Sample Memorial

Long tribute to an entrepreneur

Elizabeth Fernandez

Elizabeth Fernandez, entrepreneur, loving wife and mother, and celebrated role model, passed away on the 5th of January 2014 at her home in Cebu, Philippines. Her passing was the result of old age. Her sister Isabelle Flores; son Gabriel Fernandez and 3 grand children survive her.

Born on 27th February 1934 in Cebu, Philippines, to parents Henry D’Souza and Michelle D’Souza, Elizabeth spent her childhood discovering the many secrets of her beautiful island in the sun. Her love for exploration soon morphed into a desire to experience the wonders of different places and countries. At the age of 20, she made the controversial decision to move to Manila to live with her uncle and aunt. “Our father wanted her to stay in Cebu, but Elizabeth was determined; she wanted to see the world. So she eventually convinced them,” said Mrs Isabelle Flores, younger sister of Elizabeth.

Living in Manila provided Elizabeth a whole new perspective on life. Having been well educated, she quickly found herself working at “Go Philippines Travels” as a sales coordinator. With her vivacious personality and admirable work ethic, she soon rose through the ranks. Her new appointment allowed her the opportunity to travel within the region to explore places that she had previously only heard about.

Enriched and liberated by her travel experiences, Elizabeth made the decision to start her own travel agency in 1962. Her journey towards entrepreneurship was fraught with many naysayers and much contention. Nevertheless, on the 25th of July 1964, “Escapade Travel and Tours” opened its doors for the first time. Recognizing the changing needs of the tourism industry, Elizabeth built her business around providing unique travel experiences. In a time where air travel was just gaining momentum, Elizabeth seized the opportunity to become one of the first in the industry to actively promote travel packages with various airlines. Located in Makati, her small business flourished, attracting the attention of many.

While she was proud of her achievements in the business world, her greatest accomplishment was still her family. She was fortunate to find a supportive and loving husband in Mr. James Fernandez. They first met through a mutual friend, Ms. Daisy Cruz. Ms. Cruz fondly recalls, “They were meant to be; you could see it in their eyes.” In 1959, soon after getting married, Elizabeth and James welcomed their son Gabriel Fernandez.

Juggling the roles of a wife, mother and businesswoman would prove to be a handful for even the most tireless of people. Yet Elizabeth handled these roles with enviable aplomb, finding time in her already packed schedule to give back to the community. Seeing the disenfranchised youth on the street stirred something within Elizabeth and in 1975, she spearheaded a youth community project. Providing them with jobs within her already growing business, she took a chance on youths who were excluded from so many opportunities and gave them the chance to educate themselves and better their situations.

Elizabeth Fernandez - dedicated wife, mother and an extraordinary entrepreneur. She flourished in her multiple roles.



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