Free online academy aims to empower Filipinas with in-demand skills

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Cream Silk’s #ConditionedForGreater Summit and Job Fair taught a lot about striving for greatness.

Mano Amiga co-founder Eleanor Pinugu learned early on that the world is unfair. At Cream Silk’s Conditioned for Greater Summit and Job Fair last March 1, the social entrepreneur talked about her experiences growing up in an environment where her classmates always had more. Coming from a middle class family, she noticed that her financial situation was different from her peers. Her parents would sell butong pakwan during their office hours to send her and her sisters to a good school.

Pinugu recalled her mom telling her that where you start in life should not limit how far you should go. These experiences are what inspired her to put up Mano Amiga, an NGO that aims to create a future where every child has the chance to thrive and succeed, regardless of their background.

Her words echoed the core message of Cream Silk’s #ConditionedForGreater Online Academy. With all of the challenges and uncertainty brought about by the pandemic, Cream Silk partnered with Edukasyon.PH to help Filipinas equip themselves with some of the most in-demand skills in the job market today. The Online Academy features three free online courses: Sales 101, Communications 101, and Project Management 101 — completion of which will earn participants a certificate and a chance to land an interview with Edukasyon’s partner companies.

Cream Silk endorser and Miss Universe 2015 Pia Wurtzbach kicked off the event by saying that "with the right opportunities, the Filipina can bounce back and be better than ever this 2021.”

Below are some insights from the summit from Pinugu and other inspiring women from the panel discussion: Morena the Label creator Ayn Bernos, bloggers Vern and Verniece Enciso, and Pure Nectar founder Arielle Escalona.

Whatever our present situation is, it's just temporary. If a person is faced with a particular challenge, she also has the power to change that.

Pinugu’s keynote address was all about the decision to strive to do better. “The desire to learn and constantly upskill yourself can lead to the path of greatness,” she said. “It’s also a matter of doing things with purpose, resilience, grit, and grace.”

If you wanna achieve something, the first step is to look it up.

Morena the Label creator Ayn Bernos acknowledged that the internet is an empowering tool.

“I call it the great equalizer because we can teach ourselves anything; we have access to educational resources. Everything I know about my business now, I know because I googled it.” says Bernos, whose brand challenges colorism and promotes female empowerment.

Strike while the iron is hot and always be yourself.

Speaking in the context of content creation, bloggers Vern and Verniece Enciso stressed that “now is the time to really be online and get your brand out there.” They recall being much happier when they put out the content that they felt reflected themselves best, too.

“As content creators, even just being on social media, it’s so hard to be on it mentally because you feel like you’re being pressured to keep up with so much all at the same time. Make sure to express your voice that you have and be yourself,” they said.

Always find your center and stay calm.

Having to pivot her F&B business in the past year, Pure Nectar founder Arielle Escalona is no stranger to challenges. Her biggest advice? To never give up and don’t get overwhelmed. “When faced with challenges, it’s helpful to Find your center and stay calm,” she advised. “Because when you are, you can think better and decide better.”

Courses for the Cream Silk Online Academy are still available at Sign up for free to avail of their Sales 101, Communications 101, and Project Management 101 classes. Those who complete the courses will earn a certificate and an opportunity to apply to