Sunday, December 18, 2005

Josie Cacdac: Gender and ICT Keynote

I like to thank Josie Cacdac for mentioning me in her keynote speech during a recent WSIS Gender and ICT summit. For the full podcast, visit Andy Carvin's blog.

Saturday, November 12, 2005

Teresita Sy-Coson: No. 46 on Fortune mag's list

There are several interesting story feature about Teresita Sy-Coson, vice-chairman of the SM Investments Corp. Note that the SM group of companies are known for their early adoption of e-commerce in the Philippines.

SM's Sy No. 46 on Fortune mag's list
FOR THE FIFTH STRAIGHT year, SM'S Teresita "Tessie" Sy made it to Fortune Magazine's annual list of the 50 most powerful women in business outside the United States. She ranked No. 46, up from last year's No. 47.

The Philippines: Family Loyalty
In many family businesses, particularly ethnic Chinese companies in Southeast Asia, women don't just one day decide to join. Sometimes, they're basically drafted. That's essentially what happened to Teresita Sy-Coson in the Philippines. The oldest of six children, at the age of 13 Ms. Sy-Coson started working in one of her family's shoe stores near her home in Manila. Today, she's a 54-year-old widow who often puts in 10-hour days and has never worked outside the company.

Innovation, best practices key to SM’s success
When asked to characterize SM as a Brand, SM Group of Companies President Teresita Sy-Coson stated the group’s vision for SM. “We would like to be the store of the people. We would like to be a place that many people of all ages will love to be in,” Ms. Coson said during the recent Business World Outlook Forum on the retailing industry.

SM history rooted in crisis, says heir apparent
SM’s history is rooted in crisis, according to Teresita Sy Coson, vice president and daughter of founder Henry Sy, thus the mall developer is not afraid of the current economic crunch. She said the group is continuing Bucking the economic crunch, the SM Group is continuing its expansion here and abroad, opening two malls next year, on top of the four scheduled this year plus two more malls in China.

Sunday, October 09, 2005

9 Women-Owned SMEs Shared Their Promotional Strategies

At least 9 women entrepreneurs have agreed to share their promotional strategies for the SME handbook I'm working on. What I'll also do is feature them individually here and hope you'll find it worth reading and learning.

These 9 women are from Australia, Indonesia, Hong Kong, USA, and the Philippines. I shall keep you posted.

Sunday, August 21, 2005


For the first time, an interactive billboard standing in Edsa Guadalupe serves as a public forum for Filipinos to debate on “What is beautiful?”. The billboard also features a running tally of the votes and the advocacy campaign’s URL,

Dove encourages consumers to use their mobile phones to vote directly to the billboard and the percentage of the votes actually appear on the billboard itself, with the technology called “SMS cross carrier” polling consumers nationwide and making their vote count.

The huge billboard, which stands one hundred and sixty feet high and one hundred and sixty feet along Edsa Guadalupe depicts an image of Australian Kristina Vrick, asking consumers to decide if she is “Extra-Large?” or “Extra-Sexy?”, as the billboard provokes the thought “Will more curves actually make you more attractive?”. In the ocean of billboards along Edsa that stars tall, slim and fair models, this Dove billboard indeed stands out from it all, in size and in thought.

The interactive billboard is part of beauty brand Dove’s global Campaign for Real Beauty, which challenges the stereotypical view of beauty. Kristina’s picture is one of four provocative images included in the global advertising campaign intended to serve as a catalyst for widening the definition and discussion of beauty. Other billboards depicting women of diverse beauty, likewise challenging the narrow, stifling definition of beauty are located along the South Luzon Expressway, Metro Walk in Ortigas and in North Edsa, all calling in Filipinos to debate!

Everyone can text in their vote thru SMS by sending in Dove I vote to 3993 or by logging on to Make a stand and voice out your opinion.

Bloggers, on the other hand, can also start arguing the issue in their respective blogs which I intend to do here.

1. Is hair length a true measure of beauty?

No, it is how you carry it. What you are and how you feel affects your aura. A person with a beautiful aura radiates beauty that is not seen in the eye but felt by the people you interact with.

I used to have a very long hair and this made me easy to remember when I was lobbying for the E-Commerce Law then. Late 2000, I decided to cut it and that happened in Vidal Sassoon in San Francisco. As I returned to Manila, friends and relatives were shocked but said that I looked even better.

2. Will more curves actually make you more attractive?

For getting a one night stand date, maybe yes. But for serious relationship, it is not. I agree that women should work hard to stay fit but do so because you want to protect your health and live longer.

Being overweight can bring you harm, but not eating enough can make you vulnerable to other sickness. Over-exercising without proper diet may result to osteoporosis.

3. Does age matter in determining beauty?

No. The beauty inside a person is more important than what one can see outside, regardless of age.

4. Does skin have to be flawless to be beautiful?

No. Natural spots are ok. Just keeping a clean face is enough.

Monday, August 08, 2005

Call for regional entries! Philippine Schools CyberFair 2006: Inspire and Unite!

Attention: All elementary and high school teachers!

Engage students in performance-based, collaborative, project-design competition this school year 2005-2006!

  • Support standards-based, authentic learning
  • Connect students to their local communities
  • Increase students' global perspective
  • Increase real-world, transferable skills
  • Involve students in the assessment
  • Teach students information-age skills (research, project management, publishing, digital media) is launching the 5th Philippines School CyberFair Project with the theme, "Inspire and Unite". This competition encourages students to "shine the spotlight" on people, places, businesses and other things in their local community -- that serve to "inspire, motivate, and encourage positive change."

All Philippine entries shall also join the International School CyberFair. On its 11th year, it has been described as the largest educational event of its kind ever held on the Internet. This program has brought together more than one million students from over 100 countries.

It is also an authentic learning program used by schools and youth organizations around the world. Youth conduct research and publish their findings on the Web. Recognition is given to the best projects in each of eight categories: local leaders, businesses, community organizations, historical landmarks, environment, music, art, and local specialties. This program encourages youth to become community ambassadors by working collaboratively and using technology to share what they have learned. Students evaluate each other's projects by using a unique online evaluation tool.

CyberFair encourages youth to connect the knowledge they learn in school to real world applications. It also supports current education subjects such as Filipino, English, Computer, Social Studies, Science, Music, Practical Arts, Character Education, among others.

This year, schools can submit multiple entries. However, it should only be limited to one entry, per category, per division (elementary / high school). All entries must be written and presented in English and Filipino.

We are launching earlier this year to give way to the regional competition. Prizes this year includes:

Regional level (August to November 2005)

  • Trophy for the school, medal for students
  • Regional IT leadership convention for all Cyberfair participants

Note that regions with less than 40 entries shall be merged with nearby regions or be directly included in the national competition.

National level (November 2005 to March 2006)

  • Trophy for the school, medal for students
  • National IT leadership convention for all Cyberfair participants
  • Train the teachers on E-Learning Content Development 5-days workshop

For more details, visit

Do you like to support the Philippine Schools CyberFair 2006? Here's how.

  • Disseminate this information to the schools in your area.
  • Coach teachers and students in preparing the CyberFair entry.
  • Volunteer as a reviewer of website entries.
  • If you are from the media or have a blog, write or talk about this initiative.
  • Become a corporate sponsor by providing resources needed for this project.
  • Become an individual supporter by buying a book, e-book, research report, or become a club member at

Friday, August 05, 2005

Looking for case studies: Promotional strategies of women-owned businesses

Hello folks. I am currently part of an international team working on "guidebook for women-owned SMEs." This is a joint project of Global Knowledge Partnership and International Organisation for Knowledge Economy and Enterprise Development. This is project agreed upon after the Women Entrepreneurship and ICT track in the World Knowledge Forum 2004.

Part of the requirement is to feature as much international case studies as possible. I believe that those who will be featured can consider this as an opportunity to be promoted for free and impart your experience as well.

I'm handling the Promotional Strategies chapter of the said book. Case studies should be willing to share their experiences in the following areas:

1. Sources and channels of marketing: This section will give an overview of how women-owned SMEs market their products, how they distribute them, how does this differ across different types of businesses and stages of business development (e.g., when starting,when growing, etc.)

2. Communication: This section will tackle communication practices ofwomen-owned SMEs (what works? what doesn't?) in reaching out to target market segments and suppliers.

3. Challenges in marketing: This section will discuss both weaknesses, barriers, challenges, advantages of specific promotional strategies women use.

4. Upgrading competencies of women-owned SMEs: This section will take a general look at where promotional strategies could be upgraded. List what governments, business support organisations, women entrepreneurs themselves could do or have done, in the form of recommendations, but also identifying good practices.

Your referral will be very much appreciated. Thank you!

Monday, August 01, 2005

E-Business Training for Women SMEs

I just finished the APEC E-Business Training for Women SMEs last week. For the past two years, there's always a desire to have a similar training conducted in the Philippines. It seems that the opportunity is finally shining. The National Computer Center and UP-ISSI expressed interest in this area. Will you be interested to participate or volunteer as trainer? Let me know!

Thursday, July 28, 2005

Do women find it hard to start their own e-business?

One of the things that I got asked lately is do more women find it hard to start their own e-business. I find that quite hard to answer. However, what I noticed though is that more men tend to succeed in this area.

As for the problems, when I was still starting back in 1998, I had a hard time on the following areas:

1. Finding IT savvy suppliers who can provide me electronic copy of the product photos and product descriptions.

2. Finding an affordable payment gateway to accept international payments online.

3. I find delivery, especially international deliveries, to be too expensive.

Today the same problems are existent but not as hard as before.

Sunday, June 12, 2005

Gender-sensitive forums

I've been attending forums lately. More often than not, I find myself watching or being part of a panel with very few women.

I think event and forum organizers should strive to strike a balance whenever they organize events, where insights are exchanged. This lack of gender sensivity shows a lot on how we value the opinion of women in society.

Monday, May 30, 2005

Question and Answer

I saw this "Interview Me" thread at Bing's blog. I decided to give it a shot and am encouraging my W3O readers to do the same by following the instructions below.

1. What do you think would be the best way to preserve culture and ethos?
By sticking to a set of principles in everything that we do.

2. How do you think information superhighway could help uplift the Philippine economy?
Filipinos have been empowered through equivalent access to information and knowledge via the Internet. This in turn has also lead to numerous opportunities to do business, entertainment games, travel, e-learning, and the likes.

3. In your own opinion, what makes a woman ‘complete’?
A woman is complete if she is in control of herself - able to control her response to various situations and in dealing with vices. She must has a trustworthy relationship with her husband, children, family, and friends.

She is an entrepreneur who focuses on her business while proactive to the needs of the customer, stockholders, and personnel. She is an employee who strives hard in never letting her bosses down.

She serves the community with the intent of making things better. She continuously inspire and enlighten others to change their mindset on destructive behavior.

4. What is your definition of feminist?
Hmm.. I guess those who are sensitive to women's needs, challenges, and concerns.

5. Is it beneficial to be thin, and that would make a woman live longer?
In one way yes as they are less susceptible to sickness that those with overweight problems are exposed to.

Here are The Official Interview Game Rules:

If you want to participate, leave a comment below saying "interview me." I will respond by asking you five questions - each person’s will be different.You will update your journal/blog with the answers to the questions.You will include this explanation and an offer to interview others in the same post. When others comment asking to be interviewed, you will ask them five questions. If you don’t have a blog, I will still ask you 5 unique questions and you can post your answers here.

Sunday, May 29, 2005

I am a Filipina!

Vonjobi's effort to change search engine's mining of Filipina is gradually paying off. It now even has a logo contributed by Jonas Diego.

I am partly embarrassed by this whole discussion. For one, I don't refer to myself as a Filipina but a Filipino especially when I achieve a feat that is truly a first, regardless of gender. I guess I have to refer to myself more as a Filipino/Filipina hereon.

Perhaps, the reason for that attitude as well is that the feat achieved had nothing to do with me being a Filipina or woman. As I become more gender sensitive, perhaps my outlook will change in the long run.

Monday, May 23, 2005

What is a Filipina?

In the iBlog site, there's a great appeal ongoing that encourages each and every blogger to populate their blog as to what a Filipina is all about. This is to populate search engines results with relevant content that truly depicts what a Filipina is all about.

A Filipina is a Filipino lady or woman. More than half of the country's population is composed of Filipinas. You can find her in almost every profession. Overseas, she can also be found working in various services industry.

A young Filipina lady is often assumed to be having her own career or take care of her family as she reaches maturity. This mindset has left many Filipinas unprepared to take on the challenge of possibly becoming an entrepreneur. However, I hope this will change in the near future as more and more schools are integrating entrepreneurship in their courses.

As the Philippines is very much gender neutral, every Philippine resident, regardless of gender is often referred to as a Filipino. I noticed that a lady is only referred to as a Filipina whenever she gets featured or recognized in events, publications, and awards.

Perhaps this is the reason why there's not much content specifically referring to Filipinas. This is also where women publications in the country should take the challenge of taking their content online and populate search engines as to what Filipinas are truly all about. More than just mail-order brides and the likes... ayayay!

Tuesday, May 10, 2005

Mother's Day

My Mother's Day experience this year was quite special. We all went to mass and the church called on all mothers to be given the priest's prayers and blessings. Afterwards, we were given a small pink note that reminded us of our role as a mother.

I'm glad our community church made an extra effort this year to make Mother's Day more meaningful for those of us who were attending mass then.

How about you? How did your mother's day go? (If you have a blog about it, post the url here.)

Sunday, May 08, 2005

Reactivating W3O

I just initiated a discussion to revive this blog by having a theme or topics that can be blogged on a weekly basis. Those of you who are interested to join W3O are invited to email at


Sunday, February 06, 2005

Digital Pinay and the meaning of Power

Like many Internet users, I was surprised when I received the application form for Digital Pinay 2005. Right there and then, I knew this would solicit many reactions and have read some of them in various mailing lists.

After reading the article, I visited the Philippine Computer Society website but no details are posted so far. I think the only way that this project will succeed is for PCS to organize this competition at the school level where JPCS exist and let all winners compete at a nationwide level. At least, all participants were pre-selected.

I don't really have anything against the contest. Well, I was a product of a contest too, Miss STI Kalookan 1988. It was one of the Foundation Day activities and each class send a representative. I was asked to represent our class. As I'm not in my high moods at that time, I took the challenge. There were I think 10 of us then during the practice session but only 3 showed up that night. So I guess winning that contest didn't hold any weight.

Did I benefit from it? Yes. When I was looking for work the next year, I decided to go back to school and ask if I can be accepted as a trainee, without pay. I just want to be able to say that I have some trainee experience when I apply for work. They accepted me. If I didn't "won" that contest, the school personnel would hardly remember me and neither give consideration. It is at this time that I met Jun Mendoza, the school's CEO and have taught me a lot as my career blossomed.

A "beauty" contest, in a way, can help you get started. Let people know that you're not just another girl in the class.

What strikes me in the article is when it mentioned that the contest will help produce the next "Most Powerful Women in I.T." My question is, are they ready to mentor them? Will they be mentored to do what is right and not what is popular? In my opinion, most organizations are now behaving according to what is popular especially if the personalities at stake are one of their own.

From one success to another, you gain power. Without warning, power can blind you. Makes you believe that you can do anything even when you fail.

However, the true test of leadership is when you give someone power. There are personalities today who got hold of power, did not get contended, and wanted to have more. What makes them dangerous is they were able to persuade the mob. Some who think otherwise are afraid to speak up and become unpopular.

Principles, sadly, are easily compromised these days. One day, you find organizations fighting with all their heart as one government entity wants to control all ICT related projects. But today, because the proponent is one of their own, they are in an all out support. I don't know what kind of mentors they will make. How will they be remembered? Those who try to twist the law today to their favor (like what is being done by some to the E-Commerce Law) have no moral authority to lobby for new laws. What's the use of asking Congress to fix things if an E.O. can be easily executed, insult the law's intent, thereby humiliating Congress and proponents as well.

Jun Mendoza was betrayed by the people he trusted the most in business. His betrayal story is no different from Alexander the Great and our Philippine heroes. In 1999-2001, I wielded power as the Y2K Law and E-Commerce Law got passed. I tried dispersing the power I had, even to critics. However, like snake, they turn on to you when you don't speak on interest that favors their perspective. It is a law of power that I now don't believe in - giving those who don't like you, whether you know them personally or not, a chance to gain their trust and be trusted.

After experiencing the worst betrayals from friends and allies that I cherished the most, helped, and even fought for, I decided to stepped down in 2001 and vowed not to give in to the mob and neither to what is popular (but unrighteous), protect the E-Commerce Law, and patience in due process.

I re-build my life with my family, who matters the most. As I turned my back from power, I realized who my true friends are.