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These accomplished women share their secrets to success

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Interviews by JANE KINGSU-CHENG

cris

It has been proven that being dedicated to and focused on one’s goal will lead you to success.

I would tell my younger self that I’m so thankful to the Lord for having given me the zest and passion for work. That it has been proven that being dedicated to and focused on one’s goal will lead you to success. It has been proven in my life that “Criselda for Rustans” was once a small department, and is now a giant. All these, I owe to the Lord and Mama Mary. —Criselda Lontok, fashion designer

suys

I have never abandoned my inner child. Every day when I awake, I burst with energy and enthusiasm.

I am often asked the secret to my longevity in the public relations business. It truly is the most flattering way of being reminded of your age. I suppose it’s fair. After all, I have been in the industry for over five decades now. Typically, when I read interviews of successful business people asked this question, they often say hard work, creativity, determination, and so on. Sure, all these are true. In my case, however, one thing has made all the difference. The thing I know for sure is that I have never abandoned my inner child. Every day when I awake, I burst with energy and enthusiasm, eagerly looking forward to something exciting to experience, something new to learn, or someone interesting to meet. New encounters elate me the same way candy does as a kid. That sense of curiosity, fun, and adventure has always been my compass. —Susan P. Joven, president of Visions and Expressions Communications Agency, 60’s

mel

With the years that passed by so fast, it also did not take me a long time to learn valuable lessons that make me appreciate life more and more.

All that I did then, and what I do now is the result of my pursuit of the goals I’ve set for myself. With the years that passed by so fast, it also did not take me a long time to learn valuable lessons that make me appreciate life more and more. As I “talk to my younger self,” I tell myself to hold on to hope for the greater betterment of life itself. At best, life has been good and it gets better every day. —Amelia “Mellie” Ablaza, honorary consul of Guatemala in the Philippines, 78

myr

I have never felt younger, feeling 45 at my true age of 68. I never hide my age, because I want to inspire others that nothing is impossible.

It is important for every woman to feel young as they age, because this is the secret to longevity. As I aged and my daughters had their own families, I started to have more time for myself after my work in the government as chair of the Philippine Commission of Women in 2010. I have never felt younger, feeling 45 at my true age of 68. I never hide my age, because I want to inspire others that nothing is impossible. What makes me feel young is not only because of my grandchildren, but because I am able to express myself through fashion. It makes me feel and look good. You also have to be fit physically, mentally, and spiritually in all aspects to be happy. My love for children makes me feel young. I align with their thinking. I’ve always wanted something different, so new and young ideas excite me. In fact, I get bored with old movies and music. I love to dance and listen to young singers and hip hop music. My dream now is to inspire and help more people in different ways. I am also looking for original, creative, and new ideas, and you can only achieve this if you feel young, backed up with wisdom and the experience that we earned through the years. —Myrna Yao, president of Richprime Global Inc., 68

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