In honour of all the incredible women of the world, we would like to highlight selected women of power in the Philippines

These Filipinas are all brilliant, skilled,  beautiful, confident and inspirational. They are powerhouses have broken glass ceilings and continuously prove all the haters out there wrong. Their stories each teach a valuable lesson: never let someone tell you that you cannot accomplish your goals. Through hard work, your dreams are within reach. Through their achievements, diligence, passion and perseverance, they each have paved the way for the women of tomorrow. 

Related: 21 Must-Know Filipina Women In The F&B Industry

Maria Ressa

Maria Ressa has been dedicated to journalism for over 25 years. From bureau chief of CNN, head of News and Current events at ABS-CBN and CEO of Rappler, Ressa has reported the news with integrity and spirit. She also taught at Princeton University and the University of the Philippines. With all that on her plate, we have no idea how she found the time to author books as well. This lady has solidified herself as an icon in media and in the fight for freedom of speech.

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Myla Villanueva

Myla Villanueva is the Managing Director and Co-Founder of Novare Technologies, Inc. Villanueva founded of Wolfpac (a mobile application development corporation), MDi (a technology systems integrator) and Meridian Telekoms, which is now known as SmartBro. She is Co-Founder of Microwarehouse, a distributor for mobile and technology appliances. She is the Asia President for the Global Telecoms Women's Network too. Villanueva also Chairs the Mobile Innovation Forum for GSMA. Villanueva has paved the way for technological development and revolutionised the landscape of network connection in the country. She has had an illustrious career marked with big breaks and milestones in the digital space.

Robina Gokongwei Pe

Gokongwei Pe is the president and COO of Robinsons Retail Holdings the second largest multi-format retailer in the Philippines. This woman oversees thousands of employees and continues to push the company further, reaching new impressive heights. She definitely has a lot on her plate but manages to tackle every challenge with calculated strategy and grace.

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Marife Zamora

She is currently the managing director for Asia Pacific, Europe, Middle East and Africa for Convergys Customer Management Business at Convergys Corporation and is the Chairman at Convergys Philippines. She is also the Director of PLDT Inc., the largest telecommunications and digital services company in the country. Prior to Convergys and PLDT, Zamora has worked at Headstrong and IBM. She is a force to be reckoned with and is breaking barriers everywhere she goes.

Zenaida Rustia Tantoco

Zenaida 'Nedy' Tantoco shines brightly in the fast paced and competitive world of fashion and retail. She is the Chairman and CEO of Rustans Group of Companies, President of Rustans Commercial Corporation and Chairman of SSI Group Inc, . With over 40 years in the business, Tantoco has contributed so much to the local retail scene by bringing in international luxury labels and promoting the best of our very own. 

Renna Hechanova Angeles

Renna Hechanova Angeles is the Vice Chairman and Treasurer of Concepcion Industrial Corporation, Vice-Chairman and Corporate Secretary of Concepcion Durables, Inc. and Director of Concepcion Carrier Inc. This massive company covers electronics, from refrigerators to air conditioners, and appliances too. Angeles is able to multi task with ease and strives to always raise the bar, inspiring and pushing her employees. She skilfully manages logistics, numbers and the strategic development of the conglomerate.

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Doris Ho

She is the President and CEO of Magsaysay Group of Companies and President and CEO of Magsaysay Transport & Logistics Group, the company's shipping arm. The Magsaysay Group is conglomerate that is involved in shipping, logistics, human resources, marine travel and tourism. Her business acumen, vision and excellent leadership has been awarded by the Asia CEO body and the Lloyd’s List Asia as well. Ho is also involved with notable international business forums and bodies. 

Tessie Sy Coson

This leader has proven her worth time and time again. She is the vice chairperson of SM Investments Corporation, chairman of compensation & remuneration committee, President of SM Retail, Inc. and Director of SM Prime. At the helm of one of country’s largest conglomerates, (covering retail, construction, hospitality and banking) this woman is at the top of her game. Coson leads SM’s retail, property and banking arms and does so with strength, calculation and finesse. She maintains a healthy corporate culture and is invested in their charitable projects too.

Alice Eduardo

Alice Eduardo has been named the woman of steel. She is the owner and CEO of Sta. Elena Construction and Development Corporation, one of the largest development corporations in The Philippines. She manages a slew of employees and steers this massive, very lucrative, construction company -- helping to develop our nation in more ways than one. Day after day, she continues to prove herself in this male dominated industry.

Read more: Alice Eduardo Talks About Living Life To The Fullest Despite A Demanding Profession

Isabelita Paredes Mercado

Isabelita Mercado is the president and chief executive officer at the eponymous IPM Group of Companies. She is the chief executive officer, chairman, president and acting principal operating officer of Minerales Industrias Corporation. Mercado has been a director of Minerales Industrias Corporation since 2007 and served as their acting chief financial officer and Treasurer.

Armie Jarin Bennett

She was the president of CNN Philippines but now works on her own media project in the works. Bennett has won an Emmy for her coverage of the Arab Spring, the revolution in Egypt, and was nominated for her coverage on super typhoon Haiyan too. She started her career in media as a radio newscaster, she then moved to Atlanta to work at CNN’s headquarters. From an assistant at CNN she climbed the ranks, becoming a writer and then a producer. When she transferred to CNN international, she eventually became an executive producer, which led to her two Emmy nominations.  This lady is dynamically challenging media standards and is raising the bar for local news coverage.

Karen Davila

Karen Davila has made a name for herself in the field of media and journalism through her thought provoking, intellectual, principled and well-presented stories. She is a journalist, radio and television broadcaster, and host. Her work has been recognized and accoladed internationally by UNICEF and CNN. Davila has worked with the World Economic Forum and the ASEAN on different occasions as a moderator.

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Sofia Zobel Elizalde

From a professional dancer to a patron of the arts. Sofia Zobel Elizalde has dedicated her life to her true passion: the arts. Elizalde has continuously promoted dance in the country, uplifting aspiring dancers and inspiring them. She is the founder and owner of Steps Dance Studio, which teaches dance and provides scholarships, to enthusiasts and skilled artists. By running this business and foundation, Elizalde is able to touch lives and create art, while growing the company.

Rizalina Mantaring

Rizalina Mantaring is the president and CEO of Sun Life Financial, which is one of the country’s leading insurance companies. She has a background in IT and pushed to make Manila the company’s IT hub when she first joined. She proceeded to challenge herself in different departments within the company before becoming its president and CEO.

Karrie Ilagan

Karrie Ilagan began her career in technology with IBM, became managing director of Microsoft Philippines and is now managing director for Cisco Philippines. Ilagan drives the company’s growth, manages its everyday logistics, infuses strong worth ethic and fosters an uplifting corporate culture. She pushes for innovation, while always maintaining and uplifting the Cisco brand. In fact, she the first woman to head tech firm Cisco PH.

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Elizabeth Sy

This woman is a gifted business leader with a keen appreciation for the finer things in life. Elizabeth Sy, known to friends as Betty, manages the SM group’s hospitality arm, overseeing its stakes in hotels like Conrad Manila. She holds the titles of co-chairman at Pico de Loro Beach & Country Club, Inc., vice president at Belleshares Holdings, Inc., president at SM Hotels & Conventions Corp., and president at SMX Convention Specialist Corp. Sy is also a director at SM Land, Inc., SM Development Corp., and BDO Private Bank, Inc. She constantly elevates the company and deftly handles any challenges that come her way.

Nina Aguas

Hailing from Tarlac, this woman is a force to be reckoned with over 35 years experience in her field. She worked for Citi group for 26 years, Australia & New Zealand Banking Group, Philippine Bank of Communications Inc and is now the CEO of The Insular Life Assurance Company in The Philippines. She is also a director of UnionBank of the Philippines and of Pilipinas Shell Petroleum Corporation.

Margarita Forés

Culinary powerhouse and Asia's Best Female Chef 2016, Margarita Forés, has built a legacy that is sure to last with the Margarita Forés Group. In the Philippines she has pioneered the elevation of Filipino cuisine, the use of local ingredients, the slow food movement, and introduced high-end Italian cooking. She is a visionary who is extremely talented, continuously finding new ways to experiment with food. Forés has recently launched culinary her first ever culinary travel show with CNN Philippines, Harvest with Margarita Forés.

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