THE shortness of life is never a hindrance to achieving a person’s quest to make a difference in other people’s lives.

This was manifested by an exemplary woman whose life was dedicated to serving those in need. Maria Teresa Baarde or Tess as she was fondly called by many, had a very extra ordinary journey that took her as far as Europe in the hope of achieving her greatest dream.

She was the first female valedictorian of the Ateneo de Davao University, belonging to the first batch of female high schools students. This won her a full academic scholarship to Ateneo de Manila University where she earned her degree in Management Engineering.

Her career took off when she was hired by Procter and Gamble, Philippines under the pharmaceutical subsidiary, Norwich Eaton. This eventually gave her the opportunity to get assigned to countries in Europe such as Florence, Italy, London and Geneva, Switzerland. Her stint as Marketing Director allowed her to meet people of different cultures and fellow Filipino’s.

Being a devoted Catholic and her quest for service in the Filipino community in Geneva made her decide to serve in the parish after her retirement in the corporate world.

She was a former President of the Filipino Catholic Community in Geneva and Ugnayan Bayan, the federation of 22 Filipino organizations in Cantons Geneva and Vaud. Her remarkable achievements up to this day are being commended by her successors.

Her early demise was a great blow to the Filipino Communities in Geneva and their grief was manifested during her wake that was overwhelmingly showered with love and compassion for a fallen community leader and a friend.

Tess, undoubtedly made her own mark despite the short life she lived. She will forever be remembered and cherished for living a life in the service of the Lord Almighty.