People & Inspiration

Dreaming Big in OTWOL? Leah Can Be Inspired By These 3 Successful Pinays in US!

Dreaming Big in OTWOL? Leah Can Be Inspired By These 3 Successful Pinays in US!

Most if not all of us would love to dream big and aspire to be successful someday, just like Leah Olivar’s character in the teleserye On the Wings of Love (OTWOL). Being described as a “simple girl with an American Dream,” Leah works hard in efforts of making it big in the United States.

It may be a challenging task for Leah, considering she also needs to work hard after her mother Rona died in an accident, and that Mang Sol, her father, has a heart ailment to deal with. Add to the fact that the culture in the United States is much different as compared to the Philippines, Leah has several hurdles to deal with.

Despite that, this does not stop Leah to strive to make it big in the United States. Here are three Filipinas who worked hard to make it big in America:

Ana Santos

After being successful in operating her bakery Le Coeur de France together with her husband Goncalo Moitinho de Almeida in Manila years ago, she decided to sell Le Coeur de France in 2008 in order to do something bigger: to have a successful restaurant in the United States.

It was not easy for Santos, as they struggled from the start after migrating to Los Angeles in 2009. Yet three years later, they reaped the fruits of their labor as she and her husband opened L’Amande in 2012 with flying colors and unexpected success

Rear Admiral Bette Bolivar

Born in Honolulu, Bette has several credentials under her belt, which includes having an undergraduate degree in Oceanography and a Master’s degree in Management. Being part of the United States Naval Fleet, Bolivar has served several positions which include being a fleet and message center officer, a special operations officer, and being the commanding officer of USS Salvor.

Being into several positions in the Navy, her biggest career achievement happened in 2014, when she was appointed as commander of the US Navy in the Marianas. This meant that she leads all navy officers and personnel in the Marianas area, which includes Guam, Micronesia, and Palau.

Cielo Buenaventura

Buenaventura came to the United States in 1986 to take her masters at Ohio State University. Prior to flying to the US, has worked with several publications in the Philippines, which include Malaya and WHO magazine.

One of her goals while in the US was to be part of the New York Times, which she considered as her “Everest”. She admits that it was challenging at first as she had no experience in writing for US dailies, but through working through dailies like the Stamford Advocate and New York Newsday, she managed to learn more about the workflow.

Hard work and persistence made Buenaventura eventually conquer her “Everest” by being New York Times’ staff editor for the Culture section.


These three Filipina women show that no matter how difficult life may be in the United States, hard work and persistence is a key towards making it big with the American Dream.

Photos from US Navy, Asian Journal, and




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