This International Women Month, PLDT Home tells their empowering story through the #SheConnects video campaign. Today, Billie & Ann Dumaliang, the two sisters behind the massively successful initiative to preserve and promote the Masungi Georeserve in Rizal Province.
Known to many as an ecotourism site, the real journey of the acclaimed Masungi Georeserve is a story to behold. Billie & Ann grew up loving and enjoying the scenery of their area since they were kids. Before it became a sanctuary, the assault of poachers and landgrabbers caused severe damage to its flora and fauna.
Inspired by their mutual love for the land, and by the example of their father, the sisters took up the call to act. Billie left a profitable brand manager position and locked arms with her sister Ann and expanded their family’s efforts to fight for the land they love. The two sisters then launched an expedition to reclaim and restore the forest and protect it, at all costs.
“There is a lot of opportunity to make a difference in the environment field. There is momentum, and while it is very difficult, it is also very rewarding and fulfilling.” Said the sisters in a recent interview. When asked about the dangers in the field that they operate in, they said, “Yes, there are indeed inherent risks to conservation work. We manage these risks through learning best practices from the experts and our mentors, and also by forming alliances. It is important to assess each situation differently and react appropriately, when the need arises.”
Dubbed as among the ‘women masters’ for PLDT Home’s International Women Month Campaign, the two sisters share their excitement in telling their story to inspire and call on other women to become champions of the environment, as well. Billie shares, “I am proud that even despite our physical limitations, we can do as much as men can. We are honored to be recognized as champions and to be with other amazing women who, like us, are very passionate in empowering our generation through our collective advocacies.”
Asked about the importance of having connections and influencing one another, the sisters added, “We recognize that we cannot win these fights alone. We need the help of all sectors to be able to create long-lasting change for the landscape we are trying to conserve. It is important to come together with different people like women and mothers to be able to change mindsets and cultivate new behaviors.”