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Rico Hizon has a vision |


Rico Hizon has a vision

LIFE AND STYLE - Millet M. Mananquil - The Philippine Star
Rico Hizon has a vision
Glass act: (From left) Suyen Corp. president Virgilio Lim, Suyen Corp. VP for business development Bryan Lim, Jins US president and head of Philippine business Katsumi Kubota, Rico Hizon, Suyen Corp. VP for finance Nenita Lim, Suyen Corp. chairman and CEO Ben Chan and Jins director of Philippine business Hiroyuki Maezono

I live news, I breathe news, I eat news.” That’s Rico Hizon, senior anchor and director for news content at CNN Philippines, describing his life.

You see him weeknights delivering the news on television. And now, it’s his turn to be in the news. Hizon has been chosen by Jins, the top eyewear of Japan, to be the first-ever Filipino endorser.

“I have been wearing eyeglasses since I was in Grade 5. Everyone in the family wears eyeglasses. I have been asked many times if I wanted to wear contact lenses or have Lasik surgery, but I refused. I can’t live without eyewear. It’s part of my skin. I feel naked without them. When I have my eyewear on the job, it magnifies the news for me — to analyze every angle of the story — so I can report balanced, fair and unbiased news.”

Do eyeglasses have a way of making the wearer look more intellectual? Or nerdy? Or cool?

Hizon laughs: “I think wearing them makes me look smart, sharp and approachable on air.”

What’s with the brand Jins? “Jins fits my lifestyle as a broadcast journalist,” he says.

Hizon adds that when it comes to clothing, he is not a brand-conscious person at all. “I was raised by my parents (Jose and Leonor Hizon) to be a simple person with simple needs.”

But when it comes to eyewear, Hizon is quite choosy. He likes Jins for its quality, efficiency (your graded glasses done while you wait), and equally important for him are other factors. “Jins is an ethical brand with corporate social responsibility. It cares for the environment, it has a sustainable program. It values diversity.”

Today’s newsmaker: Rico Hizon, the news anchor who delivers news weeknights on TV, is the first-ever endorser of Jins in the Philippines.

I saw this myself when I visited the Jins headquarters in Tokyo together with a media group back in March 2018. Plus, one endearing quality I noticed about Jins: it has an utmost concern for its employees. Their building is not only neat, efficient and hi-tech. It also has provisions that look after the comfort and welfare of its employees. During a tour of their building, we saw their huge lounging area breathing with greenery. Within the offices are comfy and calming ThinkLab workspaces where you can even hug stuffed animals.

Jins is distributed in the Philippines by Suyen Corporation headed by chairman and CEO Ben Chan, who was welcomed in Tokyo by Jins founder Hitoshi Tanaka, president and CEO.

Together they led a toast to the launch of Jins Philippines five years ago. “Our vision at Jins is to encourage people to change the way they view the world. We look for the unseen, create new standards and think beyond glasses to magnify life,” explains Tanaka.

This vision is shared by Chan who is renowned for his creativity and principles as a retailer.

Hizon agrees: “Ben Chan is such a wonderful person. He is kind, thoughtful and down-to-earth.”

Visionary CEOs: Suyen Corp.’s Ben Chan and Jins’ Hitoshi Tanaka during sealing of franchise in Tokyo in 2018.

He also shares certain values with Chan. “I have learned the principles and best practices from my 25 years as an international broadcast journalist for CNBC Business News in Hong Kong and Singapore, and BBC World News in Singapore and London. These are the most memorable times of my broadcasting career. I will never forget the many Filipino overseas heroes I met in all the countries I visited, working and sacrificing for their loved ones at home.

“This is my 35th year in broadcast journalism for four networks,” he adds. “I feel totally blessed to have interviewed movers and shakers from around the world, including then US President Bill Clinton, Microsoft’s Bill Gates and Steve Ballmer, Virgin’s Richard Branson, billionaire Warren Buffet, Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohammad, Nobel Prize Laureate Mohammad Yunus, Philippine Presidents Fidel Ramos, Gloria Macapagal Arroyo and Benigno Aquino III, football world champion Pelé, NBA superstars Lebron James and Kobe Bryant, football legend David Beckham, movie stars Jamie Fox, Emma Stone, Andrew Garfield and Michelle Yeoh.”

Were there times when he got emotional about stories he had to report on TV? “Natural and manmade catastrophes are the stories I dreaded reporting because lives have been lost. But as journalists we have to keep our emotions in check. And always deliver the news in a fair and balanced manner.”

How did he get into broadcast journalism? “When I was a little boy, my mom and I would watch the news every night. And I told her one evening that I wanted to be that reporter who delivers the news as it happens where it happens. By Grade 6, I knew then that I wanted to be either a reporter or news anchor. I worked towards this dream by taking up journalism and business.”

Hizon’s first big break came when the late Atty. Dong Puno made him his co-host on the morning business show Business Today in 1990. “He was my mentor, I learned a lot from him on how to tackle news issues and interview personalities.”

Aside from news, Hizon also lives and breathes art. “My family loves and appreciates art. We’ve been collecting for over two decades now. Our favorites are National Artist BenCab, Mark Justiniani, Elmer Borlongan, Jose Santos III, Joy Mallari, Pam Yan Santos, Anita Magsaysay Ho, Malang, Rodel Tapaya, Marina Cruz, Quiccs. We not only love their art, but also for who they are, the simpleness of their lives and the depth of their work.”

What can’t he live without?

“Of course, my Jins eyeglasses for work. Can’t live without my family, my wife Melannie and our son Migo. They are everything to me!”

And that is the latest on Rico Hizon.

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Follow the author on Instagram and Facebook @milletmartinezmananquil. Email her at and

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