumph:

Overcoming Formidable Adversaries Led by Head Coach Haydee Ong in Women’s Basketball

In UAAP Season 86, the UST Tigresses showed a stunning display of resilience and determination, and etched their names in the annals of Philippine women’s basketball history, capturing their 12th championship title and shattering records in the process. Led by the visionary coaching of Haydee Ong, the Tigresses embarked on a transformative journey that culminated in a historic victory, ending the seven-year dynasty of the NU Lady Bulldogs and bringing glory back to España.

Under Coach Ong’s guidance, the Tigresses underwent a remarkable metamorphosis, overcoming formidable adversaries and defying expectations to emerge as the 2023 Champion in Philippine women’s basketball. Despite facing lopsided defeats and enduring an 11-year and 20-game losing streak to NU, Coach Ong remained steadfast in her commitment to the program, instilling a culture of perseverance and unwavering belief in her players.

Coach Ong attributes the Tigresses’ monumental success to the core principles of “BTS” – Belief in each other, Trust in the program, and Surrender everything to God. Embracing these values, the Tigresses exemplified the essence of teamwork and resilience, defying all odds to claim their rightful place atop women’s basketball. As confetti rained down and jubilation ensued, Coach Ong’s unwavering faith and unwavering commitment illuminated the path to victory, forever cementing her legacy as a visionary leader in Philippine women’s basketball.


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