In 2010, corporate communications maven Ria Ilano was an account manager at one of the biggest media companies in the country. It was a high-profile career with high stakes, and while she thrived in the work, her body began to show signs of wear and tear.
“I contracted pneumonia in 2010,” Ria says, “and I almost died. I knew I had to make a change.”
In December 2010, Ria resigned so her body could recover from the stress. Thanks in great part to the support she received from family, friends, Victory groupmates, and her fellow volunteers at Victory Fort’s KIDS Ministry, she recovered well. Still, Ria wasn’t sure what to do next.
“I was unemployed and praying for direction,” she says. “During that time, I decided to start a business.”
Not long after making that momentous decision, Ria heard of an ambitious project at Victory Fort. Ria’s heart for the next generation resonated with the message of the Every Nation Building Phase 2. Despite the demands of the fledgling business, Ria decided to participate.
“Some of my fellow volunteers from the KIDS Ministry and I got together,” she says, “and we decided to sponsor a room.”
The Volunteers’ Lounge seemed like the most appropriate choice for the group, whose members deciding to divide the Php2million cost equally amongst themselves.
“Despite all the challenges facing me, I completed my pledge in 2012,” Ria says proudly. “It was bittersweet, because that same year, I decided to close my business. Less than two years later, my mother died. Still, I had no regrets. I prioritized what God deserved.”
God honored Ria for her faithfulness during the mid-year prayer and fasting of 2013. Shortly afterward, a company contacted her for a leadership opportunity; after talks, she joined that company to lead a corporate communications department created specifically to maximize her skills and experience. It was the first time in the company’s 25-year history that such a department was created.
Today, Ria continues to work joyfully at that company, and is currently fulfilling her second pledge, a Php50,000 pledge at Victory Alabang to honor the memory of her mother.
“The entire time, I never doubted God would abandon me,” Ria smiles. “I stayed true to my commitment, and God stayed true to His. Even now that I’m in my promised land, I’m excited to step out in faith every time God calls me to.”