Duros Group President Fe M. Barino talked about women making a difference and being a powerful influence in today’s world in The Freeman’s Power Women project.
The campaign, with its tagline “Women who are not afraid to make a difference,” pays tribute to Cebu’s female leaders, movers, and shakers in different industries to celebrate International Women’s Month this March.
Read her inspirational message below.
The Freeman: What led you to choose your field of endeavor?
As the eldest of 11 siblings, I experienced how hard it was for my parents to raise our family. I had to bear part of my mother’s responsibilities to take care of the younger ones. That experience made me determined to improve the life of my family. Most of my siblings did not finish college and I’ve always worried they would end up earning meager salaries, just like our father.
When I married Lito, we dreamed of building a business that would be run by my siblings to provide better living for their families. In 1979, I decided to quit my job of 12 years with Atlas Mining to pursue that dream.
We overcame difficult challenges despite our meager resources because our eyes were set on that dream.
My being a woman and the eldest sister gave me a great advantage in running the family business. Both the strength and gentleness of being a woman hold together family relationships amid the complex nature and dynamics of a business.
After more than 30 years, our family business has flourished and we have created various companies that are now being managed by different members of our family.
I am deeply grateful to the Lord for these blessings and I have experienced inner joy and gained strength after surmounting many challenges. This has inspired me to go outside our family and serve our bigger community.
We initiated advocacies in various fields through the Rafaelito & Fe Barino Foundation, Inc., the corporate social responsibility arm of Duros Group. The foundation and its services are giving fulfillment to the growing members of our family, especially those in the 2nd generation.
The Freeman: What major challenges did you have to surmount to pursue your endeavors?
Keeping family relationships is always a challenge. This becomes more difficult to maintain when combined with the complicated nature of running a business.
I’ve always believed that good deeds can only be caught through examples, it cannot be taught.
Lito and I try our best to be living witnesses to generosity and compassion in order to maintain a harmonious relationship among family members in the business.
Our challenge is to inculcate the core values of FAITH, INTEGRITY, QUALITY, and RESPONSIBILITY that have to be lived out not only by our company leaders but all members and employees of Duros Group.
These values are the key to sustain the business and family relationships to the next generation.
The Freeman: Can you share inspirational parting words?
Women can make a difference in the lives of people. We are a powerful influence that can change the world for the better.
Let us not compare ourselves with men. They have their strengths just as we do. We have God-given gifts that can make our communities better.
Let us be inspired by great women like Mother Teresa of Calcutta with her courage, strength, and compassion.
Each one of us is called for a special mission. Let us not be afraid or intimidated. We are empowered and guided by the Lord to lead the change for a better world.