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  • Writer's pictureBy The Financial District


Juliet Jacinto Castro-Cabatingan is breaking barriers in what used to be a man’s world, crafting a new normal way of doing business in the age of the pandemic bolstered by her leap of faith, and essaying a message of hope that echoes from a fave song “Don’t Stop Believing.”

To interview Ms. Juliet is to learn to be hopeful and for those who like her (as she is wont to describe herself) “come from a family of farmers in Marilao, Bulacan,” she has a great message from that Journey song of the 80s to hold on to that dream, that feeling which she has lived and for which she anchored her life and career’s journey that has taken her from Australia to the Philippines and laying out the rafters for a stronger weather-proofed Colorsteel Systems Corp., a roofing company.

As the President of Colorsteel Systems Corp., Ms. Juliet has made it a point to effect a “professionalization and succession program” even as she endeavors to “create something to make (the employees) stay and realize the importance of career path within our organization.”

With opportunities galore, the employees have responded well and with some assuming higher positions and responsibilities, the company was able to weather the shock of the pandemic and actually “generated better results than our expectations for the concluded fiscal year 2020,” she told The Financial District.

Ms. Juliet, who surmounted challenges early on, has a game plan for Colorsteel Systems Corp., a company she worked with before where she saw its early potential, armed then with a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration major in Marketing degree from the University of the East that nurtured her indomitable spirit.

Juggling her studies with her work that entailed shifting schedules, Ms. Juliet rose above it all – and more. As a factory worker, she had to steel herself to make the grade, taking comfort in the song that played in her mind always, at critical junctures in her life, and “the small-town girl, livin’ in a lonely world” is now living her “childhood dreams.”

Ms. Juliet herself is amazed at what she has accomplished. And like the provenance of the song Don’t Stop Believing she began her journey when her father told her, after graduation from high school in Marilao, Bulacan: “If you want to go to college, you need to work.”

That sudden realization, that her father cannot send her to college, emboldened her to make that leap of faith and as the song rhapsodized: “Workin' hard to get my fill.”

“I needed to work to support my education,” she said calmly, adding with that hint of steely resolve in her eyes, “and it was never easy.”

Indeed, to read the textbooks at odd hours is a big challenge itself as any self-supporting student would attest to and she stuck to her dream. And she credits her success to “hard work, patience and determination.”

“I worked as a factory worker with shifting schedules and times were very hard,” Ms. Juliet said. Looking back, she “could not discern now how I had done it,” she confided, as she navigates her way in a man’s world: the construction industry.

She is now busy implementing strategies learned from her MBA studies at the Ateneo de Manila Graduate School of Business with a scholarship from her company, Colorsteel. Apparently, the bosses at the company, then her fourth after her graduation, saw her potential and encouraged her.

One area where she sees a silver lining is the government’s Build, Build, Build infra push that could take the slack brought about by the expected slowdown in the residential market as the company’s demographic market, the overseas Filipino workers, were repatriated following the impact of Covid-19.

But Ms. Juliet is undeterred in her journey for Colorsteel, whose owners wooed her from her job in Australia where she migrated 14 years ago. That decision to leave the country of her birth was to have a family and since she had already achieved it, the second time the Colorsteel bosses invited her, five years from her first no, she accepted it and she is now bent on a meaningful take for the roofing company’s continued success.

Having defied the odds, Ms. Juliet, who said that her relationship with God has been rekindled with the coronavirus’ insidious coming, what she wants now is for the consumers to “get the quality they deserve for their homes.”

And why not, she said. As her song’s mantra says: “For a smile they can share the night. It goes on and on, and on, and on.”

“Genuinely believe,” she said as a message to The Financial District audience. (Lito U. Gagni)


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