Wednesday, September 04, 2002

Wednesday Girl: Maria Lourdes Ann (L.A.) Cruz

Full name: Maria Lourdes Ann Cruz
Nickname: L.A.
D.O.B.: 15 July 1976
Current Location: Makati City, Philippines
Academic Background: BS Legal Management, Ateneo de Manila University (1997)
Master In Business Management – Regis, Ateneo de Manila Graduate School of Business (2000)
Occupation: Executive Assistant to the President & CEO, Gonzalo Puyat & Sons, Inc. (Bell Telecommunication Phils., Inc., Puyat Vinyl Products Inc., Puyat Steel Corporation, South China Resources, Inc., TAB Phils. Inc., IPI Pipes, IPI International, Consulate of the Republic of Croatia) Project Consultant, PhilWAPP
Interests & Hobbies: Health & Fitness, Yoga, Cardioboxing, Aerobiking, Movies, Reading, Cooking, Tea over a good conversation with friends

Wednesday Girl: L.A. Cruz

I always thought I’d be in court right now (not as an accused but a lawyer defending the rights of an accused.) Since I was young I have always wanted to be a lawyer, influenced by my mom who’s a clerk of court and hoards of her friends who are mostly lawyers and judges. But then in high school, my “geeky” self emerged as I remember squeezing all of my brain’s “techie” juices to finish a PASCAL and BASIC program in 20 minutes against other “geeky” high school students from various schools trying to snatch away the national championship trophy in one computer programming competition. I guess my “insecurities” as a young gal (since I don’t want to be called a “geek”) gave way so in college, I pursued my childhood dream and took up a pre-law course only to find out that I will not pursue law after all (though I went to Ateneo Law School for one semester right after I defended my thesis in my graduate school.)

From being a brand manager to a government employee to a part-time college professor (in a seminary!), here I am (dyaraannnn!!!), in the corporate world still trying to bring out the best in me amidst the pressure and challenges that go with working with a very “diverse” company. I remember being engrossed so much with my work that I totally forgot my needs as a person, more so as a woman. All the days of the week seem the same to me – they all mean working days. From my full-time job I’d be rushing to my part-time job as a professor. I was always in a rush, almost running, never walking and stopping by to smell the flowers (if ever there are in the busy and polluted sidewalks of Makati!).

“I was the woman of the 21st century”, I told myself. At first the adrenalin rush kept me going and wanting more. I was like an energizer bunny always on the go. And I prided myself with that. Then slowly the excitement faded. No more adrenalin rush. I don’t seem to be happy with work anymore. I dread the mornings when I have to wake up and force myself to go to work. I hated my work, and my life in general. I was so absorbed in my work that I almost lost the real me, trying to prove to other people that I can be good in everything I do. I suddenly lost the zest and enthusiasm I once had.

But today, things have changed. . .or should I say I have changed.

Now, things are definitely better. I love what I do – the variety of dealing with various industries, the excitement of an unpredictable schedule, the challenge of being the first female in my position and the “perks” that go with working directly with the top guy. My part-time consultancy with PhilWAPP has also brought me a different kind of fulfillment – getting in touch with my “geeky” self again and working with such young and talented people in the wireless industry. Work now is more of a “play” – fun and enjoyable, rather than a dreadful toil of labor. And the best part, I have time to go out and enjoy the simple pleasures in life I have long forgotten since I started to get involved in the corporate world.

How did I manage to do a 360-degree turn, you might ask? Well, let’s save that for next week and the succeeding Wednesdays.

Wednesdays are “chill out” days for W3O women, a mid-week break from the hustle and bustle of our work - from light and heartwarming little stories in the workplace, to a new discovery that wakes up our souls, to simple suggestions to relax our stressed nerves, or just about a good book recently read or a new-found excellent restaurant around the corner.

Wednesdays will be our day to bask in our womanhood . . .See you next Wednesday!

CaRPe dIeM!!!

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