Hawaii Senator Bennette Misalucha as PWC Davao commencement speaker
READ | Hawaii Sen. Misalucha is PWC Davao commencement speaker Filipino-American Senator Bennette Misalucha will be this year’s speaker during the graduation rites of the Philippine Women’s College of Davao on 23 October 2021. Senator Misalucha of Hawaii’s Senate District 16 was born and raised in the Philippines until her family migrated to Hawaii in the 80’s where she has established a distinguished career. She finished her elementary at the PWC of Davao until her freshman year. Her family then transferred to Cebu City until their migration to Hawaii. In this year’s graduation commencement exercises which will be done online, the PWC of Davao will confer to Senator Misalucha the “Francisca and Conrado Benitez Award”, the highest award bestowed by the PWC of Davao to a member of the PWC Community that recognizes invaluable contributions to society. She is the third recipient of the award since it was first given in 2019). The first two awardees were Mrs. Elizabeth SP Lietz and Ms. Rosario Abella-Lizada. The award is named after the founders of PWC, Francisca and Conrado Benitez. Prof. Vicente Antonio V. Pijano III, PWC of Davao Chancellor and Chief Operating Officer, said “It is our great honor and privilege to honor one of our own. Senator Misalucha is the epitome of service and leadership. This award is a recognition for her exemplary community service and leadership. We hope that she can be a shining example for the learners and graduates of PWC”. Sen. Misalucha started her professional career in Hawaii as a news reporter and consumer advocacy segment producer at KHON Channel 2, then the highest rated news station. She would later continue her media work by founding her own business strategy and communications firm in 2008 and as Managing Editor of the Fil-Am Courier, Hawaii’s longest running ethnic paper, from 2013 to 2019.
A community leader, Sen. Misalucha held key executive positions in banking, marketing, public policy, and community outreach sectors. She has owned a business strategy and communications company since 2008 and is a former reporter, writer and news producer. Her last position was as an executive at Central Pacific Bank, the release said. “When I arrived in Hawaii, I noticed there were a lot of second or third generation Filipinos who were embarrassed about their identity,” said Misalucha, appalled by this attitude. And thus began her lifelong work of changing hearts and minds, leading Filipino organizations and bridging networks to inspire younger generations to be proud of their heritage. In the Hawaii State Senate, where she was first appointed in July 2020 and elected in November 2020 representing District 16, she serves as vice chairperson of the committees on energy, economic development and tourism; and is a member of the committees on commerce and consumer protection, human services, and water and land. The PWC of Davao celebrates the achievements of Sen. Misalucha as a shining example of graduates of the College. Her achievements as PWC alumna have truly shown the real essence of being a Philwomenian.