Women’s Saturdate


What happens when you gather women entrepreneurs for an exhibit, zumba session, open forum, and tutorial on makeup and hijab? Women’s Saturdate. This was held last March 15, 2014 at the Shariff Kabunsuan Cultural Complex as part of the celebration for Women’s Month. Women’s Saturdate is a joint initiative of  Muslim Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Kutawato City Inc. and Regional Commission on Bangsamoro Women. Women entrepreneurs were invited to showcase their items in booths around the area. Some of the participants and exhibitors started the day with two hours Zumba lead by Irene Tan, a licensed Zumba instructor from General Santos City.

Our dreamcatcher display during the event.

After the zumba session, there was an open forum where the rights of women and children were discussed.  Shari’ah Counsellor Maceda Lidasan Abo, Police Senior Inspector Jaybee Bayani, Shari’ah COunsellor Narumbai Dilangalen-Datukon, Shari’ah COunsellor Edz Pandi, Shari’ah Counsellor Indira Sinsuat, Atty. AlphaCarole Pontanal, And Ustadza Anisa Taha were there to empower the women present during the event. The discussions revolved around what women should do in different situations and who to ask help from. It was good that these things were discussed during the event because most times, women who are put in very difficult situations choose silence over standing up and asserting their rights because they feel like no one will hear their voice and no one will be there to help them. It was good to see women feeling empowered when the forum ended.

Makeup tutorial by HERs Ikhwaat
Hijab tutorial by HERs Ikhwaat
Hijab tutorial by HERs Ikhwaat

The open forum was followed by tutorials on makeup and hijab by HERs Ikhwaat. These tutorials sparked my interest because I’ve always wanted to learn how to do makeup, and I’ve always been curious about the hijab. I see women wearing the hijab in our city but I’ve always been clueless about the different styles of wearing it. The tutorial helped me appreciate women who wear the hijab more.

Women’s Saturdate was a good venue to empower women and to encourage them to become entrepreneurs. It was also a good venue to let the younger generation appreciate the hijab. I’m really thankful that Eco Choices was invited to participate in this event 🙂



We all have secrets. Some secrets, we choose to bury deep within us because although it’s fun to share every snippet of our lives with others, there are still things that we want to be selfish about and these we keep to ourselves. Some secrets we share to a small group of people who we consider as family. Some secrets are only secrets at present, revealed one, two, three or more years later.

There are secrets behind the dresses I’m wearing in this post and since I’m feeling a little generous today, I’m sharing them with you.

Dress, Crossings | Shawl – turned – skirt, Joey Rodriguez | Makeup and photography by Adele Katerina Raya

If the skirt looks familiar, it’s because I used it for this post.  I bought the dress for a formal event last year from the department store. I’m not really into designer dresses and I had no plans of spending thousands on a dress that I’ll only be able to wear twice or thrice a year so I chose a simple dress that can be worn on any occasion with a few tweaks here and there. This dress originally had a black lace skirt that dropped five inches above my knee. Since I was going to a formal event, I decided to make the dress look more elegant by attaching the shawl that I used for my third year prom and making it look like it’s originally part of the dress. Inside the dress are more or less fifty safety pins securing the shawl to the dress. This is secret number one.

Violet top, Adele’s | Skirt, Joey Rodriguez, Makeup and photography by Adele Katerina Raya

The skirt is part of the gown I wore for my third year prom. This is secret number two. I guess when you own something that you invested on not only financially but also emotionally, you’d want to keep on using it to make the most out of it. It’s like holding on to a jar that releases happy memories whenever opened. This gown has so much meaning and I’ve become attached to it that I use it whenever I have the chance. This was the gown that I wore during my 18th birthday celebration, and many other formal occasions that I attended in the past.

I’m sure by now you’re wondering what the gown looks like so here goes:


Some secrets are meant to be hidden, and some are meant to be shared. We share these secrets not to elicit controversy or make the world revolve around us. Instead, we share these secrets to let other people know how we make the most out of things and situations in our lives. Well, in this entry’s case, the gown.

Special shoutout to Adele for asking me to pose for her and for being very patient with me. She did a wonderful job. I had a great time. 🙂