BUTUAN CITY – In line with the celebration of International Women’s Day on 8 March, the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) CARAGA recognized five successful women entrepreneurs in the region for 2021.

The honorees of the recognition are Katrina Mae Cortez of Agusan del Norte, Junalyn Gijan of Agusan del Sur, Rhonalyn Dalisay of Province of Dinagat Islands, Kleensie Regalado of Surigao del Norte, and Angeli Palomino of Surigao del Sur.

“These five women from the five different provinces of the region are indeed testimonials of how able and effective women are when put in the position,” said Assistant Regional Director Gay Tidalgo.

ARD Tidalgo added that the struggles surpassed by the honorees from the start of their businesses before they became successful enterprises are stories of inspiration.

“They are inspiration especially that they have managed to continue their enterprises given that the business sector has been one of the most affected sectors during the pandemic,” the assistant director said.

Reflecting on the theme of the Women’s Month Celebration “Juana Laban sa Pandemya: Kaya,” Tidalgo said that recognizing the five honorees underscores the contribution of women in thriving amidst the threats of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Woman leader amidst the pandemic

“During the pandemic, I had to close my business because of the protocols, but as a woman entrepreneur who sees this as a test of my resilience, I did not allow failure as an option,” shared Palomino, owner of Mary Pauline Salon and Spa in Tandag City.

When she reopened her four-year-old salon, she also opened two new branches in the Municipality of Barobo and Bislig City.

“We decided to branch out because we wanted to expand our product reach with our new market,” added Palomino who is also a graduate of DTI’s Kapatid Mentor Micro-Enterprises (KMME) Program.

Palomino’s business which started with a P500,000 capital and six workers has now grown into an enterprise with P2.5 M capital with 35 employees.

Empowered women empower women

Meanwhile, Gijan, a 37-year old mother, underlines the power of women in achieving what they are passionate about.

“Women are strong inside and out. We are molded to show everybody that we can be the best of everything in this world,” Gijan, proprietor of five-year-old Blue Plates Cakes and Pastries, added.

Now with current capitalization of P650,000 from the P30,000 initial capitalization, Gijan’s business has also faced challenges such as financial issues during the pandemic.

“My desire to make the business work pushed me to persevere and address the challenges one step at a time,” Gijan said.

The threat of the COVID-19 pandemic made her more innovative through ­­­selling products online, seizing the opportunity when most people stay at their homes. “These awards underscore the tremendous steps taken by girls and women in thriving amidst the threats of the COVID-19 pandemic. We celebrate the different roles that women play in shaping a more inclusive society and in the transition to what is now may be tagged as a new strange,” said ARD Tidalgo. ♦

Date of Release: 10 March 2021