The Iron Lady. That was the nickname of Margaret Thatcher, the late Prime Minister of the United Kingdom. This was a tribute to her leadership, marked with her steely resolve and an indomitable spirit. Perhaps this can also be applied to Maria Edita Angela Elicano or Duday for those who know her.
Duday had graduated from the University of the Philippines, in April 1984, magna cum laude. She then began working for the largest Filipino life insurance company, Insular Life Assurance Company, Ltd, in 1986 as an Assistant Manager. She then finished her Master of Science in Mathematics from the University of the Philippines in October 1988.
With her exceptional intelligence, she has passed all of her actuarial exams in one take and had become a Fellow for the Actuarial Society of the Philippines. She has also served as the President of the actuarial society. As with the pantheon of actuarial luminaries accompanied with amazing stories, she supposedly took and passed a fellowship exam days before she was about to give birth to her third child.
Stories aside, she had steadily risen in Insular Life serving various positions from Assistant Manager to First Vice President from 1986 to 2010. From 2010 to 2015, she became Senior Vice President, Chief Actuary and Head of Insurance Administration. From 2015 to the present, she became Executive Vice President, Administrative Operations Group and Chief Actuary. She also serves as a Member of the Board of Directors for Insular Life Health Care, Inc. As an actuary and as an executive, Duday has shown intellectual prowess and outstanding leadership. Former staff of hers would remark on her mental quickness and acuity. Calculations and projections were done without the use of a calculator or a computer, all in the span of a conversation. She has continued to be steadfast, decisive and firm through the crests and troughs of the decades, ringing true for that “Iron Lady” nickname.
For those who may not know, Duday is one of those rare people you meet who has mastered the use of both her left brain and right brain. Her superlative grasp of mathematics is matched by her proficiency in music, talents that her children also handily possess. Her accomplishments and lofty position may divert attention from what a generous and kind a person she is. Anecdotes about her often mention how sweet and caring she is to her family and to those fortunate enough to be around her. The actuarial society has been truly blessed to have someone like Duday, “Iron Lady” moniker aside.