Filipinas have been trailblazing since time immemorial. The contemporary Philippines is chock-full of women who leave an indelible mark on industries, providing how invaluable their efforts and contributions are. Alice Eduardo and Tessie Sy Coson are two women whose paths are carved with grit and commitment. However, one decisive factor pushes them to do what they do while keeping their feet on the ground: humility.
Tessie Sy-Coson as the mall heiress
Teresita “Tessie” Sy-Coson is the eldest child of SM founder, the late Henry Sy Sr. Currently, she is the director of SM Prime, president of SM Retail, Inc., and vice chairperson of SM Investments Corporation. In addition, she has a hand in the retail, property, and banking operations of SM.
Tessie Coson consistently appears in the list of most powerful women in business, along with Alice Eduardo. However, when asked how she feels about it, the scion would laugh it off. She is not the one to brag about her achievements.
As a matter of fact, Tessie Coson credits her siblings as integral to the continuous success of SM. Being the eldest, she sees that her presence is felt, making her the most visible at various mall events among the six of them. Additionally, she advocates for a healthy corporate culture.
Alice Eduardo as the “Woman of Steel”
Alice Eduardo is the president and CEO of Sta. Elena Construction and Development Corporation. She earned the moniker “Woman of Steel” by dominating this male-dominated industry. Accredit as a AAA and Large B firm, Sta. Elena Construction is now eligible to bid on any billion-peso project.
Furthermore, Sta. Elena Construction built the foundation of SM Mall of Asia. When the Asian financial crisis happened in the 1990s, the construction industry was one of the hardest hit. Alice Eduardo had a choice to sell her equipment, but she chose to cling to them instead.
When the SM patriarch decided to convert the reclamation project in Pasay into what it is today, Sta. Elena Construction was adequately equipped, so to speak. Alice Eduardo’s company won the project, and the rest, as they say, is history.
Despite the success of her construction company, however, Alice Eduardo remained humble, planting her feet firmly on the ground. Humility, which is one of the virtues her mother, Elisa, taught her, is important to her.
Alice Eduardo and Tessie Sy-Coson Embracing humility despite the adversities
Tessie Coson shares the same virtue. During one thanksgiving party for the media, she mentions how thankful she is for the many blessings she received in many areas of her personal and professional life. Yes, there are problems, but she would rather not complain about them. So she psyched herself to think more positively instead.
On the other hand, Alice Eduardo lives by the words of Joshua J. Marine. He says, “challenges are what make life interesting, and overcoming them is what makes life meaningful.” For one, she regards challenges as enablers, forces that push her to accomplish what she needs to.