Manila, Philippines – They are game-changers, rule breakers, and trailblazers.
The country’s “Outstanding Men and Women of the Year” for 2019 were feted at a glittery gala in late November in Teatrino (“the biggest little theatre” in the heart of Manila’s shopping haven, Greenhills).
This year’s batch of awardees was led by Isko Moreno who is admired by many because, just days into his first term, he has accomplished what his predecessors, despite their brutish ways, had not. For this, he inarguably deserves this accolade.
The “Outstanding Men and Women of the Year (Philippines)” program recognizes and honors the outstanding achievements of Filipinos in the industries and communities they inhabit.
“Each year, we select people who want to accomplish, who have compassion and a good heart, not just make a lot of money. They must have real value to society,” said Richard Hiñola, the chairman of the awards committee.
Meet this year’s “Outstanding Men and Women (Philippines):
· Isko Moreno – Mayor of Manila
· Catriona Gray – the reigning Miss Universe, the 4th from the Philippines
· Dr. Mario Guiang Jr. – noted dentist and social media influencer
· Nora Aunor and Iza Calzado – multi-awarded actresses
· Concon Sinel – the creator & director of “Best of the Islands” world tour
· Neliza Nandwani – Singaporean-Filipino philanthropist
· Reggie Panganiban – owner of one of the leading hospices in San Francisco
· Wilbert Tolentino – LGBTQ advocate and entrepreneur
· Gazini Ganados – Philippine representative to Miss Universe 2019
· Sharifa Akeel – the first woman from Muslim Mindanao to win Miss Asia Pacific International title
· Derrick Monasterio – responsible teen heartthrob who dabbles in acting, singing and dancing
· Richard Gomez and Lucy Torres – the celebrity husband-and-wife tandem who are in the service of the people of Leyte and Ormoc, respectively
· Atom Araullo – award-winning broadcast journalist and environmental activist
· Hidilyn Diaz – Olympic silver medalist in weightlifting
The rest of the awardees are as follows: Aileen Adigue Carandang, Allan Taunan, Aries Villaester, Arlyn Dela Cruz, Ate Gay, Atty. Bruce Rivera, Atty. Ernesto Isip Jr.
Atty. Joel Respall Chua, Avon Morales, Chiqui Lacsamana, Cory Quirino, Daddie Wowie, Danilo Ramos Jr., Dante Salamat, Don Cristobal, Dr. Joseph Lee, Dr. Rey Salinel, Dulce, Ejay Pardo, Elmer Ngo, Emelie Katigbak, Evangeline Pascual, Faye Tangonan, Fernan De Guzman, Gladys Reyes Legaspi, Greg Gregorio, Hanina Omar Alrefai, Hellen Cayunda Miller, Jeffrey Jeturian, Jemuel Salterio, Jessie Marquez Baul, Jinnie Uy, Joanna Ampil, Joaquin Domagoso, John Estrada, John Gandia, John Salandan, Jojo Bragais, Jojo Gabinete, Joseph Ople Canabuan, Josephine Canonizado, Keanna Duterte Reeves, Kristine Caballero Aplal, Lea Mae Luna-Parisales, Lharby Policarpio, Llena Tan, Lovely Gervacio Tajan, Major Rosalino Ibay, Manuel Zarcal, Marian Louise Villanueva, Marilou Talico Villanueva, Nato Roque, Niña Taduran, Noel Ferrer, Pilar Mateo, Pio Morabe, Pon Ho Acera Chua, Priscilla Meirelles, Prof. Childe Libertad, Raoul Barbosa, Reginald Lassy Marque, Ricci Ang, Rich Lopez Pabilona, Rodeli Salvador, Rodgil Flores, Rollie De Leon, Ron Macapagal, Shirley Pizaro, Vice Mayor Honey Lacuna, Wency Lagumbay, Wilbert Tolentino, William Thio, Yves Jacob Saguin, Zenaida Palisoc, Zenny Muncal Crago.
“I didn’t think what I was doing was enough to win an award. To begin with, I wasn’t doing it for an award. I simply wanted to promote Filipino fashion to the world,” said Concon Siñel, one of this year’s awardees.
Siñel is the founder and creative director “Best of the Islands: Luxe Fashion” – a touring show promoting the works of emerging Filipino designers in the international arena. The tour held successfully, SRO shows in America and Europe.
Siñel was also the creative director of another successful touring show, the “Philippine Tapestry” of the Department of Tourism, which showcased the “wearable art” of noted designer Renee Salud in North America, Europe and the Middle East. All of Salud’s creations were made of indigenous weaves found only in the Philippines.
Now on its third year, the “Outstanding Men and Women of the Year (Philippines)”
selects awardees based on influence and power, the contributions they have made to the society, and the advocacies they have initiated or have taken active participation in, which serves to inspire others.
“I didn’t expect it, and I’m really grateful,” said New York-based John Gadia. Gadia is the “go to” person of Filipinos in New York for their entertainment and event technology requirements.
“I know I wouldn’t have gotten where I am now without my mentors, many of them women,” said Reggie Panganiban, an awardee. Panganiban runs one of the biggest hospices in San Francisco and, as such, has given employment to numerous Filipinos in the area.
“This award represents so much more than me,” Neliza Nandwani, a Singapore-based philanthropist, said. “There are so many people doing amazing things in their little corners of the world.” Nandwani conducts various charity projects in her native Zambales.
Indeed, Nandwani and the other awardees have all made an impact in the Philippines.