I am excited to introduce our readers to amazing and caring people who live, work, play and do business in our community and city. Learning about people of all lifestyles, talents, and personalities who I think would be interesting for our readers to enjoy. San Diego has a wonderful diversity of individuals that make our slice of paradise the greatest place to live and enjoy each other’s uniqueness.
I am a very lucky person who enjoys meeting all sorts of incredible people. Because of my involvement with so many individuals and organizations in our city, I was very fortunate to have my great friend Mady ask me to take photos for her wedding. We have been dear friends ever since. We discovered that we cross paths with many of the different organizations we both believe in and love dedicating our time to. Mady is a fun, loving, and compassionate human being who truly does care about people from every background. It is my honor to introduce to you a woman with a heart as big as California, my wonderful friend, Mady.
How did you end up in San Diego and what do you love about it?
I came to visit in 2005 and immediately fell in love with San Diego! I then decided, this is it, this is the place to be, this is the place where I want to start a family and raise children. San Diego is such a beautiful and diverse place, from its beautiful beaches, mountains, and deserts, we have everything we could ever want. We can be in a totally different country in minutes! The food oh my goodness the food, what are you craving for? Name it we sure can find a great place here in San Diego and we have it. The people, San Diego is such melting pot of culture and diverse backgrounds. This place truly is the FINEST CITY, as it claims to be.
In four words, what makes you excited about your life goals and why?
People, Service, Unity/Prosperity, and Progress, there is some commonality in all 4 words I believe:
People – I am a people person, love meeting new people, learning about them, truly listening to their stories, and really connecting. Knowing how I can be of help to them or knowing how this new connection can benefit other people and the greater good inspires me. Simply just meeting new friends and hopefully bringing a positive energy to them is rewarding for me. I believe that when you bring your true authentic self, people gravitate to that, and I love creating or bringing that energy anywhere I go.
Service – I am a servant leader at heart! Every morning I plan my day and make sure that I am geared and able to be of service to others, be it to my family and loved ones, to my work, and equally to my community. I am grateful that at the end of each day, I can say I am blessed and was able to be of assistance to someone and hopefully make a positive impact.
Unity/Prosperity – Unity and prosperity are essential for working towards a common goal. When there is unity among family, work, and the community, it fosters cooperation, understanding, and respect among its members, leading to a more successful and productive environment. It is my daily goal to maintain unity and prosperity within my inner circle so I can best serve and fulfill my purpose.
Progress – Change is constant. I tell my kids this all the time. Hard work, paired with the passion to always aim to be a better version of me today than I was yesterday, to me is progress and success. I love learning new things. Progress is the process of improving or developing something over time. Having progress in a community is beneficial as it allows for the community to identify areas in need of improvement and work together to make positive changes.
In your professional life what makes your business stand out and how has it changed your life?
I have worked in the finance industry since I moved here in 2005. I got lucky that I got to work with a company that valued Diversity and Inclusion, and really advocated for individuals like me, an immigrant, a woman, a mom. The firm made me feel I belong and really encouraged individuals like me to celebrate and develop ourselves and our achievements. We are encouraged to bring our 100% authentic selves and aim for diversity of thought. I found myself just aiming to get better and better and I encourage others to do the same. I now work for one of the world’s oldest, largest, and best-known financial institutions where I advocate for all the business resource groups.
What do you do in your life to help make life a little better for others, do you volunteer, work with any groups, or help in any charity events?
Voluntarism is the practice of performing voluntary acts for the benefit of others without expecting payment or recognition.
I volunteer A LOT! and often recruit my children and husband to do the same. I grew up in an environment where giving a helping hand is a way of life. It is just embedded in my DNA. My very first volunteer experience here in the states was in 2005, just months from when I first arrived here in the US. I was walking around my neighborhood and saw a sign that said volunteers needed; it was non-profit women’s clinic founded by a woman, for women and helped women and families with children ages 2 years old and below. I figured what better way to meet people than to help a couple of hours here and there. I met amazing people with hearts of gold. And volunteered there for years. Then on 2007 when I started working for a finance firm, they were so involved in the community, that we just had so many volunteer opportunities, I attended them all, from Habitat for Humanity to Special Olympics, International Rescue Committee to United Way, Red Cross, to San Diego Food Bank and many more. And I took the kids with me to help every chance I got.
I currently sit as the President of Human Dignity Foundation. I am currently the Chair for Volunteer Engagement of Human Rights Campaign San Diego. I Co-Founded San Diego Inclusion Network. I am a member of all the Business Resource Group at JP Morgan i.e., Women on the Move, BOLD, AsPIRE, Adelante, PRIDE to name a few. I am currently a member of the Community Leadership Council. A facilitator of #IamRemarkable, a Google initiative empowering women and other underrepresented groups to celebrate their achievements in the workplace and beyond.
No matter what it is, or how you volunteer, a couple of hours of your time, or even just sharing resources to someone who you think might be able to benefit from that resource is a HUGE help. Sometimes it can be a matter of life and death. Mental health is so invisible that sometimes, your helping hand could just be that one hand that an individual needed at that very moment.
If you were given the chance to do something amazing for yourself and one other person, no matter the cost, who would you choose and what would you do?
No matter the cost?! I’ve always dreamt of exploring the World! That is my dream, and it can still happen. There is no substitute for travelling, learning, and respecting different cultures. Meeting the people from that land, experiencing firsthand the weather, from the temperature to the smell of the air or the food in that location. There’s is no greater teacher than experience and travel, and not just travel and say, “I went to Europe and stayed there for a week”. More like, I went to Japan and learned the culture and wrote and spoke the language, worked, and cooked their food, lived, and really experience firsthand what it’s like to be amongst the people in that land. And with who? It is very important to find the right partner in life. This is the individual you would want to experience incredible and amazing journeys in life with. For some people it can be their mother, brother or sister or their best friend. For me that would be my best friend, my husband David.
Who inspires you in life to do your very best and why?
My children. I want to truly show them that with hard work and dedication and good intentions anything is possible. And my 9-year-old self. to let my 9-year-old self-know that you are okay, and it gets better.
If you could witness any event of the past, present, or future, what would it be and why?
I yearn to be there when we finally discover a cure for cancer and HIV, a cure that will save countless lives around the world. We are on the brink of a breakthrough, and with every passing day, we inch closer to a resolution. Cancer and HIV have not discriminated, affecting people of all ages, genders, and sexual orientations. The time to make a change is now, and I absolutely want to be part of that transformation.
If you could give someone advice about your art, hobby, or business, what would you tell them?
Give yourself at least 30 minutes a day to read, whether it be books, articles, or a new language, always be willing to learn something. You can learn a great deal through trial and error, so don’t be discouraged if you make mistakes. Start small and take it one step at a time. You’ll find that the effort pays off.
Make sure to save for the future. Always put funds away in an investment vehicle and set automatic deposits into it and leave it there. You will be thankful you did.
Work hard but don’t let work completely consume you. Prioritize what’s important to you, such as time spent with family or personal development.
Name two people who have changed your life in a positive way and how have they changed it?
I have to say my sincere gratitude and admiration for Malou Sulit. She is a true angel, sent from heaven to inspire and motivate me. Even in my most difficult times, she provided me with the confidence and encouragement to pursue my dreams. She believed in me when I did not believe in myself. She was an amazing role model, an intelligent woman with a big heart who always put others before herself. Thanks to her guidance and support, I have been able to make something of myself and achieve my goals. I am forever thankful for her selflessness and generosity.
Cristina Amor Manlulu, my mother, has been a transformative force in my life. Despite the many challenges and hardships, she has endured, she has consistently provided for our family and done her best to ensure our well-being. Through her resilience and unwavering dedication, she has been an example of strength and courage that I strive to emulate. Even when the odds were against her, she never gave up, and her resilience serves as a source of inspiration for me.
Gratitude is so important in each of our lives, what are you most grateful for, and how do you pay it forward?I am thankful for the many blessings in my life. My children are my greatest gifts and the driving force behind my ambition to strive for a better world for them and future generations. I am humbly grateful for my supportive husband, who is always there for me and puts up with my quirks. I am also thankful for the experiences I have had, both positive and negative, and the people I have encountered along my journey, as they have all contributed to the per