13 Empowering Quotes from the 2016 BDJ Women Helping Women Summit


Viviamo Inc, the company behind the now-famous Belle de Jour Power Planner, gathered their bellas in the first ever women’s summit held at SM Aura Samsung Hall yesterday, April 16, 2016. And just like their famous planner which now marks its tenth year of changing bellas’ lives, the event was filled with empowering words from their guest speakers that collectively gave actionable meaning to the phrase “reaching for your dreams.”

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The Bellas had a grand time with raffle prizes coming from partners such as Sharpie, Lipault Paris, Binalot, and many others.

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Apart from the 4 wisdom-packed plenary sessions, the Bellas also have the chance to check out good causes that they can sign up for at the booth area.

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Here are some of the most memorable and inspiring quotes from the guest speakers of this very successful event.

1. Amina Rasul-Bernardo


“Our feminists are fearless and committed. Modernization can be very traumatic especially if it is hastily done… War can never be the answer. Killing terrorists does not kill terrorism. Lasting peace depends on inclusive growth.”

The event’s keynote speaker did not mince words and dived straight into the heart of her advocacies on poverty, women’s rights, and the plight of our countrymen in Mindanao. She presented astounding statistics that indicate the reach of her quest for adult literacy in Mindanao— as much as one-third of the total population benefit from it.


An added bonus was when her mother, former senator Santanina Rasul graced the event to watch her talk.


Talk about girl power!

2. Atom Araullo

“Smart-shaming stunts our growth intellectually.”

The handsome TV personality and journalist Atom Araullo did a fantastic job hosting the event.


As he introduced the speakers for the second plenary, he was able to utter this very memorable nugget of wisdom that we can all do well to remember when dealing with people in social media.

3. Ana Santos of Sex and Sensibilities


“There’s a deep way to write about sex. I am a writer. I realized that I have some real estate that people can have an intelligent opinion about. Because it’s never just about sex… Yes I was smart-shamed, yes I was slut-shamed. But I will never be silenced… Having a dream for yourself is the best form of contraception.”


The Bellas had so much fun listening to the intelligent and vivacious Ana Santos. She started out her journalism career as a sex columnist and her unorthodox opportunity led her to cover more serious undertones on the topic of sex such as human trafficking, prostitution, and prevalence of HIV. It was so compelling that it landed her a Pulitzer grant from Washington and her blog Sex and Sensibilities is awarded in the U.S. for its unique slant and activism for women’s rights to their bodies.

4. Issa Hontiveros-Baraquel


On Mom Risa: “She showed me the meaning of love, hard work, and empathy. There is nothing quite strong, true, and unwavering as a mother’s love.”


While her mother is hot on the campaign trails and left a video message, Ateneo Communications graduate Issa spoke on her mom’s behalf. She was articulate and very matter-of-fact when asked by a Bella on how to handle bullies on social media: “There’s a block button. Use it.”

5. Rissa Hontiveros-Baraquel

“When women help women, great things are possible. Never let anyone put limits on what your mind can do. Read, study, expand your mind. When we believe in something, we need to go for it.”


The “Healthy pinoy, healthy Pinas” slogan owner and aspiring senator had her own fair share of memes and other products of cyberbullying. She encouraged the bellas to never let other people dampen their aims of reaching for their dreams.

6. Hazel Urminita on behalf of World Vision Philippines


“Advocacy is giving voice to the most vulnerable children.”

One of the major partners of Viviamo in this whole-day affair, World Vision engaged the bellas with an open invitation to change a child’s future.

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