Illustrado’s Women of Substance 2011 Continues to Advocate Filipina Empowerment


Attendees at the recent Illustrado Women of Substance 2011 Pres Conference: Johanna Dalocanog (Illustrado), Sherry Tenorio, Milo Torres, Rony Aquino (Illustrado), Regilyn Dimaculangan (Unilever), Reynaldo Samson and Gopal Sudhkaran (Nikon), Lalaine Chu-Benitez (Illustrado Publisher & Editor-in-Chief), Hon. Consul General Adelio Cruz (Philippine Embassy Abu Dhabi), Mohammed Al Mahdi, Mariecar Jara-Puyod (Gulf Today), Mary Jane Alvero Al Mahdi (CEO Geosciences Laboratories), Lily Libo-On (Khaleej Times), Amorsolo Dagdag, Mariyah Gaspacho, Art Los Banos and Kristine Fuentes. Photo courtesy of Donald Rosales.

Press Release

20 March 2011

Illustrado’s Women of Substance 2011 Continues to Advocate Filipina Empowerment


In its 4th annual Women of Substance event, Illustrado Magazine continues to promote female empowerment by celebrating Filipina achievers, and uplifting the image of the Filipina


This edition will witness the showing of mini-documentary film that boldly explores issues and solutions that aim to empower Filipinas in overcoming prevalent concerns such as sexual harassment, sexual abuse and unwanted pregnancies


Keynote speaker to this year’s celebration of Women of Substance is renowned Clinical Psychologist and author Dr. Margarita Holmes


Aside from the film, Women of Substance 2011 will also showcase various facets the Filipina with its segments including “The Empowered Filipina Nikon Photo Competition” and “The Dove Real Beauty Runway Show”

Dubai, UAE – Today witnessed the unveiling of Women of Substance 2011, an annual gathering spearheaded by Dubai-based Filipino lifestyle publication, Illustrado Magazine, held under the auspices of the Philippine Embassy in the UAE. With the esteemed presence of H.E. Consul General Adelio Cruz of the Philippine Embassy Abu Dhabi, Ms. Lucille Ong, Women of Substance Honoree 2008 and President of the Philippine Business Council (Dubai), Engr. Mary Jane Alvero-Al Mahdi, Women of Substance Honoree 2009 and CEO of GeoScience Testing Laboratory, and members of the media, the details of this year’s edition were announced.

This year, seven Gulf-based Filipina role models will be honored at the elegant coffee-afternoon event happening on the 1st of April at the Godolphin Ballroom in Jumeirah Emirates Towers.  According to Lalaine Chu-Benitez, Publisher and Editor-in-Chief of Illustrado, “Our honorees this year come from different walks of life, each of them role models representing certain facets of a Filipina that make her an empowered woman – namely: courage, ambition, resilience, integrity, grace, devotion and influence.”  She adds, “This year’s exemplary group of women includes – a young entrepreneur who rose from extreme difficulties; a jet-setting top executive at a renowned global corporation; a community volunteer who has played the role of de facto crime buster; a mother-career woman-socio-civic leader who is the embodiment of grace; a devoted spiritual servant; a creative Pinay motivating young Emiratis to success; and a woman who made Philippine foreign affairs history.”

The event will also feature “The Filipina on Top” a mini-documentary film by Dubai-based Kamil Roxas, winner of the Hayah Film Competition at the Middle East International Film Festival (MEIFF) in 2008. Clip from the said film was previewed showcasing prevalent issues that the Filipinas in the region suffer from, including sexual harassment and abuse, and unwanted pregnancies.

H.E. Consul General Adelio Cruz expressed his support to the advocacy and said, “We commend Illustrado Magazine’s initiative in uplifting the image of the Filipinas in this region. We believe that Women of Substance event has been an essential tool to empowering women, thus we fully support its present campaign that reaches out to some of the critical concerns of the Filipinas.”

Lalaine Chu-Benitez adds, “Over the years, the Women of Substance project has endeavored to provide inspiration to our compatriots in the region, through the Filipina achievers and role models we have honored.” She furthers, “This year, instead of merely helping to promote a more balanced Filipina image, we are also tackling prevalent issues in our community and will be promoting the spin-off ‘Pinays Take Charge’ advocacy to create awareness and learning opportunities for Filipinas to avoid and overcome such challenges.”

However crucial is the take for this season’s campaign, Women of Substance 2011 will continue its tradition of elegance and glamour. Red carpet and mini bazaars will welcome the anticipated number of over 600 guests. Furthermore, “The Empowered Filipina” Nikon Photo Competition is expected to showcase an array of beautiful images, while “The Dove Real Beauty Runway Show” displays the natural beauty of the Filipina.

Dr. Margie Holmes, renowned Philippine-based clinical psychologist, author and TV personality, will deliver the keynote speech during the event, and will answer the queries from the attendees.

Lalaine Chu-Benitez concluded, “We believe that Women of Substance has transcended its usual talk-show segment. Now, the event sees various aspects that celebrate womanhood especially that of being a Filipina. We are thankful for all the support that has been extended to us, and we hope to continue this remarkable program of honoring and serving the Filipinas in this region.”

Illustrado’s Women of Substance 2011 is a project done in cooperation with Dove and Nikon, and supported by London Dairy, SM Development Corporation and Anlene.

For more information, please contact Illustrado at 04-3654547 / 04-3654543.


About Women of Substance

Illustrado’s Women of Substance is an advocacy that aims to widen horizons for Filipinas in the region by celebrating female empowerment. It is an annual gathering spearheaded by Illustrado Magazine, devoted to inspiring members of the community to aspire for higher heights.

Now on its 4th year, the event which endeavors to be a reflection of the positive and balanced international image of the Filipina, honors Filipinas from the Gulf who exemplify achievement, societal contribution and exceptional character, in the process spreading positivity that extends beyond the local Filipino community.

Since it started in 2008, Illustrado’s Women of Substance has honored 22 extraordinary Filipinas from all walks of life, including – community leaders, achievers and volunteers, entrepreneurs, social activists, artists, exemplary mothers, survivors, philanthropists, women on the cutting-edge, as well as beauties who promote true, confident Filipina allure.  Differentiating itself from society pageants and popularity contests, Illustrado’s goal is promote the genuine triumph of Filipina women from different perspectives, not only generate hope, but also to motivate people to improve their lives.

About Illustrado Magazine

Illustrado is a unique lifestyle-community magazine published in Dubai devoted to uplift the morale and the image of Filipinos in the Gulf.  The slogan ‘Taas Noo, Filipino!’ [Heads up high, Filipino!] and the vision of ‘Helping the Filipino flourish – Global Vision, Native Soul’ define the substance, style and corporate ethos that has helped Illustrado gain respect and recognition in the region as a wholesome, positive, highly engaging and richly visual medium that has accorded due respect and recognition to the Filipino community.  Illustrado’s distinctive approach combines premium production values with a very down-to-earth philosophy; it is not only a magazine, but is a social enterprise that speaks and aspires to enrich a very diverse range of readers, veering off the usual media fare of gossip, scandals, sensationalism and materialism.

For inquiries on the Women of Substance Event, please contact Johanna Dalocanog at +971 4 365 4543 or 365 4547, or [email protected]

For general inquiries on Illustrado contact the above numbers or e-mail us at: [email protected]