Excerpt from “Rising to the FWN Challenge” by Georgitta “Beng” Pimentel Puyat in DISRUPT 3.0. Filipina Women: Rising.
I HAD a limited understanding of what being part of the FWN really meant. At the Welcome Reception in the Toronto FWN Summit, I was both surprised and warmed by the enthusiasm of the members. This experience was different than the meetings that I was used to because I was dealing with other accomplished Filipina women, most of whom I had never met before. It was refreshing to meet these women from all over the world with a common heritage that binds us. I grew to appreciate the FWN by getting to know the members, attending the seminars, the learning journeys, and immersing myself in the culture of the organization. Despite the jetlag I was feeling at that time, I powered through and gained much from this experience.
When I was presented the FWN100TM Most Influential Filipina Woman in the World Award: Innovator and Thought Leader Category, I was overwhelmed since I was not used to being recognized for my work. Volunteerism demands selflessness so this was something new. When asked to respond in 10 words at my acceptance of the award, I said, “What truly matters in life is the joy of giving and serving others.”
As I basked in the feelings of appreciation and joy, I thought of the life journey that got me to this point. I thought of all the service and advocacy projects that have helped hundreds of women and girls. The tough times and the good were all amazing experiences that shaped me as a person. The celebration that night was a validation that what we do is worthwhile and a reminder that the work we do is indeed great. I was reminded of a quote by Winston Churchill that I think sums up what my life in volunteerism is like, “We make a living by what we get; but we make a life by what we give.”
Georgitta “Beng” Pimentel Puyat
Philippine Orchard Corporation, Chair
Filipina Women’s Network, President (2019-2021)
Global FWN 100tm 2017
Georgitta “Beng” Puyat is a lifetime volunteer with a commitment to service and advocacy. As a member of the Zonta Club of Makati and Environs for 32 years, she has initiated and nurtured projects that have affected generations of women and families, including the East Rembo Livelihood and Skills Training Center and the award-winning Psychological Center for Sexually Abused Children (ages 3-17) in Marillac Hills. She was elected Zonta International District 17 Governor in 2010-2012. She was also the president and chairman of the UNIFEM Philippine National Committee, a trustee of the Philippine Philharmonic Orchestra Society Inc., and chairman/president of the Sigma Delta Phi Alumnae Association Inc.
She is the co-founder and chairman of the Philippine Orchard
Corporation, with a mission to help marginalized farmers improve their economic status with innovative products and protocols that promote quality and sustainability. She graduated from the University of the Philippines Diliman with a degree in AB Political Science and took Masters in Sociology. She enjoys being with her family, especially her three grandchildren, and travelling.
She is an inspirational, result-oriented leader whose life experiences shaped and directed her purpose to be a “Volunteer” for Women Issues. An organization is only as good as its leader and her style of quiet leadership speaks volumes once it is experienced.