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Batapa-Sigue: Recognizing Outstanding Women of 2019 (Part 2)

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LAST week, Towns Foundation recognized 12 outstanding women as part of The Outstanding Women in Nation's Service (Towns) for 2019. Towns Foundation Inc. runs this national awards program every three years to recognize outstanding Filipino women ages 21 to 50 years old who have contributed positively to strengthening national capability and shaping the nation's future and served as catalysts for economic, social and cultural development, national security and national unity.

As one of the 2016 Towns awardees under the field of information and communications technology (ICT), I am sharing the story of these women to inspire our readers.

This year's awardees are Xyza Bacani (Arts and Humanities), Carmina Bayombong (Financial Technology), Clarissa Isabelle Delgado (Education and Community Service), Maria Regina Justina Estuar (Computer Science and Social Psychology), Karla Patricia Gutierez (Performing Arts), Samira Gutoc (Peace Advocacy), Gay Jane Perez (Performing Arts), Patricia Ann Prodigalidad (Law), Stephanie Sy (Data Science), Rohaniza Sumndad-Usman (Education), Chiara Zambrano (Journalism) and Geraldine Zamora (Health and Medicine).

I shared about the first six awardees last week and shall now continue with the other six.

Gay won the 2018 Asean-US Science Prize for Women, setting the record as the first Filipino to win the award given by the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, US Agency for International Development and the Underwriters Laboratories (UL). She is an associate professor at the UP Diliman College of Science's Environmental Science and Meteorology Department, and led the DOST Philippines-Microsat program that successfully sent into orbit Diwata-1 in 2016. Her exceptional research focused on precision agriculture and how it can improve yield by using satellite observations in conjunction with models and ground data, to better derive and develop prediction tools for agriculture in the Philippines. Her work on remote sensing examines spatial distribution of vegetation, temperature, precipitation and soil moisture that in turn provide the ability to assess drought impacts.

Trina Prodigalidad is cited as among the key practitioners and experts in the field of Asset Recovery by Who's Who Legal 100 and is recognized by Asialaw Profiles as a Distinguished Practitioner in the practice area of dispute resolution in 2019. She topped the 1996 Bar Examinations and now specializes in commercial litigation, white collar crime, intra-corporate disputes, banking, investments and securities litigation, anti-money laundering, corporate rehabilitation and insolvency, international commercial and construction arbitration, and intellectual property and antitrust litigation. She represents multinational financial institutions and their officers in suits involving complex commercial agreements and transactions (including foreign exchange transactions, financial derivatives, collateralized debt obligations, and other securities/financial instruments) as well as before regulatory investigations. Leveraging on her science background, she also represents clients in environmental litigation. She has likewise assisted clients in various congressional inquiries.

Stephanie is the founder and CEO of Thinking Machines Data Science Inc., a startup that builds data platforms and AI tools for improved organizational decisions. Her team's work combines algorithmic thinking and data storytelling to drive effective action from organizations in all sectors. Their key achievements include opening in Singapore, partnerships with Google Cloud Platform and Waze (as the only Top Contributor in Asia), and working with the biggest conglomerates in the Philippines and Singapore. Rohaniza is an education and peace advocate who founded Teach Peace Build Peace Movement Inc. (TPBPI) believing in the need to make each child a peace advocate by promoting a culture of peace and dialogue among young people to promote a sustainable peaceful society. She is now working with various organizations for Pathways to Integrated and Inclusive Conflict-Sensitive Protection and Education for Children in Mindanao or (iCOPE) Project, a program under education pathways to peace in Mindanao. The iCOPE Program is a consortium of different organization and government agencies. TPBPI is a strong advocate of peace education in a conflict-sensitive community. Its goal is making every Filipino child a peace hero.

Chiara is a multi-awarded correspondent and documentary filmmaker of ABC-CBN and is The Outstanding Young Men and Women (TOYM) Awardee for exemplary work in the field of Journalism in 2017. She holds a Master of Arts in Documentary by Practice with Distinction from the Royal Holloway, University of London, United Kingdom and a Master of Arts in Journalism from the Ateneo de Manila University, Philippines. She is a scholar of The Chevening Scholarships in the United Kingdom, a Fellow of the Konrad Adenauer Asian Centre for Journalism for the documentary "'Di Ka Pasisiil" on the entry of ISIS and the Marawi siege, among her many awards.

Geraldine or Ging is the class valedictorian in the UP College of Medicine topped licensure exams and received multiple recognitions. She has numerous publications and research presentations and a co-author of five books; and editor of IM Platinum, awarded Outstanding Book by NAST Philippines. She is the first Filipino Visiting Postdoctoral Scientist in Cedars-Sinai Medical Center (Rheumatology) and one of only three Filipinos to be awarded International Fellowship Grant by the Asia Pacific League of Associations for Rheumatology; and is now one of the 150+ rheumatologists in the country -- one serving about a million Filipinos. She spearheaded concerts and projects for the benefit of cancer patients to help generate funds to subsidize various projects to save lives.

Congratulations to all TOWNS Awardees for 2019!


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