These female go-getters share how their supportive family encouraged them to become the successful women they are today.
Being successful at what you do takes hard work and determination. But for these women, having the support they needed at home definitely helped nurture in them a drive for excellence. We speak to four women who are at the top of their game as they share how they got to where they are now.
TV Host, Writer, Content Creator
The youngest of three siblings, Bianca grew up looking up to her ate and kuya. “My brother was very active in extra curriculars (my sister was as well) and was an honor student,” she shares. Of course, who else would they take after? “My parents were both honor students when they were growing up, so I guess my siblings and parents taught me by example.” Though they didn’t tell her to do things a certain way, she learned by seeing how her parents and siblings went through school.
When she grew up, her parents were supportive of her choice to work while she was still studying.
“All they said was that school should come first and as long as I brought home good grades, that is what’s important.” After she started working, her parents stopped giving her allowance already. “They also knew that my working would help me learn the value of money.” Her parents never really spoke deliberately about excelling. “It was more of they would always encourage us to do our best with whatever we get into,” she narrates. “That it is important to also find the joy in what we do, and just as important, they allowed us to fail and make mistakes and learn from them instead of baby-ing us all the way.”
When asked what contributes to her drive at work, she has this to say. “Knowing that there is a greater purpose to my work than just work. Yes, I work to pay the bills and support my family. But more than that, knowing that my work allows me to do a greater good by helping others or making their day a bit better. Knowing that things in this world are not just about us, that it affects everything around us and we have the capacity to help shape that, keeps that drive alive.”
Co-founder and Chief Brand Officer, Happy Skin Cosmetics
For Rissa’s parents, it wasn’t a matter of imposing rewards for good grades or punishments for poor performance. She also believes that they were setting an example for her and her siblings.
She shares, “They would let us tag along with them at work. They were driven, passionate, and hardworking in their careers and there were never shortcuts.” She saw how hard her parents worked every day. This taught her how to excel and know the value of hard work.
Rissa was raised in a supportive environment that creates the right mindset. “Growing up, I was lucky to be surrounded by women who believed I could be anything I wanted to be,” she notes.
“My own mom would always push me very hard to spheres of excellence. As a kid, she believed I could be a doctor, lawyer, and an entrepreneur—professions dominated by men at that time.”
A big factor that contributed to her drive at work is the way she was raised. Now that she has a company of her own, she tries to foster that same kind of empowering environment she was exposed to. “I’m proud that Happy Skin is powered by a team of the most amazing women. It’s a validation of what today’s Filipina can do,” she says. “My girls are growing up so fast and I’m so happy they belong to a generation of girls who can dream big, pursue passions, and be whoever they want to be!”
For Rissa, profit is not the only measure of success. It’s even more fulfilling when you are making an impact and changing lives. “Nothing is more fulfilling than to create a product from scratch, see it come to life, and see women wear it and witness how it makes a difference in the lives of Filipinas. It’s rewarding to see how Happy Skin, a homegrown brand of makeup that cares for the skin, allows women to feel good about themselves. It’s really fulfilling to be in the business of making women feel happy.”
For her, “being an entrepreneur isn’t just about loving what you do, but also adding value to other people’s lives. It’s about purpose. More than being successful, it’s about being significant—significance means making a contribution to others.”
Belle’s parents were two opposites when it came to her schoolwork. Her father was generally more relaxed about it and only had serious conversations about it when absolutely needed. Her mom on the other hand was a disciplinarian. “She made sure we did well in school and were set up for success with the right resources and support.” Being a full-time housewife, her undivided attention was focused not just on their studies but also through extra-curricular activities. Belle shares her mom made sure they had a holistic education. “We dabbled in sports and music lessons after school and had a home tutor who assisted us with our schoolwork.”
As a child, she was very grateful to have opportunities to do well in school, but she was also afraid of disappointing her parents.
“I still remember how I cried in school when I got a below average grade and didn’t make it to the honor roll for the first time,” she narrates. “I was not just crying because I failed, but I cried even more so at the thought of the scolding I would have to endure when I came back home!” She looks back at this fear and realizing its benefits. “It instilled in me that drive to constantly achieve in school, and in life in general,” she notes.
She’s grateful that she has never had to defend her chosen career path to her mom.
“She has always believed in my strengths and encouraged me to pursue the path that harnessed my talents the most.” Though she was interested in exploring other jobs such as filmmaking, she knew that they can’t afford it. “So I went with what I was naturally good at instead (and what we could afford at that time), which was in the realm of communications.”
Belle says she has never had regrets with the path she chose. In the industry she is in now, no day is ever the same. “I am constantly being presented with challenges that bring out the best in me, so I can’t imagine having any other career at this point.”
Nikki dela Paz
Architect/Designer, Co-owner of Vessel Hostel
Aside from giving incentives whenever Nikki did well in school, it was her parents leading by example that motivated her to do better. “My parents were always interested in reading about and learning something new—they still are—and we would always have books and educational things in the house.”
Her parents were always supportive of her and never forced her to choose a certain profession.
What drives her to do great work is the fact that she enjoys what she does. “Plus, I have a partner (my husband!) who has a beautiful design aesthetic which inspires me and guides me. It’s an amazing feeling when you see people actually use the space you’ve designed and enjoy it. That also motivates me.”
We definitely have different definitions of success, but at the end of the day, one thing rings true: Growing up in a supportive environment that allows you to be the successful women you want to be, helps nurture your full potential.
Want to read more inspiring stories on women empowerment or learn about opportunities for young females in senior high school and college?