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#STORYOFSTRENGTH: MYE PASCUA
WIN SOME, LOSE SOME, THRIVE
Achieving more, career-wise, seems to be the mantra of our generation. Where exactly did we get that kind of drive?
If you look at Myrene Pascua, 44, you can sense a kind of happiness. She has a great career, an amazing support system (a.k.a. family), she gets to travel, and she has Max, an articulate 6-year-old. From the outside, she couldn’t possibly want anything more. Then we started to talk.
After graduating from college, Mye got offered jobs from banks and investment houses—the dream of any Economics graduate. But she realized early that she wanted more: exciting jobs, more experiences. She quit her first job and went freelance as a market researcher, a writer, and consultant. It was 1997.
That year her mom took a bank loan to develop a property but the first Asian crisis struck and the interest went as high as 30%. Somehow mom found ways to sustain their family until in 2000 she suffered from a stroke and the loan still hasn’t been paid. Mye had to set aside finishing her Master's Degree because, with her brother Mike, they felt the need to step up. Year by year, with their combined income, extra help from friends, and a skill for negotiating they were able to pay off the loan in 2008.
“I used to approach everything as if it’s something I need to win,” says Mye. “But losing does not mean you are weak. It is how you move on from it that matters.” She adds, “My mom has always been business minded. She tirelessly look for new sources of income for the family. She took risks and she couldn’t have done it without the support of our dad. Come to think of it, our dad was quite ahead of his time, nauna sya in promoting gender equality. The support of family is really important.”
While Mye’s mom is busy reaching for her dreams her dad was in constant awe providing emotional support and the freedom to do whatever she desires. He happily stayed home and took care of three kids—school runs, tutoring, doctors’ appointments, and served as their personal driver to parties and concerts. A real trooper.
And although her parents’ set up was different from the usual, Mye smiles, “It’s still perfect to me. Up until my mom had to say goodbye to my dad on his deathbed, they are still expressing their love for each other.” She adds, “I never realized there was a difference from a gender standpoint until I went out in the real world.” Nevertheless, that realization did not stop Mye from building a career that keeps her thriving all because of her determination and hunger for more. “If you don’t try you will be kept in the dark,” seems to be the message here.
So, we ask, where do you get the drive? “Even before I had Max, I enjoyed the constant change and development in my career. I think in terms of intention and desire to provide for family, there's no difference between me and my mom. What we do have in our generation are greater opportunities to turn those intentions into reality. I would like to believe our society has grown enough to let moms lead their lives as they see fit. And we have our mothers to thank for. Even the moms who decided to stay home and take care of a household, their sacrifices make us want to achieve more and we become stronger individuals as a result. I don't think I'll be this courageous to go after my goals if not for the amazing example that is my mom. She is the epitome of hard work and women empowerment, and I couldn't be more proud of her.” -KE
More about Mye:
What she does
Senior Sales Manager
People tell me I’m a bit "preppy". I keep a stack of polos and structured tops in white, gray, navy and the occasional olive green. My goal is really to have pieces easy to mix and match, comfortable and low maintenance.
On expressing herself through fashion
It’s quite strict at work, we're not allowed to wear jeans (especially tattered ones), t-shirts and sneakers. Luckily, I do like the standard polo and pants. I just try to express myself through my shoes and bags.
This changes every couple of months. But lately, I've been attached to my hunter green City, I think one of the first batch created by Kat. I had it bespoked recently with a zip and longer strap. It works great for work and for casual weekends.
On being a bag person
I'm not very adventurous with clothes (and colors)! So I love how my bag makes a statement for me. It makes my "standard" outfit a bit more interesting.
Why she loves Katre
It's classic and durable, so it gets better with age. But more than that, it's proudly Filipino (and by my friend too!). My Katre bag is usually a conversation piece and very eye catching, especially when I travel. I met Kat through a common friend. She was just starting to make clothes and the bayong bag. I was a fan of the clothes because they weren't the typical ones you find in retail at the time. Clean lines, classic and it had that structure I was looking for at an affordable price! I loved the bayong bag because of those lovely tags that told me who made them. And then Kat just kept making new things that got better and better. Being there from the start makes me feel that the Katre journey is as much mine as it is Kat's. I love seeing it grow and every piece I own is a souvenir of that journey. But that could just be my excuse to buy more! Sometimes, it just cannot be helped.
I want to be just like Carolina Herrera when I get older. She seems to be always well put together.
Dream designer bag
Katre! Close second would be the Celine Tie Tote Bag.
You may never see it again so get it! -MAB
Photography KURT ALVAREZ
Styling ANNE BELLA ARGUELLES
Hair & Makeup DAVE GRONA