Book Launch and Readings

A deep examination of how Filipina women in diaspora thrived in the challenges of living in the modern multi-cultural global economy, “DISRUPT” is the definitive book that will change the public’s perceptions of Filipina women’s capacities to lead, FWN’s Pinay Power 2020 mission.
— Susie Quesada, President, Filipina Women's Network

Filipina women are the ultimate global disrupters. They’re tenacious. They’re firm. They’re forceful. And they don’t give up. I am proud to stand shoulder to shoulder with these amazing women. Indeed, we can loudly say, we are Filipina Disrupters.
— Marily Mondejar, Founder & CEO, Filipina Women's Network

Since the launch of DISRUPT. Filipina Women. Proud. Loud. Leading without a Doubt, the first ever Filipina Women’s Network (FWN) leadership book on 5 October 2014 as part of 11th Filipina Leadership Global Summit in Manila, FWN board members and authors have led book readings in the various locations in the US, Singapore, and Japan.

In 2014, book readings were led by Giselle Robinson in San Francisco, CA, Gloria Caoile in Washington, DC, and Rocio Nuyda in Hollywood, Los Angeles, CA. The 3 November 2014 launch in San Francisco coincided with the launch of FEMTORmatch. Sponsors included AT&T, Ramar Foods, and Southwest. The 23 November 2014 launch was arranged at the AFL-CIO building in Washington, DC. The reader-authors were treated to a night cap at the W by Cris Comerford who did not make it to the reading because she had to prepare an early dinner for POTUS. Such is part of the joy of being “A Chef to the Chiefs.” Gloria T. Caoile declared “our mantra is no longer ‘you’ve come a long way, baby.' That was yesterday. Today we are loud, proud and we lead without a doubt. Sisters, we need to step up, and power up!” True to her chapter about “Stepping Up,” Gloria powered up again by organizing a book reading on 12 June 2015 in Las Vegas, her current home. Her co-host was Judge Cheryl Moss who wrote about being the first Filipina judge in a District Court in Nevada. Gloria also recruited other influentials to participate in the reading and got them excited about the evolving FWN again; asked a set of twins to read the “Letter to a Young Filipina”; and requested book buyers to buy two and donate one to a library or to someone who needs inspiration.

Ruben Nepales, who is acknowledged by his spouse as the person behind the scenes who keeps her crazy, wrote about the the DISRUPT-ing Hollywood on 14 November 2014 as “probably one of the most fun afternoons I’ve ever spent with Filipinas. Imagine Filipinas – loud, proud, achievers and each one a dynamo in her own way – gathered in the beautiful home (the former estate of screen legend Mary Pickford) of the generous couple, Lani (an accomplished doctor herself) and Edwin Raquel.” Who is the spouse? None other than Janet Nepales, aka Santa Juanita Banana, who wrote about being a journalist as the next best thing to sainthood.

Nini Alvero led the 2nd reading at the Philippine Embassy in Washington, D.C. •   Special guests included Patrick Chuasoto, Deputy Chief of Mission, Philippine Embassy and Ambassador John Maisto, President, US-Philippine Society.

 For the readings in Singapore, Japan, and Portland where there was only one author in residence, community members were invited to read excerpts. Dr. Astrid S. Tuminez, author of “A Filipina in a Word, a Filipina in the World” and Regional Director, Legal and Corporate Affairs (Southeast Asia), Microsoft & Adjunct Professor, Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy chaired the event in Singapore on April 17, 2015.  His Excellency Mr. Antonio A. Morales, Ambassador of the Philippines to Singapore gave the keynote speech.

Isabelita Manalastas-Watanabe, author of “Japan: a Love-Hate Relationship” and President of Speed Money Transfer requested authors whose chapters were chosen to be read to send messages. For example, Sec. Imelda Nicolas, alo a chapter author, wrote: I hope by reading my chapter, you will realize that many of us in government are truly "public servants", serving the people in every way we can, to the best of our ability.  Mabuhay ang ating Inang Bayan! Mabuhay ang mga Pilipina nasaan man sila sa mundo!  Banker and author Nina Aguas sent this message "Living is a team sport and I believe one cannot live and journey through life alone."

Dolly Pangan-Specht (2009 FWN100 US) and Maria Beebe (2011 FWN100 US and 2013 FWN100 Global, board member, and book co-editor) organized a book reading on 5 October 2015 in collaboration with Portland State University’s Office of Global Diversity and Inclusion, Department of Anthropology, and Center for Women and Leadership. The Asian Pacific American network of Oregon (APANO) and the Council of Filipino American Associations (CFAA) also participated. Global Networks, Dolly Pangan-Specht, Janet Labar, and Cynthia Reidy donated books as gifts to the readers. Tambayan and Columbia Distributing provided food and drinks. The event followed the example of Singapore and Japan of inviting community members to act as readers and following the example of Las Vegas, to invite young Pinays.

The book was also discussed at a panel on Women and Leadership, an International Leadership Association affinity group in Asilomar on 9 May 2015 and at the PAWA FilAm Book Fest in San Francisco on 3 October 2015. The panelists -- Penelope V. Flores, Juliet Gabiola, and Maria Beebe who wrote chapters for the book discussed the stories behind their chapters.

In his review of the book, Portland State University emeritus professor Leonard Cain averred that “Filipina women are offering the world a way to excel, with the potential of promoting peace and prosperity for all humankind.” As the first FWN book on leadership, plans are underway to do a DISRUPT 2.0 and a book focusing on leadership across generations.