Mariane de Guzman’s heart rings with the music of her childhood dreams—a symphony of hope, tenacity, and an indomitable spirit that refuses to be muted by the harsh notes of tragedy.
“Dreaming is free, but make it happen,” Mariane whispers, transporting us to the humble beginnings of her journey in the Philippines, a journey fraught with the challenges of financial constraints that threatened to drown out her aspirations. Growing up in a low-income family, Mariane’s dreams faced the cold reality of exclusivity, a reality that denied her access to so many things, including her dream of attending a top-tier university. If only she was rich and brainy, she thought back then.
Still, she stayed contented but determined. During the 80’s when “brownouts” would often occur in her hometown in Bay, Laguna, she would always sit down outside her house, look at the sky and tell herself “one day, I will be successful”. At a young age, she started manifesting even before she knew the word.
At 16, Mariane worked at Jollibee, balancing her dreams with the noise of dishes and conversations. She took a year gap after graduating from high school so she could save for college. At 20, she worked as Pizza Hut while attending her 4th year in College. The same year when her father had a stroke, and she needed to support herself and the family.
In 2003, Mariane moved to Dubai with the help of her older brother who also supported her through college. Her main goal was to save money so she could afford a therapist for her father who was bound to the wheelchair and never spoke again after the stroke. Just about 45 days in Dubai, on her mother’s birthday, her father passed away. Unfortunately at the time, with lack of enough money to go back home, with no job to go back to in the Philippines, Mariane was not able to say goodbye to her beloved father. The pain of misfortune which scar will forever etch in her heart.
But misfortune it was that pushed Mariane to continue fighting and living in a foreign land. She would often imagine her father cheering her on. With AED 2,000 monthly salary, she managed to send money back home and support herself in Dubai. Despite the challenges, she explored different jobs, gaining skills along the way.
In 2011, Mariane joined a boutique law firm, marking a new chapter of career growth in the field of Corporate Services. By 2015, she became a Managing Director, leading a team of 30 from different backgrounds and nationalities. At the time, Filipinos at the top of a corporate ladder wasn’t common yet. Her journey was like a musical progression, from starting small to orchestrating a big success.
However, the music did not end there. Going through a phase in her personal and professional life, Mariane left her luminous job and began an entrepreneurial endeavor in 2018, a daring composition that tackled the dissonant sounds of the COVID-19 epidemic. The new venture was out of tune, it failed. Mariane remained unfazed, tuning into a new frequency of resilience. “Perhaps being an entrepreneur was not my calling,” she pondered, but fate had other intentions.
In the midst of uncertainty, this formidable woman, Mariane, unfurled the notes of MABA Corporate Services Provider LLC in 2020. MABA, coined from her birth name Ma. Analyn Batacan Alcantara is a boutique firm that offers pragmatic approach and cost-effective solutions involving corporate structuring, re-structuring, corporate governance and business advisory. Her venture echoed with the themes of renewal, growth, and a second chance at entrepreneurship. The climax of her narrative unfolded in January this year when she expanded her harmonious composition to include MABA Corporate Services Limited in Abu Dhabi Global Market.
The journey was never easy, she felt like giving-up at some point but thanks to her closest friends who believed in her and boosted her morale to continue with her vision. One of her friends said “just focus on the business and find where the money is”. And finding the money she did.
Realizing that she lacks entrepreneurial knowledge and skills, Mariane has decided to do something she thought would never happen; attending an Ivy League School. Mariane enrolled in the Advanced Management Programme (AMP) of Columbia Business School in New York City. It was a pivotal chapter in her story, marked by emotional resonance. The school bells rang in a new movement, signaling the transformation of Mariane’s melody. With conviction, she declared, “It is my time now,” breaking free from the confines of complacency.
The symphony of Mariane’s journey reached its zenith as she shared her tale with the world, creating a melodic bridge of inspiration for others. Engulfed by a chorus of diverse and powerful voices of her professors and cohorts in the AMP, she unearthed a refined version of herself—an allegro of self-discovery and empowerment.
At the end of the story, Mariane expresses gratitude in a heartfelt way, like a touching song inspired by the kindness of her family, friends, mentors, colleagues, employees, and all the incredible professionals she met along the way.
Looking ahead, Mariane sees the universe as an unseen guide, where the stars align for a reason. However, her leadership style is more than just trusting fate; it’s a commitment to spreading good vibes and inspiration —a promise to give back the kindness she’s received.
As Mariane continues on her professional path, she understands the importance of perseverance, time, and purpose. Her business provides a platform for others to join the symphony of possibility and positively impact people’s lives and communities, not just a means of generating money.
Being born into the poverty doesn’t mean one will die into poverty. Mariane, as a young “kalye onse” girl knew that life along the train tracks will not be forever. Getting into fist fights on the streets when she was a kid would soon resonate how she would fight through life’s adversities. Some fights she lost, but many fights she won.
Mariane continues to do better. She wakes us daily with gratitude and always try to sleep at night with happiness in her heart. It is at home that she finds peace, in the arms of her two loving boys, Ethan and Ryan. Motherhood, according to Mariane, is what she aims to be a champion above anything else.
The ambitions, failures, and triumphs that Mariane de Guzman experienced are orchestrated in her life like an amazing masterpiece. She encourages us to hear the song of resiliency, generosity, and steadfast faith through her story—a sonata that endures the test of time and makes an enduring impression on the hearts of those who dare to dream.
She said, “the universe favors the brave”.