The Philippine Embassy and the Philippine American Chamber of Commerce Metro DC organized a panel discussion entitled, “Filipinas in Business: Making Mindset Matter,” in celebration of International Women’s Day at the Philippine Embassy Chancery Annex on March 8, 2019.

Special to the Filipino Reporter

WASHINGTON — In line with the Philippines’ national celebration of Women’s Month and the global celebration of International Women’s Day, the Philippine Embassy in partnership with the Philippine American Chamber of Commerce Metro DC (PACC-Metro DC) organized a panel discussion entitled “Filipinas in Business: Making Mindset Matter” at the Embassy’s Chancery Annex on March 8, 2019.

The panel discussion brought together successful Filipino-American women who have ventured and succeeded in various fields of business.

They are Precious Lopez, owner of the sewing business Sew Magarbo; Cristina Sison of Compass Realty and President of PACC-Metro DC; Sonia Aranza, President and CEO of the Training and Development Consultancy business Aranza Communications; and Maia Paglinawan Carney, owner of personal training studio The Worx by Maia.

The discussions were moderated by Joni Rayos Samilin, owner of personal and professional development business Influencer Mindset, and hosted by lawyer-entrepreneur Olma Inocentes of OMLLI Group, LLC.

In his opening remarks, Philippine Embassy Deputy Chief of Mission Patrick A. Chuasoto said, “Contributions of women in business are more widely recognized now than at any other time in modern history. And the truth is that when women participate actively in the economy, and on terms equal to those of the men, the rest of society stands to benefit, particularly in achieving good governance, economic growth, poverty eradication, and environment sustainability, among others.”

The powerhouse panel shared with the audience the inspiration and motivation behind their own businesses, the challenges they faced and how they overcame them, and how they see themselves and their businesses years from now.

Sonia Aranza emphasized the importance of venturing outside the comfort zone, while Cristina Sison added the value of dreaming big and taking risks in putting up a business.


The panelists. From left, Precious Lopez, Cristina Sison, Sonia Aranza, Maia Paglinawan Carney and moderator Joni Rayos Samilin.

Maia Paglinawan Carney stressed the key role of mindset and self-confidence, while Precious Lopez underscored the importance of genuinely caring for clients in order to develop a lasting relationship with them.

During the Q&A session, panelists fielded various questions including on how to encourage and mobilize the community into promoting diversity and inclusion in businesses, how to help foster more investments to the Philippines, and what advice to give to those entrepreneurs who are still starting.

A simple reception followed the discussion and Q&A.

Prior to the panel discussion, Ms. Thrina Lim, Auditor of PACC-Metro DC, also delivered brief remarks about the Chamber’s history and mission.

The Philippines celebrates National Women’s Month every March and participate in the worldwide observance of International Women’s Day (IWD).

In 2017, the theme “We Make Change Work for Women” was adopted for the period 2017-2022.

It highlights the empowerment of women as active contributors to and claim holders of development.


Guests line up for the Q&A session of the panel discussion.

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