Men who matter 2021: Uplifting

PEOPLE - Joanne Rae M. Ramirez - The Philippine Star
Men who matter 2021: Uplifting
Men Who Matter 2021: Benedict Sison, Vince Dizon, Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana, Al Panlilio, Jonathan So, Dennis Anthony Uy, Carl Macadangdang, Lorenzo Rellosa, Rep. Ronnie Ong and Roby Alampay.

In the week that marked Hidilyn Diaz’s “her-storic” first gold for the Philippines at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics, PeopleAsia made “his-tory,” too, by training the spotlight on men who matter at a virtual awards night.

These are men who have done their own “heavy lifting” in their journeys, and have made the country safe and secure, generated jobs, inspired multitudes, and endeavored to make life smoother, easier, and more meaningful to others.

They matter because they have led lives and forged careers that are uplifting.

Speaking from Washington DC, PeopleAsia publisher, president and CEO (on leave) Ambassador Jose Manuel Romualdez said, “All the awardees exhibit hard work and determination, each one stepping up to make this world a better place for their fellow Filipinos.”

PeopleAsia’s “Men Who Matter” include two prominent government officials, Defense Secretary Delfin N. Lorenzana and Bases Conversion and Development Authority president and CEO Vince Dizon.

Lorenzana, an officer and a diplomat, was honored for his unflinching stand on issues on national sovereignty.

“This award is the affirmation of the hard work and sacrifices of the defense team, and the appreciation of the stakeholders and the communities we serve,” he said. “Let me therefore share the credit with those to whom it is due, to our brave soldiers, sailors, airmen, marines and civilian human resources who work day and night to ensure that each of us can sleep soundly and can travel to our work without fear.”

Dizon, on the other hand, was recognized, not just for BCDA’s robust growth, but for the important roles he plays as presidential adviser on flagship programs and projects, and as deputy chief implementer and testing czar of the country’s National Task Force against COVID-19. “Maraming salamat po sa lahat ng mga manggagawang Pilipino na gumawa nitong mga napakagandang infrastructure projects na ito. Sa mga libu-libo nating karpintero, mason, engineer, architect, designer na nagpapatunay na talagang world-class ang Filipino worker,” he said.

The PeopleAsia Team (First row, from left): Agustin Lanada, Gian Carla Guerrero, Lenwell Ducut, managing editor Jose Paolo Dela Cruz; (Second row) Elizabeth Laus, the author and Paul Salvador; Jannette Velasco and Ricky Mercado; Michelle Bulos, Nestle dela Merced, Ramon Ruiz and Alex Vergara.

PLDT and Smart president and CEO Al S. Panlilio dedicated his award to mentor and boss, MVP group chairman Manny V. Pangilinan, and his team in both telecommunication companies.

“With the spotlight on me, I would also like to thank all 70,000 employees of PLDT/Smart, leaders and staff members for your hard work and malasakit that drive us forward. Our customers, partners and stockholders for believing in us and continuously investing in us, staying loyal to our brand,” he said.

Business leaders who quickly pivoted in the time of the COVID-19 crisis were also lauded, not just for their success in growing the bottom line, but for ensuring the livelihood of their employees and delivering necessary services to the millions of Filipinos who rely on them.

Also recognized as “Men Who Matter” were Sun Life CEO and country head Benedict Sison, whose company ended 2020 with P39 billion in net premium income; Converge ICT Solutions CEO and co-founder Dennis Anthony Uy, whose fiber optics network is poised to close 2021 with 1.7 million customers; JC president and CEO Jonathan So and CFO and co-founder Carlito Macadangdang — the power duo behind such brands as Siomai King, CopperMask and transport provider toktok, among others; and former OFW-turned-president-and-CEO Lorenzo Rellosa, who continues to provide opportunities through his companies, Lueur Lauren International Corp. and Telepreneur Corp.

From Washington DC, PeopleAsia publisher (on leave) Ambassador Babe Romualdez.

Rounding up the “Men Who Matter” roster are veteran journalist Roby Alampay, who continues to bring the important stories as one of the anchors of The Big Story and The Chiefs on TV-5 as well as founder of PumaPublic Productions; and Ang Probinsyano Partylist Rep. Ronnie Ong, who launched a series of bayanihan projects, including the distribution of face masks and alcohol, and #LibrengGulay and #LibrengSakay for displaced residents and commuters in Manila, Taytay, Pasig, Valenzuela and some parts of Batangas.

PeopleAsia’s “Men who Matter” Awards Night was brought to viewers by Pilipinas Shell, Toyota Motor Philippines, New World Makati Hotel, South Care Cosmetics Manufacturing Inc., Globe Fintech Innovations, Inc. (Mynt) and The Philippine STAR.

(You may e-mail me at joanneraeramirez@yahoo.com. Follow me on Instagram @joanneraeramirez.)

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