Manulife Philippines, the local arm of international financial services group Manulife, recently celebrated International Women’s Month through a free public webinar titled, “Filipina In Action: In Business and Health,” featuring Manulife Philippines brand ambassador and Olympic gold medalist Hidilyn Diaz, and award-winning actress and entrepreneur Bea Alonzo.
Diaz and Alonzo shared their stories of success and challenges, by developing a winning mindset bravely pursuing their passions and carving the right path towards physical, mental, and financial wellness. Hosted by journalist and LGBTQIA+ member G3 San Diego, Filipina In Action also featured insights from certified life coach Carelle Mangaliag-Herrera, to help more Filipinos overcome challenges, live a meaningful and empowered life, and secure their future amid tough times.
“The pandemic continues to pose a lot of challenges on us, especially when it comes to our health and finances. Mental strain is seen to be more prevalent among Filipino women, too, as financial worries take a toll on people’s mental health,” shared Melissa Henson, Chief Marketing Officer, Manulife Philippines.
Manulife Philippines recently released its third Manulife Asia Care Survey results, which showed that of the 80% of Filipinos surveyed who have experienced mental health symptoms, 84% are women. They admitted experiencing feelings of sadness (51%), fatigue and sleeping difficulties (44%), excessive worrying (38%), and extreme mood changes (33%), especially working mothers and married women.
Henson added: “We hope that with insights from inspiring women like Hidilyn and Bea, we can support, empower and inspire more Filipinos to take charge of their lives and overcome life’s hurdles with courage, focus and confidence. As we help advance opportunities for growth, financial security, and well-being for all, we can continue building a more equal and inclusive world.”
Taking charge of mind, body, and finances
Diaz shared how a champion athlete’s mindset can help Filipinos thrive in their everyday lives. “Hindi ko kinakalimutan kung saan ako nanggaling—it keeps me grounded. I also surround myself with people na sinusuportahan na ako bago pa man ako nanalo ng gold medal. With this mindset and support system, natupad ko ang mga pangarap ko at na-motivate ako na tumulong at mas maging inspirasyon pa para sa iba.”
Alonzo, who currently owns a 16-hectare organic farm in Zambales, shared her personal and entrepreneurial journeys. “The pandemic made me realize that life is short, and I still have several things I want to do in my life. So I plan and make wise investments to attain my goals. While I work hard, I remember to also enjoy the fruits of my labor.”
In a special segment, Manulife’s top financial advisor Kim Zandueta also offered a few tips on how Filipinos can take care of their finances, mitigate risks, and reach their financial goals. “Listing down your short and long-term goals is one way to start your financial journey. Categorize your dreams—whether for travel, education, or business—to identify the steps you need to take to accomplish them. Track your progress and make the necessary adjustments along the way.”
Lastly, Mangaliag-Herrera advised how Filipinos can deal with life’s challenges so they can come back stronger than ever and more empowered. “We need to build optimistic habits, which can include creating a productive morning routine, preparing a healthy breakfast, or allotting time to read inspirational books. You can also go for a walk, or simply celebrate small wins. Generating daily affirmations and training yourself to be positive every day can help you overcome whatever challenges that may come your way and truly make a difference in your life.”