Press Release
March 15, 2015

March is Women's Month
Senate to recognize women achievers

Senator Pia S. Cayetano will lead the recognition of several outstanding Filipino women coming from various fields at the Philippine Senate on Monday as part of the chamber's Women's Month celebrations.

The women achievers will be feted at the Senate session and their achievements featured in an exhibit entitled, 'Empowered Women: Raising the Bar,' which senators will also open on Monday.

Now on its second year, the exhibit is mounted to honor the extraordinary achievements of empowered Filipino women and their valuable contributions to society, according to Cayetano, Chairperson of the Senate Committee on Women, Family Relations and Gender Equality.

Leading the awardees this year are: Lisa Macuja-Elizalde, acknowledged as the first Filipina prima ballerina; Olivia Bong Coo, four-time world bowling champion; television host and blogger Daphne Osena-Paez, UNICEF Philippines Special Advocate for Children; triathlete Ani de Leon-Brown, the first Filipina to qualify for the Ironman world championships; and Lang Dulay, the famous T'boli Dreamweaver named by the National Commission on Culture and the Arts (NCCA) as a 'National Living Treasure' for her contributions to the preservation of T'boli culture.

The other awardees include: Rachelle Gerodias, the country's premier soprano; world-renowned fashion designer Monique Lhuillier; artist Lolita Valderrama-Savage, whose works have been exhibited all over the world; marine scientist and conservationist Jurgenne Primavera, named one of Time Magazine's Heroes of the Environment in 2008; Roselle Ambubuyog, the first visually impaired Filipina to graduate summa cum laude from Ateneo de Manila University; Cris Comerford, first Asian and first female White House executive chef; founder Sheila Lirio Marcelo, who is consistently recognized among the world's top women entrepreneurs; siblings Anna and Camille Meloto, social entrepreneurs and founders of Human Nature, Inc.; and the three members of the Pinay Mt. Everest Team - composed of Janet Belarmino, Noelle Wenceslao and Carina Dayondon - the first women from Southeast Asia to summit the world's tallest mountain.

Finally, the Senate will make a posthumous recognition for Dr. Fe del Mundo, founder of the country's first pediatric hospital and the first Filipino woman to be named National Scientist. Dr. del Mundo passed away in 2011 at the age of 99.

Cayetano said Women's Month is an opportune time to recognize outstanding women who continue to raise the bar and break the glass ceiling, not only in the country, but also across the world.

"When men and women work together side by side, society takes massive steps towards progress. The quest for gender equality is not a women's issue, but an issue for all of us. Because indeed, empowering women empowers humanity," she concluded.

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