Gwen bags Nicole Award in London
Cebuana legislator Gwendolyn Garcia has received the Nicole Award of the Most Influential Filipina Woman in the World.
The recognition is given to "Filipina women whose words, action and activism, inspire others to act and revolutionize society’s way of understanding traditional beliefs and customs; thus, leaving behind a global Filipino Imprint" as stated on her Facebook page.
Garcia is one of this year's awardees who were chosen from a field of nominees around the world, based on leadership roles, scope of position, influence in their respective fields, profession, and board affiliations. Garcia, representative of Cebu's third legislative district, was chosen as one.
The award was conferred to her during a gala event of the 15th Filipina Leadership Global Summit at the St. Pancras Renaissance Hotel in London, UK.
The lady of ceremony recognized her as an "accomplished congresswoman" for sponsoring over 300 legislative measures, some of which aims to protect women.
The said summit is an initiative of the Filipina Women's Network (FWN), a San Francisco based international advocacy organization.
"(It) brings together some of the top and most influential Filipina women business owners and professionals from around the globe to create a networking pipeline thru reciprocal relationships," stated on the official website of the organization.
Garcia was also chosen as the keynote speaker for the summit.
"The speakers chosen for the summit are all at the top of their game sharing their experiences and insights on how they became successful, how they turned their success into significant work and what it means to be an Influential Woman in today’s business world," stated in the website.
In her speech, Garcia said that the Philippines is facing different battles in multiple forefronts such as natural hazards (typhoon), illegal drugs, poverty, peace & order, and insurgency. However, she said that the empowered Filipina women have helped address these concerns in different arenas.
She recalled that when she was elected as the first lady governor of Cebu Province, she felt pressure from the people who had preconceptions on what a provincial governor should be.
"I have to show that being a woman could translate into substantive change and so I set up to do then to do better. Perhaps the best man for the job could be a woman," she said.
She continued that during her time as governor, Cebu was able to highlight more the fields of tourism, history and culture. She continued that the effects of her administration were felt even behind bars when the Cebu Provincial Detention and Rehabilitation Center (CPDRC) dancing inmates became a worldwide hit.
"From this change of attitude came the pride of place and pride of being Cebuanos," she said.
As an awardee, she expressed that Filipino women can inspire both men and women around the world, as bearers of "the seeds of change" in the work that they do. The said summit was held from September 12-17. —
Lorraine Mitzi A. Ambrad/FPL