Game Changers this 2016: 3 Women Who Will Change the Face of Beauty, Education, and Health

A mentor once told me that “a half-lived life is a life wasted.” He administered that if I don’t change my game, I will stay stuck in a rut forever.

I figured he was right. I figured that being there and being present isn’t the same; there’s a difference. I’ve struggled and transitioned into who I am today. I am not as spectacular as you are but I’ve succeeded in my own little, yet special way.

Game Changers

“Who Moved My Cheese” is one of the books I bring when traveling. It helps me embrace the changes in my life.

Honestly, I didn’t succeed overnight. I also didn’t do it all by myself. Of course, I asked help from others who are game changers. They showed me that you CAN change things, one step at a time.

Wanna know who these game changers are? Let’s get to know them better.

Here we go:

Game Changers this 2016: 3 Women who will change the face of Beauty, Education, and Health

Game Changer 3: Changing the game in Education – Vanessa Tanco

Game changers

Vanessa went to Ateneo de Manila University for her undergraduate degree in BS Legal Management. She then pursued her Masters in Business Administration at the University of Southern California (USC).

I had the opportunity to meet Vanessa when I got invited to an open-house orientation for incoming Year 12 students in iAcademy last year. Her vision about iAcademy and its students is something every parent would hope for in an institution.

Game changers

iAcademy’s Mac Lab. They are full-on digital school.

When I got to interview her, she explained the reason why she considers herself a game changer. She reiterates that her school, iAcademy, would want to develop more Game changers – who will make a mark in whatever path they take.

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iACADEMY was established to bridge the gap between the kind of graduates that most colleges were producing and the actual needs of employers. This is why they decided to develop programs based on the demands of the different industries, specifically Computing, Business and Design.

Additionally, Vanessa also made sure that the faculty is mostly industry professionals. She believes that students will learn more if the insights are straight from the industry practitioners. They also offer a 960-hour internship program so that they already have relevant work experience even before graduating.

Truthfully, OJTs nowadays is more of paper pushing. While there’s nothing wrong with that, it may not be aligned with the students’ course. For example, an Animation student wouldn’t be able to gain experience if s/he will be trained otherwise.

Why is she a Game Changer?

I considered Vanessa a game changer due to her vision to provide proper education in the Philippines. She wanted to be different from the mainstream without compromising the quality of education and students after school. iACADEMY is an example of a nontraditional school that helps create future Game Changers because they help students maximize their potential by actually doing what they love.

In fact, she is pretty vocal in pushing the future students to be different. She said, “Choose a course that not only caters to your skills but also appeals to your interests. The job market is constantly changing and more and more opportunities are becoming available every day. Don’t be afraid to veer away from the traditional courses being offered by most colleges.”

I absolutely agree. I love what she said during the orientation and pretty explains why she’s a game changer. She wanted the Philippines to create more original content: to tell our story, to build our businesses, to develop programs instead of doing it for others.

I, therefore, conclude that with her will to raise game changers, our country will soon emerge as a confident and stable country.

Game Changer 2: Changing the game in Health industry – Noemi Azura 

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Noemi graduated in De La Salle University with a degree in Accountancy and passed the CPA board after graduation. She obtained her MBA degree from the University of the Philippines.

Surprisingly enough, Noemi is not the usual CEO we know who would make us feel uncomfortable. She is soft spoken yet firm with her plans and vision for the Philippines’ health industry. When I talked to her about her future plans with Philcare, I was surprised because at least someone is “thinking.”

Why is Noemi a Game Changer?

As we all know, our health programs have complicated processes in terms of the availment and the variety of plans offered to us. Most of the time, we must shell out a lot of money to avail one and/or be employed to get benefits like health insurance. Noemi and her team, on the other hand, introduced their comprehensive and most accessible plans for Filipinos:  Prepaid health cards available online.

Yes, just like any online shopping website, the process of availing is easy.

Philcare Health Card

I’ve personally tried ordering online. It’s easy as, choose – add to cart – pay concept. I bought an ERVantage and used it for my son who had Dengue. This card is just one the hundreds of services they offer online.

Frankly, not everyone can avail health cards. In fact, there is still a huge portion of the Philippine population of more than 100 Million that has no health plans. The government through Philhealth covers about 27 million members only. As luck would have it, she envisioned that with affordable prepaid cards, the perennial problem of self-medication will soon vanish.

“Prevention is always better than cure. Living a healthy lifestyle should include having an annual physical examination or executive check-up that is now made affordable through PhilCare’s prepaid health cards. Also, Filipinos can now prepare for emergency care through prepaid emergency health plans and avoid draining their finances when such cases occur,” she added.”

Truthfully, as we always say: health is wealth. We can now avail health or emergency hospital coverage without breaking the bank!

She indeed changed the game in the Philippines’ health industry.

Game Changer 1: Changing the face of Beauty – Michelle Aventajado of Best Buddies Manila 

Game Changers

Michelle or Mish as we fondly call her is a mom of 4 beautiful children and a loving wife to a very cool guy, Nino.

I met Michelle a year ago, through a very good friend of mine, Patricia of At that time, Michelle needed an event Photographer and Patty referred us. However, even before I met her, I was already stalking her blog (, as well as, her social media accounts. (Mish is also a certified Yoga Instructor, she’s the reason why I tried Yoga).

In addition, Mish is currently the Best Buddies Philippines‘ Country Director. According to the BB website, Best Buddies is a non-profit organization dedicated to establishing a global volunteer movement that creates opportunities for one-to-one friendships, integrated employment and leadership development for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD).

Game changers

Personally, we love attending their one-to-one friendships activities. We love it as everyone is genuinely happy and beautiful.

WIM article Game Changer

(L-R) Best Buddies member, Jessica, Michelle’s daughters Gia and Gelli, and the funny people in the background. 🙂

Speaking of beautiful, Mish has definitely changed our perception of beauty.

Game changers

Michelle and #Gellibean getting ready for another opportunity to raise Down Syndrome Awareness.

Mish is an advocate of Down Syndrome, #EndTheRWord (wherein you should refrain from using “retard” to describe someone) and #changingthefaceofbeauty campaigns. She believes that the true meaning of beauty is someone who has a genuine heart, just like her daughter, #Gellibean.

She wants everyone to know that beauty isn’t always about physical, it’s about who you are as a person. Through her advocacies, she hopes that soon, all of us will see the true meaning of “beauty.”

Game changer

That disability should never be the hindrance to be accepted in this world.

Above all, I love Michelle’s tenacity and willingness to help other people without asking for anything in return.

You truly are a game changer and good luck on your future activities with Best Buddies!

Everyone is a game changer

I believe that everyone has the potential to change for the better. This coming election, let’s think of our children. Let’s think if our future leaders are also game changers. Have they changed something that became beneficial to us? Have they done something that made us proud to be a Filipino?

Whatever it is, we cannot just follow the status quo. To make a mark, we have to do things differently.

Do you know other game changers, too? Share them below, so I can include them in my list!