On the observance of women’s month, I was invited to attend the house of the Singapore Ambassador Kok Li Peng which she hosted in celebration of International Women’s Day at the Singapore residence last March 20. 
Themed “Celebrating the Women of the Philippines and Singapore,” Ambassador invited D’Mark Beauty Corporation CEO Nikki Tang from the Philippines and Love, Bonito co-founder Rachel Lim from Singapore to share their experiences as women in business in a panel discussion.
Public Works and Highways Undersecretary Karen Jimeno was the dynamic moderator who gamely took up the challenge just hours after returning to Manila. The two panelists narrated their personal paths towards the establishment of their businesses to the audience, holding nothing back when describing the pitfalls they had to navigate, the risks they took and the strong support they received from their families. I was amazed and overwhelmed because I was personally invited to be one of the attendees and I really learned a lot about growth, power and success.
The moderator skillfully weaved the narratives together with her own experience in the public and private sectors and drew out common threads of persistence, courage and integrity in the way all the ladies comported themselves along their life journeys. I am very happy that everyone inside, not only women, really came together as one. Helping each other, learning and most especially breaking the barriers to prove that women really can become successful at any field, not just in business.
The event drew the participation of notable female leaders as well as distinguished male and female guests from the business, consular and diplomatic communities. The event also featured Willie Garcia’s inspiring Junk Not! Upcycled eco-creative furniture and intricate sculptures, handmade by women from Laguna. 
The evening showcased the common cause we all share in supporting and celebrating the limitless potential of women, making every day International Women’s Day. Ladies, we are stronger than any kind of label or assumption. As long as you hold on to your dreams and stay headstrong, you can achieve anything you set your mind to. Pair your passion with unending perseverance, and take courage in proving doubters wrong. #InternationalWomensMonth #WomenEmpowerment
The attendees are as follows:
Kok Li Peng, Nikki Tang Ceo of D’Mark Beauty Corporation
Love Bonito co-founder Rachel Lim
Honorary Consul of Togo Ms Evie Costa, Former Foreign Affairs ambassador, Delia Albert, Ambassador of the United States His Excellency Sung Kim
Singapore Airlines GM Balagopal Kunduvara and his wife Swathy, Derrick Chua and Centre Director of International Enterprise Singapore, Darren Lee
Seated are Silk Cocoon co-owner Jean Goulbourn, Sweden Consul Ms. Carla S. Limcaoco, Silk Cocoon co-owner Frances Lim and Belarus consul Anette Ablan. Standing are Nikki Tang, Singapore Ambassador Kok Li Peng, and former Philippine Export Zone Authority Lilia de Lima.
Cambodia Ambassador Tuot Panha with Nikki Tang
Madam Nwe Ni Aung, Madam Lizia Lu, Cynthia Carrion-Norton, Fernanda Maria Dos Santos, Nikki Tang, Guatemala Consul Mellie Ablaza, Togo Consul Ms. Evie Costa, Securities and Exchange Commission chair Teresita Herbosa and Swiss Ambassador Andrea Reichlin.
Spain Ambassador Luis Antonio Calvo, Madam Maria Jose Carrasco, Austria Ambassador Bita Rasoulian, Singapore Ambassador Kok Li Peng and Canada Ambassador John Holmes