“I am woman, hear me roar…In numbers too big to ignore “, the popular seventies music of my generation, was playing on my car’s music player.  The empowering lyrics kept me smiling as I drove to the nationwide observance of the National Women’s Day at the Quirino Grandstand in Manila. I was gearing up to be one with the men and women in setting a record for the biggest human formation of the female symbol, “a peaceful advocacy campaign that aims to echo a united voice in valuing the indispensable role of women in recovery and progress.”

Tents for organization of the human formation of the women's symbol

Dressed in white tops, I arrived at 5:00 in the morning at the Quirino grandstand with other delegates from the government, private sector and civil society groups who were busy getting selfies as they waited for the program to start. A row of white tents with “5by20” signages piqued my curiosity. I was aware that the launching of Women’s Month, with the theme “Juana ang tatag mo ay tatag natin sa pagbangon at pagsulong” (Aspire to become women who inspire) was held in partnership with Coca-Cola Philippines. I soon learned the significance of “5by20”. As an advocate in the promotion of women entrepreneurship for the past 30 years, I am so impressed of this global 5by20 program to empower economically 5 million women entrepreneurs by 2020. In the Philippines, the advocacy is 2Star which aims to empower 200,000 women by 2020. There’s no better way to empower communities than through empowering women. Coca-Cola is not just a partner for one historic moment in the 2014 celebration of Women’s Day. They are in it for the long hall.

Human formation of women's symbol

The program soon called out the groups to be recognized. The roar of claps and shout-outs rang out, echoing the “I am Woman” song in my mind.  The sun came out as it gave a brilliant spotlight to the estimated 10,000 participants. The heat worried me. Can they endure the sun’s heat while waiting for the formation to be completed? Lo and behold, the universe was one with us that day. Grey clouds soon hovered the skies as others continued to line up on Burnham Green. Strolling across the park, I took a selfie, capturing the moment as the circle of participants slowly emerged. I believe a woman is the full circle. Within her lies the innate power to create, nurture and transform.

Noemi Lardizabal-Dado at the largest formation of the women's symbol

The speech of Atty Adel Tamano, Coca-Cola Philippines vice president for public affairs and communications, struck a chord for women around the world. Imagine 66 percent of global work, not including household work, is done by women but earn only 10 percent of the world’s income. Ninety percent of this very small income goes back to their family and community. For 10 minutes, the human formation of the female symbol held on together, showing the world that the power of empowered women is too big to ignore.

Noemi Lardizabal-Dado, a multi-awarded blogger and often known as @momblogger in social media, advocates constructive engagement in issues on family and society. She is a prime time woman, a mother to three children and wife to her college sweetheart.