ORLANDO, Florida – After the inaugural event in New York, the organizers behind 'PH Time Is Now: A Brainstorming and Mentoring Event' were already back at work with plans to replicate its success in Toronto and Orlando.
“I always intended to stage PH Time Is Now in other locations. But I thought it was going to take me at least six months to bring everyone and put everything together,” said event organizer Carissa Villacorta.
“So, it was an unexpected, but welcome development when people requested for a more immediate timeline and volunteered to help bring the event to their home cities," she said.
Keeping the Momentum Going
One such person was Rechie Valdez, co-founder of Filipino Fusion Desserts, who saw an opportunity to learn from global Filipino leaders and maximize her capabilities when she stumbled upon PH Time Is Now on social media.
She went on an almost two-hour flight from Toronto to New York, and was met by a community ready to hear her story and lend a helping hand as she moved forward with her own #GlobalFilipinoJourney.
“It didn’t feel rigid or awkward,” shared Rechie. “There were no egos or walls, just honest conversations and genuine connections. I felt re-energized and excited to head back home because I was eager to share what I had gained in my heart, mind and soul with my community in Canada.”
Fast forward to July 26 when over 50 of Rechie’s colleagues, friends and peers – including attendees from the pilot event – gathered together for the Toronto Chapter of PH Time Is Now.
It was a more intimate set-up than New York – different, but no less impactful. People were equally inspired, and their resolve strengthened as they listened to each trailblazer’s personal story of learning, growth, and success.
Among the speakers were Janice Lao, director of Corporate Responsibility & Sustainability at Hong Kong and Shanghai Hotels, who was recently named by Forbes as a top global sustainability expert; and Arlene Oliveros, founder of World of Wines and CEO at Fraîche Vinotherapy & Enocosmetics, who was the first Filipino-Canadian to be certified as a sommelier.
From Networking Event to Global Movement
Another PH Time Is Now alumnus determined to pay it forward is Ian Doromal, co-founder & vice president at ecoSPEARS, who first came into the fold as a panelist in New York. He quickly realized how much more Filipinos could accomplish if they came together as a community united and with purpose.
“What’s interesting is that I got involved because I knew that PH Time Is Now could be an outlet for me not just to connect, but to give as well,” he recalled. “It’s in our [Filipino] blood to give back, but most people don’t know how or where to start – until now.”
Once talks of an Orlando Chapter began, Doromal brought in his business partner Serg Albino, co-founder & president at ecoSPEARS, and convinced him that it was time for the both of them to step up, which he wholeheartedly agreed to.
“We have a responsibility to help our fellow Filipinos and I recognized immediately that PH Time Is Now was the right platform to do so,” he said. “It goes beyond networking or mentoring. It encourages people to be involved in one another’s lives so that a person’s success can mean the success of others.”
Both Doromal and Albino are now onboard as partners of PH Time Is Now and will help Villacorta in creating a more sustainable network of global Filipino leaders moving forward.
The Orlando Chapter of PH Time Is Now is slated to happen on December 1 at the ecoSPEARS headquarters with the theme, “Global Filipino Entrepreneurs: Connect. Build. Grow.”
“People have an inherent need to connect, to collaborate and to celebrate,” stated Villacorta. “Each one of us has a message to share and a lesson to learn so no matter the size of space or the length of time, let’s continue to listen to and care for one another.”
PH Time Is Now: A Mentoring and Brainstorming Event is organized by ReachUs, LLC, and powered by ecoSPEARS. For more information, visit www.phtimeisnow.com and follow @phtimeisnow on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.
This piece has been contributed as part of a partnership between PHTimeIsNow and ABS-CBN News' program 'My Puhunan.'