MALACANANG PALACE --- Ma. Lydia Perez Lomibao of Naga City and Canaman, Camarines Sur who owns and manages J. Emmanuel Pastries – The House of Pili, exporter of quality pili nut products, has been hailed as one of the country’s inspiring Filipina entrepreneurs for 2017.
For the past 12 years, Go Negosyo has recognized women entrepreneurs from various fields for their successful and inspiring entrepreneurial journey, which is hoped will empower the next generation to start their own enterprises.
For the past years, the awarding ceremony was held at the World Trade Center in front of thousands of Filipina entrepreneurs and students. But this year it was special because the President himself was present to lead the awarding rites here in Malacanang.
President Rodrigo Duterte personally handed out the trophies to the awardees, together with Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea, Trade and Industry Secretary Ramon Lopez, SM Investments Corporation vice chairman Tessie Sy-Coson, and Sta. Elena Corporation CEO Alice Eduardo.
“More Filipinas are becoming leaders of their respective industries, contributing significantly to their institutions and making remarkable major strides that uplift the living conditions of their families and communities,” the President said in his speech as guest of honor.
Ms. Lomibao, along with 7 other awardees, were recognized under the micro and small entrepreneur’s category where 99.6% of the enterprises in the country are from this sector. Despite their size, they are committed to reach their own success.
Medium to large entrepreneurs were also recognized, such as Felicia Atienza of Chinese International School Manila, Ana de Ocampo of Wildflour Café & Bakery, Anne Gonzalez of Terry SA (distributor of Havaianas footwear), Sheree Gotuaco of Omnimoda International, Gina Lorenzana of Unilever Philippines, Rebecca Mills of Asia CEO Forum, Mary Ann Montemayor of Villa Margarita Hotel and Catering, and Evelyn Palomo of Great Image.
Also honored who themselves have mentored and empowered fellow entrepreneurs were Pacita Juan, Doris Ho, and Sen. Cynthia Villar.
Over 400 guests filled the Rizal Hall of Malacañang and congratulated this year’s awardees.
The House of Pili
From humble beginnings, J. Emmanuel Pastries-The House of Pili that Lydia co-manages with husband Joseph was funded by P500 that remained of their wedding kitty.
Through perseverance and assistance from concerned government agencies, J. Emmanuel Pastries grew into a P30M family enterprise. A Presidential Awardee four times over as endorsed severally by DTI, DA and DOST, Lydia’s company was first recognized as a Gawad Saka Awardee in 2007 for High Value Commercial Crop Category for its calculated transformation as a world-class food processor of the indigenous Bicol nut, pili.
She was soon a regular exhibitor carrying the Philippine flag in various trade fairs in Japan, USA, China, Thailand, Hongkong, and recently in Paris, France last October 2016. Her products are now exported to Japan, Korea, China, and the USA.
After the event in Malacanang, Lydia immediately flew to Kuala Lumpur in Malaysia for the ongoing Halal conference where her array of pili nut pastry products are also being exhibited. J. Emmanuel products which are also Halal-certified have caught the interest of investors from Muslim countries, such as those in Indonesia and Malaysia, and the Emirates in the Middle East.
Always looking forward despite the material returns that her company is already raking in, the Lomibao couple instituted the first Pili Contract Growing Project named PILIpinas which encourages local farmers to plant more pili trees because their future harvests are guaranteed to be purchased by Lydia’s company.
A 2016 Halyao awardee, Lydia’s nomination to the Inspiring Filipina Award 2017 was endorsed by the DTI Bicol Regional Office and the Metro Naga Chamber of Commerce and Industry (MNCCI).
The Halyao Awards is an annual search for Outstanding Bicolano Businesspersons who are being honored for their exemplary performance contributory to the Bicol Region’s socio-economic development and nation-building. The awardees traditionally come from the field of business, entrepreneurship, public service, community involvement, and care for the environment.
The annual search for enterprising Filipina is a project of Go Negosyo, which is chaired by businessmen/industrialist Joey Concepcion, in collaboration with the Department of Trade and Industry and the Philippine Center for Entrepreneurship.
The women are being honored “because aside from taking care of their families, they still have time to pursue their dreams and lead enterprises.”
For many years, Joey Concepcion has been at the forefront of honoring women entrepreneurs across the nation. In fact, since its inception in 2005, Go Negosyo has already awarded over 200 outstanding women entrepreneurs for serving as inspirations in their respective fields.
The Inspiring Filipina Entrepreneurs Awards highlights the strength and perseverance of women entrepreneurs in the ever developing landscape of entrepreneurship in our country. jbp