Mariglo Laririt once held the rather unusual work title of Resort Biologist. A Biology and Zoology Instructor at the University of the Philippines for five years after graduating from the same university at age 19, Mariglo’s shift to the hospitality industry was not a radical departure from what she loved doing the most. In 1995, she joined one of the most forward-looking resort companies in the country as far as sustainable tourism was concerned. Ten Knots Development Corporation’s El Nido Resorts in Palawan, Philippines, have become the most awarded and recognized in the country, mostly owing to the environmental conservation and community engagement initiatives under Mariglo’s leadership.
She now goes by the more corporate-sounding title Director of Sustainability but her strategy has remained more or less the same: create the highest possible shared value for and with the most number of people at the highest capital efficiency. Whether it be putting up an offsite Materials Recovery Facility or creating a training outreach program for school children or offering a new resort activity that involves a nearby fishing community, she has made grafting these initiatives into the company’s operations a seamless and painless process. To achieve this, she and her team have had to work with many sectors, including local government units, NGOs, community cooperatives, and the academe.