About Zonta

Founded in 1919, Zonta International is a global organization of executives and professionals working together to advance the status of women worldwide through service and advocacy. With more than 30,000 members belonging to more than 1,200 Zonta Clubs in 63 countries and geographic areas, Zontians all over the world volunteer their time, talents and support to local and international service projects, as well as scholarship programs aimed at fulfilling Zonta's mission and objectives.

Zonta International Objectives:

  • To improve the legal, political, economic, educational, health and professional status of women at the global and local level through service and advocacy
  • To work for the advancement of understanding, goodwill and peace through a world fellowship of members
  • To promote justice and universal respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms
  • To be united internationally to foster high ethical standards, to implement service programs, and to provide mutual support and fellowship for members who serve their communities, their nations and the world

Note: Zonta International, its districts and its clubs are nonsectarian and nonpartisan.

Zonta International Mission and Vision


Zonta International is a leading global organization of professionals empowering women worldwide through service and advocacy.


Zonta International envisions a world in which women's rights are recognized as human rights and every woman is able to achieve her full potential.

In such a world, women have access to all resources and are represented in decision making positions on an equal basis with men.

In such a world, no woman lives in fear of violence.

Zonta District 17 Goals 2014-2016

PURPOSE - Our Purpose is to uphold our Zonta Goals

PLEDGE - We Pledge to advance the Status of Women World Wide

PROACTIVE - We will be proactive in achieving our objectives

Our Club Vision & Mission 2014-2016

Zonta Club of Laguna, a member of Zonta International District 17 Area 5, envisions itself as the organization of choice of wo/men who believe in empowering women and their families through service and advocacy. It will serve as a catalyst, a conduit, and a channel that will enable its members to share the best of themselves, combining brilliance of minds with selfless service in making gender equality a reality. It envisions a world where women's rights are human rights and every woman and young girl will have access to resources for them to actualize their full potentials.

Our Club History

The birth of Zonta Club of Laguna (ZCL) came about under the inspiration of two Zontian stalwarts, Area I Director Donnie Salvador and Justice Leonor Ines Luciano of the Zonta Club of Mandaluyong - San Juan. On December 16, 1990 the charter was successfully presented and the officers and directors were formally installed. Mrs. Pilar Alberto became its first president. Her early demise on March 18, 1992 caused the organization's premature weaning from its charter president. She left a multi-purpose building at the heart of Biñan. The year 1992 came as a time for getting more organized, a time for re-orientation, a time for sorting out priorities.

A new set of officers led by Dr. Mercedes Oliver for Biennium 1992-1994 took over. The new president set her goals for the organization and was dedicated to harness the talents, resources and affiliations of all Zontians to be able to live up to the worthy ideals of the organization. Among her key projects were as follows: (1) continuing feeding program for children in depressed areas; (2) active espousing of zero - waste technology; (3) piglet dispersal program; (4) paper mache, a home-grown industry; (5) pro-poor health program; (6) scholarship program; (7) Sining Zonta '93 "Save Mother Earth; (8) Zonta markers at strategic places; (9) perfection of deed of donation for the Alberto Hall. ZI District 17, Area 1 Director Luz Lacson presented an Outstanding Award to the Zonta Club of Laguna on May 27, 1994.

Dr. Eleonore Calupitan, a noted civic leader and professor became the Club's third President in June 1994. However, she was unable to finish her term. With her sudden resignation in February 1995, the Vice President, Dr. Nieva Almeda-Olivares assumed the presidency on August 12, 1995.

A socially-oriented and competent physician, she set her priorities in consonance with the theme of the Zonta International Chief Folalle Solanke-the-triple H- "Health, Human Rights and Harmony." The program goals of the club for 1995-1996 were: improving the physical well-being of underprivileged families through the provision and maintenance of local health services; strengthening of environmental care through its clean and green projects, promoting local economic growth through its livelihood projects and raising the literacy level through non-formal education classes and provision of scholarships to deserving grade school and high school students.

For the biennium 1996-1998, President Olivares set the goal to work against the proliferation of abuses and violence against women and children and alleviation of the sufferings of the needy-the uneducated, the undernourished, the abandoned, the elderly, the sick and the victims of calamities. These laudable and outstanding service-oriented projects won for the Club from District Governor Anna Kwong the "Most Promising Young Club of District 17" during the 9th District Conference held in Cebu on November 8, 1997.

June 20, 1998 marked another transition in the organization with the installation of the Club's new set of officers and directors. Dr. Lourdes Almeda-Sese, a committed, dynamic and hardworking executive and educator, was installed as the Club's fifth president by District 17 Governor Brenda Tanjutco. When she took over the reins of the Club, Dr. Sese devoted the organization's resources, time, energy and zeal in improving the communities which it serves, reaching out to more people in need and influencing more lives with consequences that are far-reaching and permanent. She initiated and implemented projects for the advancement of the status of women and children; identification, prevention and treatment of violence against them; their health and nutrition care; education including values formation and livelihood skills development and internationalism in line with the United Nations Celebrations of the Declaration of Human Rights, 1998 Year of the Oceans and 1999 Year of the Older Persons. The Club introduced new service projects like the Continuing Literacy and Livelihood Education Program (CLLEP) which received a plaque as the "Most Promising Livelihood Project." Through the inspiring leadership of the President, the club received the Outstanding Service Award, 4th Place from Governor Brenda Tanjutco in Hongkong on November 6, 1999. As President, Dr. Lourdes Almeda-Sese was bestowed a medallion for having excelled in her efforts to uplift the status of women.

Inspired by the Zonta mission, ZCL (Biennium 2000-2002) forges ahead with Mrs. Lourdes Cataquiz as ZCL President to continue the service projects that have been effective in advancing the status of women and to initiate/explore areas that will advance our mission. With the President's resignation due to pressing problems which affect her performance, Ms. Belinda TG. Cariño, the Vice-President assumes the presidency. The service projects lined up are generally being continued from previous leaderships, to wit: (1) Promotion of Women's Rights Program (PWRP); Continuing Literacy and Livelihood Education Program (CLLEP); Foods and Nutrition Program (FNP); Offshoot of Zonta-Bida Program; Search for Outstanding Women of Laguna Project (Advancement of the Status of Women); Community Outreach Pupils Program (COP); Mother and Child Empowerment Program (MACEP); Offshoot of CLLEP; Youth Development Program (YDP); Environment (ECP); (2) Women's and Children's Health Promotion Program (WCHPP); and others.

In 2004, Mrs. Rosita S. Celis was installed as torchbearer of the club. Her term took pride in carrying on primarily the Women's Rights Advocacy Program in close cooperation with the SMCL and Philippine Association of University Women. She also joined the Area 5 Presidents in launching the comics "Ako at ang Aking Karapatan." During her tenure, the SMCL Golden Z Club won another Emma Conlon Service Award for the 2nd time.

The torch was passed on in 2006 to Mrs. Claudette Mendiola-Cruz, who was the youngest installed ZCL president in the club's history. Filled with youth and vibrance, her presidency promoted and worked on the District 17's theme: "SMARTER Zontians: ZCL will strategize, measure, align, advocate and act, and realistically meet community goals, with teamwork, excellence through results oriented programs and projects. All on-going service projects were continued and strengthened, such as the CLLEP, MACEP, CODP, Pabasa sa Nutrisyon, and Tulong Dunong. Her term also introduced the Art for All which gave the club an opportunity to work for special children. A second Zonta marker was placed in Segunda Village, Bgy. Platero, Binan, Laguna. She also initiated affiliations and associations with other civic minded organizations. Her flagship project focused on breast cancer awareness and prevention through breast self examination sticker "dikit." In 2007, "Ako at ang Aking Karapatan" was launched in Laguna through her guidance and leadership. She also joined the Area 5 presidents' "Birthing Kit Project". During her term, the club garnered two project awards: one for the ZISVAW "Ako at ang Aking Karapatan" and another for the breast cancer awareness campaign. ZCL also won as the Most Outstanding Club (medium size category.)

In biennium 2008-2010, Dr. Divinia Lourdes R. Reyes, a socio-civic oriented and multi-awarded optometrist and, a genuine woman leader, known for her excellence, innovations and power of persistence, took a stride as ZCL's tenth president. Under her presidency, ZCL remains steadfast with the unyielding tasks and efforts that started twenty years ago: all service projects initiated by her predecessors are all standing tall and proud as they continue to empower women in specialized areas of concerns. We also witness landmark projects and advocacies that revolutionize our club's identity in the community while carrying on the District 17's biennial theme: Project ANGELS: advancing women's status, new clubs and new members, global empowerment, education opportunities, local actions and service with solutions. The ZCL, with Dr. Reyes in the frontline, took the lead in creating service projects with immediate and viable results advancing women empowerment in the grassroots level, by actively initiating a strong collaboration with the three local government units in the first district of Laguna, through its CEBDP and Legislative Awareness efforts. This biennium, ZCL organized and sponsored its 2nd Z Club, the Z Club of Alpha Angelicum Academy, in line with Zonta International's efforts to provide opportunities for the youth to develop leadership skills, explore career alternatives and improve global understanding through service. Noteworthy to mention is the consistent first place winning of the Saint Michael's College of Laguna Golden Z Club, in 2008-2009 and 2009-2010, and the Z Club of Laguna, second place in 2009-2010, of the prestigious Emma Conlon International Service Award. A notable "first" this biennium is the acceptance of two male members in the persons of Dr. Apolinario Alzona (dentist/orthodontist/ implantologist) and Dr. Arnel Asiño (physician/anesthesiologist), both noted socio-civic leaders and achievers in their chosen professional fields.

For the biennium 2010-2012, Florita A. Manuel was installed as ZCL's 11th president. During her term, ZCL worked under the banner of T.E.A.M. S.H.I.N.E., which aims not only to carry on the legacy of the past Zontian presidents, but also to conceptualize and implement new projects.

One of which is the "Micro-credit Project," which lends capital to financially-challenged but business-minded women. Another project is "Karapatan Mo, Alamin Mo," which provided free legal information and assistance to women. "Buntis Congress" provided free medical consultations and awareness seminars that focused on maternal and child health care.

During her term, ZCL received 12 awards including First Place, Club Governance Award, First Place, Z and Golden Z Participation Award, Second Place TEAM SHINE Achievement Award, and Second Place TEAM SHINE Advocacy Efforts Award.

Dr. Merlene M. Alon, a Reading and Math specialist, an academician and a committed school executive and administrator was installed as ZCL's 12th President. Under her leadership, ZCL has continued the legacy of its past presidents' unselfish dedication to serve women and their families through capacity building by means of mentoring and educating them particularly those belonging to the marginalized sector of society believing that through the empowerment they will definitely effect change in their own little ways not only in their respective families but in the community as well.

ZCL will continue to serve as a catalyst, a conduit, and a channel that will enable its members to share the best of themselves, combining brilliance of minds with selfless service, and truly make a difference.

Our Club Officers & Board of Directors 2014-2016

   President     Jocelyn R. Manabat
   President Elect    Marlyn Alonte-Naguiat
   Vice President External    Elizabeth B. Valconcha, O.D.
   Vice President Internal    Arnel M. Asiño, M.D.
   Secretary    Susan Marie H. Lijauco
   Assistant Secretary    Joselyn Socorro H. Acierto
   Treasurer    Alona T. Lapiz
   Auditor    Emma A. Marfil

   Directors    Pacita M. Alberto
     Arlene B. Arcillas
     Cresencia R. Gacoba, M.D.
     Teresita L. Limaco
     Marianne A. Olivares
 Ex-Officio    Merlene M. Alon, Ph.D.

» Go to Top

Our Committee Chairmen 2014-2016

   Membership    Claudette Mendiola-Cruz
   Service    Cresencia R. Gacoba, M.D.
   Advocacy    Merlene M. Alon, Ph.D.
   Nominating    Divinia Lourdes Reyes
   United Nations    Florita A. Manuel
   Public Relations & Communications    Belinda Tan Gana Cariño
   Z and Golden Z Clubs    Leonila D. Cuasay
   Club Foundation Ambassador    Lourdes Almeda-Sese, Ed.D.
   Club Historian    Fara R. Santos

Our Club Members

  Name   Classification
  Joselyn Socorro Acierto   2323-Nurse (Registered)
  Pacita Alberto   1112-Administrative Service Manager
  Merlene Alon   1293-Education Administrator
  Cherry Marie Jocelyn Alonte-Nunez   3291-Administrator
  Rogelio Aquino   2312-Specialist Physician
  Arlene Arcillas   1111-Mayor
  Arnel M. Asino   2311-General Medical Practitioner
  Milagros O. Borabien   2311-General Medical Practitioner
  Belinda Tan Gana Carino   1191-Building and Construction Manager
  Lourdes S. Cataquiz   1112-Manager nec
  Claudette Mendiola Cruz   3211-Branch Accountant (Financial Institution)
  Leonila D. Cuasay   2494-Teaching Professional
  Minerva E. Econ   2381-Dentist
  Maria Cresencia Rega Gacoba   2311-General Medical Practitioner
  Alona T. Lapiz   1293-Education Administrator
  Marie Susan Lijauco   1315-Agricultural Manager nec
  Teresita L. Limaco   3293-Real Estate Agency Manager
  Caridad Manabat   3213-Financial Advisor
  Jocelyn Manabat   1231-Sales and Marketing Manager
  Maria Regina Milagros Manabat   2322-Nurse Educator
  Florita Alintahanin Manuel   2382-Pharmacist
  Emma Alon Marfil   2211-Chartered or Certified Accountant
  Marilyn Alonte Naguiat   1111-Mayor
  Marianne Olivares   2211-Accountant
  Dr. Nieva Almeda Olivares   1112-Hospital Manager
  Mercedes M Oliver   3293-Real Estate Salesperson
  Divinia Lourdes Reyes   2384-Optometrist
  Isidra M. Rivera   2311-Resident Medical Officer
  Fara Santos   2421-University Lecturer
  Lourdes Almeda Sese   1293-Senior Administrator of Educational Establ
  Andrea Antonette Sese-Relucio   2521-Lawyer
  Maria Elizabeth Bacu Valconcha   2384-Optometrist
  Regina GV Villar   2521-Law Researcher
  Evelyn Oliveros   293 - School Administrator

Service Projects

Continuing Service Projects:

¤ Operation of LINGAP SMCL/ZONTA CENTER - started in 1991.
¤ Maternal and Child Empowerment Program (MACEP) since 199.
¤ Continuing Literacy and Livelihood Education Project (CLLEP) since 1998
¤ Community Outreach Daycare Project (CODP) since 1998
      ¤ Sponsorship of Z and Golden Z Clubs since 1999
      ¤ Women's Health since 1999
      ¤ Medical/Dental Missions
      ¤ Pap Smear Examination
      ¤ ECG
      ¤ Breast Cancer Awareness Campaign since 2006
      ¤ Buntis Fair (Maternal Care Forum for Expectant Mothers) since 2011
      ¤ Relief Operations for disaster victims (as the need arises)
      ¤ Share the Joys of Christmas for CODP Pupils and LINGAP Mothers since 1998.

Continuing Advocacy Projects:

¤ Awareness Campaign re Anti-trafficking of Women and Children (A Partnership with the Visayan Forum    Foundation, Inc.) since 2009
¤ Free Legal Clinic & "Karapatan Mo Alamin Mo" (Human Rights Awareness Forum) since 2012
¤ Ring for Peace in celebration of UN International Day of Peace since 2006
¤ Wear Orange every 25th of the month since 2012
¤ Anti Bullying Forum for Teachers and Parents ( Anatomy of Bullying) started in 2012
¤ Micro Credit Financing in partnership with Zonta Philippines and TSPI started in 2011
¤ Zonta Say No markers along the Old National Road, City of Binan since 2012

Current (Newly Conceptualized) Projects:

¤ Additional free mammograms/breast ultrasound in celebration of Breast Cancer Awareness Month
¤ Additional free diabetic screening, pap smear, and chest X-RAY examinations
¤ Additional free ultrasound for pregnant women
¤ Community Based Enterprise Development (CBED)in Sitio Balimbing, San Antonio, Binan, Laguna
¤ Women Economic Empowerment Program

¤ School Caravan/Campaign to Delay Early Marriage/Teenage Pregnancy
¤ Orange your Neighborhood in celebration of International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women
¤ 16 Days of Activitism against Gender Violence from 25 November to 10 December
¤ Values Education Program for Women and Young Girls

¤ ZCL supports all international, district, and area events by way of:
   1. Attendance to the 2014 International Convention in Orlando, Florida, 2015 District Conference in Bangkok,       Thailand, and area meeting/s;
   2. Participation in the celebration of United Nations Day, 16 Days of Activism, ZI Foundation Day, Zonta Rose       Day, and other Zonta red letter days;
   3. Chairmanship/membership in international, district, and area committees; and Submission of entry/ies to       the Emma L. Conlon Service Award, YWPA, and Jane M. Klausman Women in Business Scholarship.
¤ ZCL will partner with like-minded organizations to actualize its identified service and advocacy projects.
¤ ZCL commits to increase Zonta's visibility and credibility in the local community.
¤ ZCL commits to maintain and expand its Club Website and club Facebook
¤ ZCL members commit to donate annually to the ZI Foundation.

Since its chartering in 1990, the officers and members of ZCL have undertaken laudable service and advocacy programs in support of Zonta International and District 17 biennial goals to uplift and empower women and their families. They have devoted the organization's resources, time, energy, and zeal in improving the communities which it serves, reaching out to more women and their families in need by means of capacity building and empowerment. It has effected changes and influenced more lives with consequences that are far reaching and permanent.


¤Meet the district target of at least one new member.
¤Conduct membership briefing and orientation.
¤Sponsor one additional Z Club and one community based Golden Z Club.

International Service Program

Helping women in developing countries has been a passion of Zontians since the organization was founded in 1919. Today, Zonta's International Service Program continues to help women in developing countries improve their legal, political, economic, educational and health status. Through funding from the Zonta International Foundation, the Program has provided training, education, health, sanitation, agricultural and micro-credit assistance to women, primarily through projects implemented by the agencies of the United Nations and other recognized non-governmental organizations.


» ZISVAW Program

Globally, gender-based violence is the most pervasive and least recognized human rights violation. Rooted in inequality, it affects women of every race, class, culture, ethnicity, age and country. Zonta International strives to promote and protect the human rights of all women and girls and reduce the incidence of violence through the Zonta International Strategies to End Violence Against Women (ZISVAW) Program by:

  • Supporting prevention and advocacy strategies locally and internationally.
  • Awarding grants to United Nations agencies or recognized NGOs for projects that seek to change personal and/or political knowledge, attitudes and behavior contributing to gender-based violence.
  • Increasing awareness and actions related to preventing violence against women by encouraging Zonta club involvement in local and national advocacy initiatives and service projects.


» Amelia Earhart Fellowship

The Amelia Earhart Fellowship program helps talented women, pursuing advanced studies in the typically male-dominated fields of aerospace-related sciences and engineering, achieve their educational goals.


» Jane M. Klausman Women In Business Scholarship

Established in 1998 from a generous bequest by Jane M. Klausman, a member of the Zonta Club of Syracuse, New York USA, and the 1990-1995 Zonta International Parliamentarian, the Jane M. Klausman Women in Business Scholarship is awarded annually to women pursuing undergraduate or master's degrees in business management.


» Young Women in Public Affairs Award

Established in 1990 by Past International President Leneen Forde, the Young Women in Public Affairs Award honors young women of age 16 to 19, who demonstrate a commitment to leadership in public policy, government and volunteer organizations. The program operates at the Zonta club, district/region and international levels. Zonta clubs provide awards for club recipients, and district/region and international awards are funded by the Zonta International Foundation. District recipients receive US$1,000, and ten international recipients are selected from the district/region recipients to receive awards of US$4,000 each.


» Z Clubs & Golden Z Clubs

Established in 1948, the Z Club and Golden Z Club program is one of Zonta International's longest-running programs. Z clubs and Golden Z clubs help high school, college and university students develop leadership skills, promote career exploration and encourage members to participate in community, school and international service projects.


» Emma L. Conlon Service Awards (Contest for Z and Golden Z clubs)

Established in 1962 at the Zonta International Convention in New Orleans, Lousiana, USA, the Emma L. Conlon Service Award is a contest for Z clubs and Golden Z clubs. Named in honor of Past International President, Emma L. Conlon, who graciously underwrote the Award for Zonta International, the Emma L. Conlon Service Awards recognize those clubs whose projects and programs best express the ideals of Zonta International through local and international service and advocacy to advance the status of women worldwide. First place clubs receive US$1,000; second place clubs receive US$500; and third place clubs receive US$250. The award money is to be used for the club's service projects.


How to Become a Zontian

Zontians are a culturally diverse group of women and men, representing 63 countries around the globe, who share a commitment to working for women's rights and gender equality. They are professionals and executives from a wide array of sectors - architects, educators, engineers, entrepreneurs, lawyers, doctors, pilots, government officials and more. As a member of an individual Zonta club, Zontians all over the world work to advance the status of women through various service, advocacy and fund-raising efforts to support the main objectives of Zonta, which are:

  • To improve the legal, political, economic, educational, health and professional status of women at the global and local level through service and advocacy.
  • To work for the advancement of understanding, goodwill and peace through a fellowship of executives in business and the professions.
  • To promote justice and universal respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms.
  • To be united internationally to foster high ethical standards, to implement service programs and to provide mutual support and fellowship for members who serve their communities, their nations and the world.

In addition to the millions of dollars that Zonta International donates to international service projects and educational programs, Zontians commit hundreds of service hours and thousands of dollars to a wide-range of women-focused community service projects such as:

  • Supporting shelters for survivors of domestic violence.
  • Establishing micro-credit programs to help women start small businesses.
  • Empowering girls through educational assistance.
  • Informing and encouraging women facing cultural and linguistic barriers about the early detection, diagnosis and treatment of breast cancer.
  • Sponsoring Z Clubs and Golden Z Clubs for high school, college and university students.

If you would like to become a Zontian please find the club nearest your workplace in the country where you domicile. Please make further enquiries with the respective Area Directors in the Zonta District 17 website.

Contact Us

Email Contact: presidentzcl@gmail.com

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The Zontian
2014-2016 Biennium
September 2014

Calendar of Events