A day before Women’s Day, Crowne Plaza Manila Galleria and Holiday Inn Manila Galleria aptly welcomed Mrs. Patria Puyat as its very first female General Manager. She brings with her over three decades of industry experience, most recently as the head matriarch of Crowne Plaza Vientiane in Laos.
“I am proud to have been with the InterContinental Hotels Group for over twenty years. The brand has been part of my childhood. And that’s where I started my career in hospitality as a Sales Coordinator at the InterContinental Hotel Manila,” she fondly recalls. Patria’s ingenuity, both from her innate creativity and Les Roches education, was demonstrated time and again as a young hotelier. She left the Philippines in 2001, and she always made sure to go back but in 2009 she decided to really see what a career overseas would take her.
When she left the country to lead hospitality professionals in Vietnam, South Korea, and the United Arab Emirates. Dubai played a pivotal role in Patria’s journey to the top. She shares, “Being a Filipina leader among Middle Eastern men and European women meant I had to work harder than anyone in the room! But it all paid off when I finally broke the glass ceiling and became the Pre-Opening General Manager of Holiday Inn Dubai Festival City.”
Her contribution to the Filipino community did not go unnoticed. In 2017, she was recognized as Hospitality Professional of the Year by a premier award-giving body honoring Filipinos in the UAE who raise the bar in their respective fields.
Amidst various accolades and commendations, Patria finds fulfillment in giving back. “Of all my years abroad, I can say that my time in Laos was closest to my heart. It was there where we made a difference to adolescent girls by teaching them livelihood skills in the hopes of giving them the freedom to choose their own future,” she says beaming with pride for the empowered young women.
Likewise, neither the pandemic nor the distance hindered her from imparting thirty years’ worth of knowledge and expertise to hospitality students in the Philippines. A nurturer and educator, Patria taught at the Enderun Colleges as a lecturer.
She came. She saw. She conquered. And now, she returns… with passion and energy that seemingly have not waned over the years. As she embarks on yet another chapter of her stellar career in IHG – this time coming home to the iconic hospitality properties in the heart of Ortigas Center, Patria remarks that there are three guiding principles that she lives by: “Gratitude. Respect. Trust.”
Truly, it is through this brand of leadership that Crowne Plaza and Holiday Inn Manila Galleria shall conquer new heights with HER at the helm.