June 7, 2023

The city government will recognize on March 29 three women who are symbols of leadership in their field of work and were able to inspire, influence, and guide others in accomplishing programs/projects for the general welfare and development of the city.
Those who will be awarded are entrepreneur and skills trainor Marybeth Yu So, culture and tradition advocate Lucia Balwayan Ruiz, and economic empowerment resource person Lumina Lawangen Peil.
Yu So is chief executive officer and skills trainor of the Culinary Arts Hotel Entrepreneurial Travel Services Academy and managing director of Travellite Express Hotel Shuntog and Pinares Pagkaing Pinoy.
She is also a member of the board of directors of the Hotel and Restaurant Association of Baguio.
As a Technical Education and Skills Development Authority-accredited competency assessor, she extends a hand through skills training for single mothers, young lady entrepreneurs, and women in difficult circumstances, “re-tooling” them for new skills which ensures them entrepreneurship or offers of employment after graduation.
She is a recognized tagasanay for Tesda programs. Anonymously, Yu So helps deserving students acquire undergraduate, masters, or PhD degrees.
For Ruiz, indigenous peoples’ literacy and the love of culture specifically that of the Cordillera, does not stop with the aesthetically-approved performance of songs and dances, but on ways how to respect and preserve each unique culture.
Being an educator at St. Louis School of Campo Filipino, Baguio Colleges Foundation High School (now University of the Cordilleras), and college instructor at the University of the Philippines Baguio gave her opportunities to share her expertise on Cordillera culture.
As resource speaker on numerous education-oriented gatherings, she shares knowledge on Cordillera dance and music including instrumental pedagogy and hands-on execution.
For her, culture is a mark of one’s profound identity.
Ruiz is the president of Indigenous People’s Education for Arts, Culture and Empowerment, member of the Kalinga Organization in Baguio and Benguet, and Soroptimist Summer Capital. She is also an advocate for zero-waste environment.
Peil will be awarded for financially empowering women through zero-interest loans to be used for livelihood such as entrepreneurship through hog and chicken raising, sari-sari stores and thrift shops.
She also extends scholarships to deserving students through the AIP foundation which she heads. She is a member of the ladies’ group of St. Nicholas and also an active member of Soroptimist International and Rotary Club of Metro Baguio.
OWLs awardees must have funded or established an organization or firm or headed an organization which would benefit the city and its citizens.
The OWLs awarding coincides with the celebration of women’s month March of every year. – Julie G. Fianza