This Filipina CEO Proves That There Is Success In Pursuing Your Passion

This Filipina CEO Proves That There Is Success In Pursuing Your Passion


From working as a Hollywood executive to being Brad Pitt’s business partner, Cris Patwa proves that she is a force of her own.

RELATED: Patty Ang’s Story To Becoming The Woman She Is Today

At the time when the term “girlboss” entered the cultural lexicon, a new archetype of successful women was born. A wave of unapologetically ambitious, confident, and empowered women made the concept flourish and soon turned it into a mainstream narrative. For a short while, its brief success shaped an aspect of what success can look or feel like, but then again, success is incredibly personal and there is no singular definition that can encapsulate it. 

As the girlboss theory finally concludes, a more inclusive and mission-driven approach to success emerges. A personality who embodies that is Cristina Patwa, CEO of a sparkling tea beverage brand, Enroot. Patwa’s impressive work background proves that her success story is worth to be celebrated, but another noteworthy feature about Patwa is her inspiring identity. For this story, we looked back to her humble beginnings, her struggles and her newly found success with Enroot. 

On Her Homecoming 

Meeting Cris Patwa for the first time feels like reuniting with an old friend. As we catch up about her flight, we reminisce about everything she missed in the Philippines. “I feel like I’ve missed certain energy and a certain connection that only Filipinos can have with each other which is very familial and it’s nice. I’ve missed that feeling. It’s hard to find that in the states” she shared. “There’s something familiar, and old, and traditional about it that feels nostalgic. So it feels like I’m bathing in a warm milk bath right now” 

On Accepting Changes 

A nod to her childhood, we looked back at her best memories in Buhangin, Davao “My grandmother was a farmer and a food entrepreneur. She had bananas, coconut trees, fruits and I grew up around that. I grew up around the farm, with the carabaos, the geese and all that” she shared. It wasn’t also soon when Patwa and her family moved to the US. At the age of 8, she has to adapt to a new home and a new life. 

“That age, before college, I was scared,” she said. “I don’t think I knew what I wanted to do. I feel like my parents wanted me to become an accountant and I’m scared of failing them” Patwa also brought up how she also felt defeated by her impostor syndrome. “For the first two years, it felt dark for me. I remember even, in school, I got my first D on the first homework and I feel like I deserve to be sent home. I cried. I feel like I didn’t belong” 

However, that didn’t stop Patwa to find her footing “Just like everything in life, it takes time, it takes faith, which is so hard to find when your confidence is not there. It is a real test of strength and character on how you can get through it” 

On Her Biggest Breakthrough 

Life after college paved a lot of opportunities for Patwa’s skills. Over the years, she made a name for herself and garnered titles such as a Strategy Consultant in Deloitte and Director of Business Development for the Disney-ABC Television Group. “My work was primarily finance-driven early on. Then, I joined Wall Street and what I like about it is it challenged me. I was tested, and forced to compete. It gave me anxiety every day to compete but it showed me what I was capable of. But it wasn’t me”

Patwa also shared a piece of advice to anyone who’s looking for a sign to shift careers: When you find yourself in the bathroom stall in the middle of work, your body is telling you that something is not sustainable and not right and you should honor that. Life can feel long, so how long do you want to go every day feeling upset in that way? 

Later on, Patwa found her love for the media industry “I like the idea of storytelling. I have perfected my English and my American humor by watching the comedies I love and can escape to. I love what that world meant to me as a young child” she shared. “I used business school to transition my life into something more creative. I’m still a financial person, first and foremost when it comes to building my company.”

What I love now being in LA and working with creatives is that I feel like we are birthing and innovating. I feel inspired. I feel like I’m contributing in a different way. I feel challenged emotionally and intellectually. And most importantly I feel more authentic. I feel like I can be like any leader that I want to be

On How Her Culture Shaped Her Work Ethics

“A part of being Filipino as a brand is there is a warmth and a work ethic that is great with collaboration and team building” Patwa openly shared how she always cared about everyone in her work “When you come to my office it feels like a big communal table that everybody has a seat at the table, and we are all family” 

Patwa also opens one Filipino trait that she carried with her throughout her career experience “There is something about music and our culture that we all know, so I danced growing up, so I think when you have to perform you have to could tap into a side of you, almost like an alter-ego that’s like okay if I can’t be myself in this meeting because I’m too scared, can I tap into an alter-ego the same as I do with music?” she explained. “And that really helps” 

A Touch Of Filipino Culture In Every Bottle Of Enroot 

Celebrating her roots, Patwa shared how her grandmother and her early life in Davao inspired Enroot. “I recently lost my lola in January this year. I wanted this opportunity to value and bottle her soul in a way. To take the values that I had growing up and to make them the foundation of the company. To give back to the community. To do the things she should have done if it was her company. To have her feel that a piece of her will always is around” she shared. 

Patwa also applauded her grandmother’s confidence and how she held herself to a standard. “She’s also the same person who reminded me to be humble, and to have humility.” 

Together with Brad Pitt and John Fogelman, Patwa pursued the concept of producing beautifully crafted cold brew tea that is rooted in tradition and community. “It was Brad’s idea and we instantly fell in love with it” she shared “Working with the James Beard chefs, they really perfected over three years and perfected it” The line offers a range of delicious cocktails ranging from flavors such as Raspberry, Mint and White Peony Tea, Peach with Hibiscus and Jasmine Green Tea, Strawberry Lavender Rosemary Tulsi and Apple, Lemon Cayenne Yerba Maté. 

To learn more about Enroot, you can visit the brand’s official website here.

Order your print copy of this month's MEGA Magazine:
Download this month's MEGA digital copy from:
Subscribe via [email protected]