by Isabel F. Garcia
The face of the Filipina is changing.
Centuries of colonialism, mental conditioning and group think had us convinced that the only quality we needed to adhere to was submissiveness.
But the dawn of the 21st century ushered in a new wave of boldness.
It became an era wherein women stopped being mere sidekicks in the periphery and grew as active movers and shakers, not just within society but around the world.
We’re making strides in between sectors, creating a difference in both the business and the arts. But we’re not an arbitrary mass of people.
There are names attached to the faces of change.
One of which is Jocelyn Pantastico.
Jocelyn is the mastermind behind LiveOlive (www.liveolive.com), the first and only web community in the world dedicated to arming the women of Asia with FREE tools and information on making, managing and investing money. A thorough understanding of finance – without the complicated, technical stuff.
For her, the practice of budgeting came at a very young age. She remembers being the family ‘treasurer’ during holidays, the one in charge of managing the family’s expenses.
In college, she eventually majored in Finance and Competitive Strategy. A graduate of the University of Chicago-Booth School of Business, she eventually landed her first job as a researcher. She moved onto business development and then, ultimately, to running country and regional operations for multinationals like French food giant Danone.
She left the Philippines over 20 years ago and worked and lived in various countries in Asia, including Singapore. In the early 90’s, she decided to migrate to Indonesia which, at the time, had only one Mc Donald’s store. She hasn’t looked back since.
A few years ago, she woke up to the realization that her finances hardly reflect the almost two decades that she had spent working.
“Cutting back on shopping didn’t really help,” she says. “My bank account was not growing enough to catch up with rising prices.
I was too lazy and admittedly often intimidated to ask financial experts about terms and things I don’t understand, so I simply kept my money in savings accounts (at least that I can mostly understand). This, however, was not enough!”
This particular point in her life became the starting point of LiveOlive.
“We chose to pioneer in this area,” she states in an online interview, “Because we want to walk with women through their life’s events –- getting married, starting a job, having a baby, going through a difficult relationship — and ensure that they make the right financial decisions at each stage.”
The reason behind wanting to tackle something so technical was simple: finance and money were topics that were generally written off as tedious and boring.
At the same time, there was an alarming demand to better understand how to save, invest and live practically.
What Jocelyn ultimately did was bridge the divide by creating a space where women could efficiently learn about the world of finance in a vernacular that was relatable, understandable and easy.
Of this she says: “The best part of what I do is seeing them take ownership of our vision and implementing it in innovative ways.”
When she imagines the future, she sees women actively and fearlessly managing their money and making informed financial decisions.
“Ultimately, I would like to see at least 30% of executive positions in Asia held by women, without the help of quotas,” she says.
Of course, it isn’t always business for Jocelyn. On top of being a successful entrepreneur, she is also a mother and a wife.
She’s a huge advocate of music, regarding it as her ‘great restorer’. She enjoys listening to a wide array of music that range from Esperanza Spalding to Maroon 5 and to the popular OPM band, Hotdog.
Also a lover of food, she admits that she would gladly gain 2 kilos for the chance to indulge in Tappas from Ciudad Condal in Barcelona and Churros con chocolate from Dulcinea in Manila.
She states that her main role models are Warren Buffet and Granny Chen, the trash collector from China who saved a 2-year-old from bleeding to death when she was hit by a truck driver. “Granny Chen’s pure selfless-ness and innate kindness is truly encouraging in this world of ulterior motives and covering ones’ backside,” she says.
Jocelyn is among those who are paving the way for the reputation we, as Filipinos and as women, ought to be known for: excellence.
She saw a deep need in the people around her and decided to pursue it in the hopes of making her corner of the world a better place to grow. And her efforts have undeniably paid off, proving that the future truly only belongs to those who dare to try.
Yes, the face of the Filipina has indeed evolved. And it wouldn’t be a complete surprise if, in the next few years, she completely re-shapes the world into a place where the driving force behind change of any kind is nothing less than passion.
Jocelyn Pantastico is proof that it’s not at all impossible.
|Isa likes writing, food and travel. One day she will learn to write about food and she’ll have enough money to travel around as she writes. Until then, she’ll write about every day things. Isa is currently 23-years-old and lives in Manila, Philippines. Catch her raves and rants at http://everyday-isa.com/|