Maan Hontiveros, Gang Badoy Capati Are This Year’s Hildegarde Awardees For Women In Media And Communication
This year’s theme recognizes women who are trailblazers in the field of media.
Life accomplishments take on many forms: family, your kids’ college diplomas, or a successful career, but there is a distinct sense of achievement when it is your alma mater which grants you a recognition. Among Scholasticans, this distinction is The Hildegarde Awards, first held in 2007, and the brainchild of St. Scholastica’s College Department of Communication after a playful discussion over lunch and merienda. Fifteen years later, it would become a recognized award-winning body that honors women in advertising, broadcast journalism, print, and development communication.
For this year’s virtual celebration held on May 7, 2021, the 15th Hildegarde Awards honors the trailblazers of change: outstanding women who served as a pioneer and an innovator, an agent of change who sees issues and acts upon them, breaking barriers for future generations.
“We may be outstanding as measured by our achievements as a student and in our chosen career through various awards received, but to be a trailblazer of change is another story,” said the Dean of Arts and Sciences Virginia Fornias during her opening remarks.
“According to Martin Luther King, to be a trailblazer is to be non-conformist. To create change takes courage. These, I believe, are what our honorees have in common. They are non-conformist, and they practice courageous leadership. And certainly, they have that love in their hearts to affect change in our society. A lot of people can be outstanding, but only a few can be a pioneer or innovator of change, the change that we need for our country.”
The “Vision of Love” Trophy
Every year, the Hildegarde Awards commissions Filipino artists to design trophies for the awardees. For this year’s unique design, they tapped Wilhelmina Garcia, an interior designer by profession whose passion is to help the environment by upcycling waste products into a functional item that can be reused.
“Ever since, my frustration is to solve the plastic waste,” Wilhelmina says. “Nag-experiment ako throughout the years, and I started with bags and fashion accessories back then, but eventually I stopped doing that because everybody’s doing the same. Walang uniqueness sa ginagawa ko.” Because of this, she ventured into sculpting and designing trophies and home furniture.
The “Vision of Love” Trophy is made out of reclaimed wood and plastic waste, made by an all-women community in Taal. “The trophy has a social and environmental impact,” she explains.
Therese “Gang” Badoy Capati, an agent of change
The 15th Hildegarde Awards’ first honoree is Therese “Gang” Badoy Capati, who finished grade school in St. Scholastica's College, Manila. As a professional, Gang started as a broadcaster in one of the Philippines’ biggest TV stations. She shared stories of Filipinos in the United States, and when she came home, she established a non-profit organization called Rock Ed Philippines.
“In 2005, I came home from living in the States and I felt very restless,” shares Gang. “I started this non-profit called Rock Ed Philippines which is a youth movement to encourage the young Filipino to ask questions.”
She emphasizes that we are all from different walks of life. We have different perspectives, goals, and achievements, but what she knows for sure is that “everything sensible in the socio-civic engagement starts with good questions.”
“Your journey is the journey of the Philippines. Ikaw ‘yung bayan. Your personal history is Philippine history,” she says. “I don’t think there’s a big or small dream. Don’t live someone else’s dream, or don’t inherit dreams. Come up with it on your own. You can!”
Marianne “Maan” Hontiveros, advancing women’s narratives in the ‘70s
The 15th Hildegarde Awards recognizes Marianne “Maan” Hontiveros for being a trailblazer in the field of media, communications, and business. Years after graduating with a degree in Bachelor of Arts, Major in English from St. Scholastica’s College, she hosted the first magazine show for women in the 1970s called “Ms. Ellaneous” where she discussed issues that affected women, empowered them, and brought forth their stories.
Maan also had a key role in disseminating information during the 1986 People Power Revolution, during which she bravely worked with her fellow journalists in speaking the truth, and being instrumental in turning the government TV channel into the people’s channel.
In 2011, Maan became the CEO of one of the biggest airlines in the country, AirAsia Philippines. She was also recognized as one of the 100 Most Influential Women in the world in 2014 and 2016.
“For media practitioners, they have to really believe in the role of media, which is to shed light on issues and to bravely speak the truth,” she says. “If you are going to enter communications -- media in particular -- and deal with public issues, you have to be brave.”
It’s time for us to be trailblazers ourselves
Gang and Maan were ahead of their time and achieved great things. They continue to serve as agents of change and inspirations to many young women, and now it is our job to continue their legacy.
“They think that women are much softer and that’s been proven wrong time and time again,” says Maan. “There is no limit to where we want to go and where we imagine ourselves to be.”
No matter what your goals are and where you came from, may this serve as a reminder that you can, because you are a woman.
Watch the virtual Awarding Ceremony of the 15th Hildegarde Awards for Women in Media and Communication: Trailblazers of Change here.