“Maid to Made” icon inspires Duty Free Philippines employees, OFWs

Duty Free Philippines Chief Operating Officer Vicente Pelagio A. Angala awards Certificate of Appreciation to Ms. Rebecca Bustamante Mills.

Manila, Philippines —  Duty Free Philippines (DFP) on Friday gathered about 150 female Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) and employees to celebrate the National Women’s Month through an inspirational talk to uplift women in the workplace and across its community.

For 32 years, Duty Free Philippines has always taken the great strides to ensure that its workplace is inclusive and diverse.

“While a man leads Duty Free Philippines now, our pursuit for gender equality continous. As proof to that, I am proud to say that almost half (380 women) of our workforce are women and a lot of them take key positions in this agency,” said DFP Chief Operating Officer (COO) Vicente Angala.

Angala added that the presence of women in the agency compliments Duty Free values and standards as they are known to be good at managing multiple responsibilities simultaneously.

“For working moms, juggling work responsibilities and the numerous additional obligations that come with raising a family is never easy. Lalong lalo na sa ating mga OFWs na naririto ngayon. Sila ang kababaihang nangibang bansa at tinitiis ang pagkawalay sa kanilang pamilya,” he said.  

“Maid to Made” author and motivational speaker Rebecca Bustamante Mills shared her personal story and career journey. 

Starting out in extreme poverty at a young age, Bustamante would work in homes wherever she would be fed. She left her family while still a teenager to work as a domestic helper in Singapore, with only one day off per month. In between her work schedule, she studied Accounting at the Open University of Singapore Institute of Management, where she finished her undergraduate program without any of her employers being aware of it.

After two years, she moved to Canada to look for better opportunities, as a nanny. During her days off she would sell housewares to augment her income for her family.

With her hard work and determination, she started a professional career in sales. And, before returning to Philippines, she was a Senior Director for a large multinational cosmetic company. 

Some of the many awards she received include: Top Rookie Sales Director for North America; Top 10 Unit Sales Award, and Top 10 Personal Sales Award.

She is now the President and co-Founder of Asia CEO Events, the largest and only national business event series in the Philippines.  Senior business leaders come from across Asia for events in Manila, Cebu, Davao, Clark, Iloilo and other locations.

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