About Us

In June 1952, a group of women each prominent in her respective field of endeavor banded together and were called upon to be the Charter Members of what was then called the Zonta Club of the Philippines. Unlike the Sioux Indians from whose language the word Zonta is derived, legends were not passed on around the fire from generation to generation.

Unfortunately, much of the history has passed into oblivion, but the club records do provide us with these facts:

Charter President Asuncion A. Perez

first Filipina to serve as Secretary of Public Welfare

Charter Officers   Josefa Martinez

1st Vice President

Cecilia Munoz-Palma

2nd Vice President

Minerva Piguing


Virginia Yaptinchay


Sofia Santos


Estefania Aldaba-Lim


Helena Benitez


Pacita Madrigal-Warns


Pura Santillan-Castrence


Genera de Guzman


Charter Members   Geronima Pecson

Belen Gutierrez

Edith Marcelo

Liwanag Cruz

Victorina Lobregat

Mercedes Teague

Enriqueta Adriano

Juanita Bechavez

Pilar Normandy

Victoria Araneta

The Club holds the distinction of being the first club chartered in the Philippines and in Asia. This year, 2022, the Club celebrates its 70th year of existence.

In 1979, the Club was incorporated as a non-stock, non-profit foundation and its name was changed to the Zonta Club of Manila Foundation, Inc. It is more familiarly known as Zonta Manila 1.

The growth and development of the Club over the last 68 years has been driven by the sterling qualities, vision and commitment to service of its outstanding members composed of public servants, professionals, executives and entrepreneurs.

Zonta International

Zonta International was organized in November 8, 1919 in Buffalo, New York with nine (9) founding Charter Clubs. Its permanent headquarters was established in Chicago, Illinois and Zonta International was incorporated on September 4, 1930. Among the objectives of Zonta International are:

• To encourage high ethical standards in business and professions;

• To improve the legal, political, economic and professional status of women;

• To increase the service and value of Zonta clubs to their respective members, to their communities and to the world; and

• To work for the advancement of understanding, goodwill and peace through a world fellowship of executive women in business and profession, united in the Zonta ideal of service.

The Zonta emblem signifies “ray of light”, “bonding together,” “loyalty,” “service” and “trustworthiness!’ Zonta International is on a consultative status with the United Nations Economic and Social Council. Its service projects have extended worldwide more particularly in developing countries. In 1986 to 1990, Zonta International contributed U$ 1 million to UNIFEM to fund sustainable self-help projects for women in several countries including the Philippines.

Membership in a Zonta Club is by invitation only and is based on classification by business or profession.

A Zontian could be a proprietor, partner, corporate officer, manager, or employed executive, in a responsible position and with discretionary authority, of a reputable and recognized business. She could also be engaged in a worthy and recognized profession.