Finding Joy in Service
The greatest role that Daisy Lacuanan-Callanta carries out is that of a ‘Believer’, which defines every aspect of her successful journey. “My passion is to pursue God, glorify Him, and serve others. This moves me from a place of complacency to a place of boldness and action.”
Daisy is the President and CEO of Jesus HUGS Ministries Inc., a duly registered nonprofit Christian organization in the Philippines that provides free community learning and outreach programs to help spread awareness and proper care for children with special needs.
Prior to this, she was a certified HR professional. A graduate of B.S. Psychology and LLB Law, Daisy has more than 2 decades of specialized experience in Employee and Labor Relations, Conflict Management, and Policy Management. In addition, she is a certified Evangelist and International Faculty of Haggai International, Global Motivational Speaker, Leadership Facilitator, as well as a published Author of the book – ‘God Is Bigger than Autism’.
“Unknown to many, the journey of how I got to where I am now, was tainted with tears, heartbreaks, and battle scars incurred along the way. Giving up a 25 year career to establish a non-profit organization was not easy. Countless people looked down on me, disregarding what I do as advocacy rather than work. But I overcame all the hurdles because I knew this was God’s calling. It gives me purpose and vision as I serve others with the unconditional love and support of my family.”
Daisy established Jesus HUGS Ministries in 2018, and has since expanded their reach internationally while extending assistance through various humanitarian aid and cross-cultural missions. As the CEO and multi-awarded speaker, some of her recent honours include – ‘Christian NPO CEO of the Year’ (Philippines) at APAC CEO of the Year Awards 2022; Ranked 2nd Top Leader of Integrity in 2022 Philippines Top 30 Leaders on LinkedIn; Ranked 87th in Top 100 Filipinos to Follow for Inspiration and Learning on LinkedIn, 2019.
No wonder then, that Daisy is counted among Philippines’ Top Women Leaders. Yet, she herself finds inspiration in the ‘Servant Leadership’ of Jesus. “The more I study the Bible, the more I learn the value of leading with love and humility. For me, Jesus is the greatest leadership role model of all times.”
As talk turns to women in the workplace, Daisy is quick to state that she has never seen gender as a deterrent. “What we think becomes us. Instead of thinking outside the box, live as if there is no box. If there’s no place, make your own space. As women, why must we wait for corporates to improve facilities for us? We have the option to ‘be the change we want to see’!”
She is equally quick to share her weakness, that is, “Overthinking, which is a barrier to success. It’s a hard habit that I had to learn to break, because I tend to convince myself that thinking about something for a long time is the key to developing the best solution. That’s not always the case.”
For Daisy to live both a successful and significant life that she prizes above all else, she have 3 non-negotiables that she cannot do without:
- Time with God
- Doing things for God’s Glory
- Knowing the most important people in her life
“Who am I doing all this for? It’s a simple question with a big impact on the choices I make. What’s the use of success, if you do not have people to share the joy with?”
In Daisy’s case, that is her husband John, and her two adorable and amazing sons, Joshua and Josiah. “One of the most priceless gifts that God has blessed me with, is that as a family, we genuinely love to spend time together. May it be going to the groceries, travelling local or overseas, playing games, trying new restaurants, or even staying home to watch a movie.”
An advocate of self care, Daisy also finds enjoyment in reading the Bible and praying to Jesus. Prayer helps her find deep contentment and satisfaction. Additionally, she unleashes her creativity with hobbies like – playing the piano, painting, writing and baking.
Leaving us with a message to ‘rest’, she sums up: “The feeling that there is so much to do can be overwhelming. So, take the courage to say ‘no’ to yourself and to others so you can find ‘rest’.
Rest comes in many forms. It can mean a full night’s sleep or a quick power nap in the day. It can also mean reading, laughing, and spending time with those you love.
Acknowledging that we need it is NOT selfish. It’s worship. When we rest, we are setting a time to love God, love those around us, and even ourselves. Part of loving well, is resting well.”