smart super women

(from left to right)

Whang Od

At 100 years old, Whang Od is the last mambabatok (traditional Kalinga tattooist) and the oldest tattoo artist in the Philippines. She has become one of Kalinga’s tourist destinations as hundreds of local and foreign visitors travel all the way to Buscalan to meet or get tattooed by her.

Whang Od has been featured in a number of cultural documentaries and her image was included in an exhibit at the Royal Ontario Museum in Ontario, Canada entitled Tattoos: Ritual. Identity. Obsession. Art.

Aside from being a tattoo artist, Whang-od is a respected village elder.


Gina Lopez

Regina Paz “Gina” Lopez is an environmentalist and philanthropist who currently serves as the Secretary of Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR).

After living among the people of slum areas in Africa, Gina returned to the Philippines where she initiated corporate social responsibility programs for the environment and Filipino communities. When she became the Managing Director of the ABS-CBN Foundation, she initiated projects such as Bantay Bata 163, Bantay Kalikasan, the Kapit Bisig para sa Ilog Pasig and Bayanijuan project.


Malala Yousafzai

At a young age, Malala Yousafzai became an advocate for girls’ education, which resulted in the Taliban issuing a death threat against her. On October 9, 2012, a gunman shot Malala when she was traveling home from school. She survived, and has continued to speak out on the importance of education. She was nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize in 2013. In 2014, she was nominated again and won, becoming the youngest person to receive the Nobel Peace Prize.


Pia Wurtzbach

Miss Universe 2015 Pia Wurtzbach is known for being “confidently beautiful with a heart.” She joined the Binibining Pilipinas budget three times before getting the title and representing the Philippines in the Miss Universe pageant.

“To be a Miss Universe is both an honor and a responsibility. If I were to be Miss Universe, I will use my voice to influence the youth, and I will raise awareness of certain causes like HIV and other issues that are timely and relevant to my country.” – Pia Wurtzbach


Emma Watson

Emma Watson is an actress, model, and activist. Despite her busy schedule, she graduated from Brown University with a bachelor’s degree in English literature. In 2014, she was appointed as a United Nations Women Goodwill Ambassador and helped launch the UN Women campaign HeForShe, which calls for men to advocate gender equality.

Emma made her first country visit as a UN Women Goodwill Ambassador to Uruguay where she gave a speech highlighting the need for women’s political participation. In December of the same year, the Ms. Foundation for Women named Watson its Feminist Celebrity of 2014.


Tessie Sy-Coson

Teresita T. Sy-Coson, is the Vice Chairperson of SMIC. She has varied experiences in retail merchandising, mall development and banking businesses.  A graduate of Assumption College, she was actively involved in Shoemart’s development.  At present, she is the Chairperson of the Board of Directors of BDO Unibank, Inc.  She also holds board positions in several companies within the SM Group.

Tessie is usually referred to as her father Henry Sy’s heir apparent for the reason that SM’s retail and banking groups have been at their most profitable under her leadership.


Gaita Fores

Margarita “Gaita” Fores is the President of food businesses such as Cibo Inc., Cafe Bola, Pepato, Lusso, Alta, Grace Park, Sostanza Health Line, and Fiori Di M. She highlights the best of the Philippines with the best of the world. In her restaurants, she uses organic ingredients not only to promote healthy eating but to help the farmers who produce them as well.

Last year, Gaita was named Asia’s Best Female Chef for 2016 by Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants Awards. She is the first Filipino chef to win the award despite having no formal education regarding food preparation or culinary arts. Her love for food and passion for creating the right ambience that goes with the food service have made her successful with her ventures.