Do you remember Michelle Obama’s famous quote: “I have learned that as long as I hold fast to my beliefs and values – and follow my own moral compass – then the only expectations I need to live up to are my own”? Indeed, this statement inspired a lot of people, especially women of today’s generation, to live freely and to not limit themselves to what the world dictates or how it sees them traditionally. Many women of today are starting to shine in their spotlight, doing more things than what they thought they are capable of, and pulling off amazing achievements that somehow allow them to take the center stage, empower, and inspire other people.

As Eternal Gardens continues to shine the spotlight on some of the women in the company, and take this opportunity to empower women to stand up for their rights, challenge stereotypes, break barriers, and serve as pioneers of change, we are delighted to feature our Branch Manager in Cagayan de Oro, an empowered woman who’s been through a lot and conquered them all, Ms. Amor Leodones.

For many years, Amor has been part of the Eternalite family, handling different tasks and dealing with diverse people. At present, she is one of the branch managers of Eternal Gardens and the team leader of our branch in Cagayan de Oro City. We all know that being a manager is not an easy feat. And it is a double challenge when gender-biased role matters are put on the table. Fortunately, the organization has been very welcoming and supportive to every individual, regardless of their gender, and challenge each one to be the best that they can be – the reason why Amor continues to shimmer and deliver well. At the same time, she sticks to her values of being a person who knows how to listen and appreciate people and their capabilities.

“Taking charge of a branch is both challenging and satisfying. It’s easy to manage both people and their functions. I always believe in the spirit of teamwork wherein we collectively move as one. I listen with both heart and mind. I listen and learn from my people and respect their opinions. It took me not quite a time to capture my people’s hearts. Thus I gained their trust… and these are essential to a solid foundation as a leader working in a team,” she shared.

Looking back, Amor experienced unfortunate events in her life where she was discriminated. But, this did not stop her from making her mark and proving herself. “When I was working in Dubai, I experienced an unusual challenge being a career woman. I handled all Emirate branches with different nationalities. Being Filipina, racial discrimination was felt more often. I was belittled countless times. But I stood firm and proved that I am a worthy and competent individual. I made the company grow and put it to greater heights. Eventually, I earned respect in the company dominated by Arab individuals,” she said.

Her toughness in different situations and circumstances has been a reflection of how she was raised by her idol, her mom: “My mother is my role model. I admire the way she brought us up. She was pretty strict when it comes to our studies and individual responsibilities. I am happy that my daughters have come to know her. I am also confident that they would learn from her like me and my siblings did.  She never failed to inspire and motivate us to grow as better individuals, to face the reality in life with a smile, manage hard times, and win battles in the university of life. She is indeed a strong woman, and I am like her,” Amor said.

Amor believes that modern women have become braver and bolder as they can participate and function equally with men in all areas and aspects of life. To all young girls out there, take these pieces of advice from her: “Never stop learning in the university of life. Stay positive, strong, focused, and fight every battle in life gracefully as we are powerful in every possible way. To all the young girls, just fly high, spread your wings wisely, and win the world with a brain,” she ended.