Sunday, March 28, 2010

Women of Substance

Dubai UAE - 28th March 2010

Illustrado Women of Substance 2010 Honors 9 Filipinas in Dubai

• Illustrado Magazine celebrated its 3rd edition of Women of Substance, and highlighted female empowerment through the annual gathering
• Women of Substance Event 2010 awarded nine Filipinas for their exemplary achievements
• The traditional talk-show format included a photo exhibit, documentary film showing and a make-over runway show.
• Renowned women’s rights lawyer Katrina Legarda graced the event as its special guest speaker

Dubai, UAE – In a social gathering of some 500 attendees comprised of Filipino diplomatic corps and community key opinion leaders last 27th of March 2010 (Saturday), the Dubai-based Filipino lifestyle publication Illustrado Magazine celebrated the third edition of its annual Women of Substance event at the Godolphin Ballroom in Jumeirah Emirates Towers.
Women of Substance 2010 began with the ribbon cutting ceremony of the photo exhibit and competition under the theme “The Filipina” sponsored by Nikon, where thirty finalist entries captured the different facets of the Filipina woman. Right after the judging round, the talk show was officially opened by Consul General Adelio Cruz of the Embassy of the Philippines in Abu Dhabi. The traditional talk-show format started with the premiere screening of the 30-minute documentary clip “The Empowered Filipina” directed by Dubai-based Kamil Roxas, winner of the Hayah Film Competition at the Middle East International Film Festival (MEIFF) in 2008.
During the talk-show, nine exemplary Filipinas were honored for their significant achievements, contributions to society and strength of character. These extra-ordinary women include Ambassador Grace Relucio-Princesa (the first Filipina Ambassador to the UAE), Ema Trinidad (self-made entrepreneur, dubbed as the Anti-Ageing Skincare Guru in Karnataka, India), Laarni Eugenio (self-made entrepreneur co-owner of a Dubai-based stage design company), Tini Meyer (emerging contemporary artist who has exhibited her works in Canada, Spain and the UAE), Fe Ging Ging Hyde (budding film producer, actor and singer, whose first movie has garnered six nominations in the Philippines’s Gawad Urian Awards), Nila Bandigan and Tess Bautista (both active community volunteers and philanthropists), Cyrine Pinpin (former activist, former president and founder of Migrante UAE) and Remedios Chu (educator, self-made entrepreneur, philanthropist and cancer survivor).
According to Lalaine Chu-Benitez, Publisher and Editor-in-Chief of Illustrado, “With this event, we want to show that ordinary women can achieve extra-ordinary things and prevail despite adversity. We believe celebrating Filipina empowerment will help us foster confidence, a more progressive mindset and contribute to further success not only with our women, but within our entire community.”
Special guest speaker Atty. Katrina Legarda, the renowned Philippine-based lawyer recognized for supporting women rights, initially commented regarding the advocacy on Filipina empowerment in the Middle East: “Keep an open mind and keep learning. Hold your heads up high. Know that there is dignity in labour. And, please, do not let money be your god: walk away from abusive, demeaning, and oppressive situations.” She furthered, “Be strong. To re-quote Eleanor Roosevelt: No-one can make you feel inferior unless you allow it. Treat yourself as an equal to the man. Be proactive, not reactive, to problems back home. Most problems have solutions, including, moving on.”
Fun and glamour continued at the Women of Substance 2010 event as the fashion show cum make-over session sponsored by Dove put Filipinas’ natural beauty on center stage. The attendees were also able to view the many activities presented by the event sponsors in the designated booths. Moreover, the winners of the photo exhibit and special raffle draws were announced at the end of the program. Indeed, the day turned out to be a magnificent celebration of Filipinas (and Filipinos) in the Gulf.
As Lalaine Chu-Benitez concluded, ““We’re very happy to see the outpouring of support from the community for this event and our advocacy. This will definitely help us in furthering our endeavor of empowering Filipina women and the Filipino community in general.”
Illustrado’s Women of Substance 2010 event was sponsored by Dove-Unilever Gulf and Nikon, as well as Emirates Airline, London Dairy, Liali Jewellery, Marie France Body Line and Nanay Tuneng.

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