December 19, 2016

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Sneak Peek: PeopleAsia’s People of the Year 2016


With 2016 quickly coming to a close, it’s time to celebrate the men and women that made the year what it is with PeopleAsia‘s “People of the Year” Awards! Here’s a sneak peek of our 15 awardees.


Joy Belmonte

The vice mayor of Quezon City has spent the last six years spearheading health programs for the poor and initiatives for arts and culture and human rights for women and children. She is also a key player i the Urban Farming Program, which advocates sustainable urban farming and living in Quezon City. To date, there are 30 farms in public elementary schools, 37 community-based farms and one rooftop garden.


John Lloyd Cruz

Philippine cinema’s favorite leading man showed a more serious side of himself in two internationally acclaimed Lav Diaz films: Hele Sa Hiwagang Hapis (where he plays Isagani, a poetry-spouting student who struggles with his idealism and nationalism) and Ang Babaeng Humayo (as Hollanda, a transvestite who becomes indebted to a wrongly accused convict). He also won Best Actor at this year’s Gawad Urian Awards and became the first Southeast Asian to receive the Star Asia Award at the 2016 New York Asian Film Festival.


Christopher De Leon

The uncrowned Drama King of Philippine cinema has been in over 100 movies such as El Presidente, Dekada ’70 and the Mano Po series since his screen debut in the 1970s. He has received multiple awards, including the Lino Brocka Lifetime Achievement Award and the FAMAS Best Actor award. He also served as a senior board member of the 2nd district of Batangas and authored the book The First Environmental Code of the Province of Batangas.


Ces Drilon

Broadcast journalist Ces Drilon is a legend in her own right. Over three decades in the broadcast journalism, she has covered stories in some of the most dangerous places in the country and has braved ambushes, sieges and kidnappings. This year, Ces became a new voice truth and reason in the internet’s sea of misinformation.


Alice Eduardo

The Philippines’ Woman of Steel is Santa Elena Construction and Development Corp. president and CEO, Alice Eduardo. Under her supervision, this company is responsible for the construction of 90 percent of the SM Mall of Asia and for the foundation works of Entertainment City’s major structures, including the Solaire Resort and Casino, the City of Dreams Manila, the Manila Bay Resort and the Resorts World Bayshore.


Dr. Henry Lim Bon Liong

This mega-businessman (and martial artist) is the CEO of five companies: Sterling Paper Group of Companies, SL Agritech Corp., SL Biotech Corp., SP Properties and SP Land, Inc. He also transformed the local rice industry with the development of hybrid rice varieties — including SL-8H — that are suitable for cultivation in Philippine soil.


Injap Sia

Injap became the youngest billionaire in the Philippines after starting the ubiquitous fast food barbecue chain Mang Inasal. An indomitable entrepreneur, he is the CEO of Injap Investments, Inc., which includes DoubleDragon Properties, Hotel of Asia, Inc., Mang Inasal Philippines, Inc., among others.


Dr. Preciosa Soliven

Behind Preciosa’s friendly smile is a mind sharp enough to cut through steel. She brought to the Philippines the Montessori-style of education revolutionized the education field with the OB Montessori Center, Inc., which now has five active campuses in Metro Manila. She also served as the UNESCO-Philippines Secretary-General ambassador, a role which she chose to take on over being the Philippine ambassador to the Vatican.


Dr. Z Teo

This fresh-faced surgeon is the president and CEO of the Aivee Group, which he founded alongside his wife, Dr. Aivee Aguilar-Teo. A native of Singapore, Z recently launched The A Institute, which is the first premier specialist wellness center in the Philippines (and in Southeast Asia). He is also part of the Cell Surgical Network, a global group of doctors and professionals that is pioneering stem cell research in an effort to address many medical conditions, such as autism.


Tony Tuviera

President and CEO of T.A.P.E. Inc. is the mastermind behind the wildly popular Eat Bulaga!, the longest-running show in Philippine television. The show’s “Sa Tamang Panahon” special featuring the celebrated love team AlDub earned a whopping P14 million pesos in ticket sales.


Regine Velasquez

Regine is the country’s best-selling recording artist of all time, with more than 8 million records sold across the Asian continent. She is also the first Asian performing artist to have a solo concert at the Carnegie Hall in New York City and was the first Filipino to win the Favorite Artist award from the MTV Asia Awards.


Kylie Verzosa

This brainy beauty was crowned Miss International 2016 in Tokyo, Japan last October (she is the sixth Filipina to hold the title). A native of Baguio City, Kylie graduated from Ateneo de Manila University and is a staunch mental health advocate.


Resorts World Lucky Person of the Year: Hidilyn Diaz

Hidilyn brought a whole new meaning to playing — or in this case, lifting — like a girl at the 2016 Summer Olympics, where she bagged the silver medal after a spectacular 200-kg. lift at the women’s women’s 53 kg. category. She is the first Filipino athlete to bag an Olympic medal since 1996. When she’s not busy busting female stereotypes in sports, she’s flying high in the Philippine Air Force as an Airwoman First Class.


Max Soliven Lifetime Achievement Awardee: Celia Diaz Laurel

Celia Diaz Laurel lives and breathes art. With a career that spans more than six decades, she has successfully ventured into the fields of painting, writing, poetry, acting and designing. She recently released a coffee table book titled The Colors of My Life: Celia Diaz Laurel with the UP College of Fine Arts Alumni Foundation, Inc.


Max Soliven Lifetime Achievement Awardee: Dr. Andrew Tan

This business giant conquered the global brandy market with the acquisition of both Fundador, Spain’s century-and-half-year-old brandy, and Presidente, Mexico’s number one brandy. He is the founder of Emperador and Megaworld Corp, where he is also president, and is the chairman and CEO of Alliance Global Group Inc.

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I believe that Asia’s Songbird as we fans fondly called her, Regine Velasquez is truly deserving eversince, her records were unsurpassed and considering in her 40’s which in our country other artists reaching such age either prefers to lie low or becomes unpopular already or as they say ” not a threat” to the new ones. But in Regines case, she is still THE ONE TO BEAT.
I ALSO admire Ms Alice Eduardo, heard so much of her goodness.