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Newsmakers

PeopleAsia’s women of style & substance 2021: Uplifting

PEOPLE - Joanne Rae M. Ramirez - The Philippine Star
PeopleAsiaâs women of style & substance 2021: Uplifting
PeopleAsia’s ‘Women of Style and Substance:’ (First row, from left) Olympic gold medalist Hidilyn Diaz, Justice Undersecretary Emmeline Aglipay Villar, Deputy Speaker Len Alonte Naguiat, ‘Concert Queen’ Pops Fernandez, (Second row) Marikina Rep. Stella Quimbo, actress Judy Ann Santos-Agtoncillo, Wildflour president/CEO Ana Lorenzana De Ocampo, GCash president/CEO Martha Sazon, (Third row) Brilliant Skin Essentials president/CEO Glenda Victorio, South Care Manufacturing founder/ CEO Maricor Monton Flores, Community Pantry PH founder Ana Patricia Non, Casa Bella director Stephanie Coyiuto-Tay and Hilton Manila commercial director Joanne Golong Gomez.

This year, Filipinos stood tall on the world stage — thanks to the FILIPINA.

Thus, PeopleAsia honored recently the country’s first Olympic Gold medalist Hidilyn Diaz, for lifting the country’s pride with every ounce of strength in her soul and her sinews, as well as its Women of Style and Substance 2021 awardees for their uplifting roles in life.

From an Olympian who made “HERstory” — and wears bright lipstick — to uplifting women who redefined gender roles in the home, kitchen, business and public service, PeopleAsia’s “Women of Style & Substance” challenged stereotypes.

Hidilyn Diaz, who honored the Philippines with its first Olympic Gold Medal with her “her-storic” feat in the Tokyo 2020 Olympics, looked radiant as she accepted her special award. “Thank you sa pagpapahalaga sa aming mga Filipino athletes at sa aming mga kababaihan. Tayo po’y mahusay, matatag, at magaling (Thank you for giving importance to us Filipino Athletes and women. We are competent, unflinching and good at what we do),” she said.

Public servants were also recognized for their contributions to society. Among them is Justice Undersecretary Emmeline Aglipay Villar, who is on a crusade against online sexual abuse of children.

(First row, from left) The author, PeopleAsia director Sara Soliven De Guzman, PeopleAsia associate publisher Jose Rodriguez, Angola Consul Helen Ong, emcee Bianca Valerio, (Second row) Vista Land president/CEO Paolo Villar, PeopleAsia publisher (on leave) Ambassador to the United States Jose Manuel Romualdez; Volvo Philippines president and CEO Atty, Albert Arcilla; (Third row) Linda Ley, Tina Cuevas, (Fourth row) Philippine Airlines’ Kit Javier, The French Baker’s Alou and Johnlu Koa; (Fifth Row) Nympha Valencia, Lexus Manila president Raymond Rodriguez and wife Felicia, Duday Tuason, talent manager Jojie Dingcong and publicist Susan Joven.

“To be in the company of other women who not only have style and substance, but who are also strong, intelligent, socially responsible, pioneering and leaders of their own fields, is an honor a hundred times over,” she said.

Recognized, too, were Biñan Rep. Len Alonte Naguiat, who redefines public service with her swift and steady response to the pandemic; and Marikina Rep. Stella Quimbo, who uses her training as an economist to craft timely legislation, such as the Accelerated Recovery and Investments Stimulus for the Economy (ARISE) Bill, also received their awards.

Women in business who enhanced their roles at home, the kitchen and the workplace also took the spotlight. They are Mynt-Globe Fintech Innovations president and CEO Martha Sazon, whose GCash offering now serves at least 40 million Filipinos; Wildflour president and CEO Ana Lorenzana De Ocampo, whose successful restaurant chain developed a number of sub-brands and delivery services in the time of COVID-19; Casa Bella director Stephanie Coyiuto-Tay, who runs a successful home and furniture business; and Hilton Manila commercial director Joanne Golong-Gomez, who further grew the brand in challenging times while taking care of her daughter who was fighting the Big C.

“Celebrating the success of women should be normalized as the time has come for us to break the glass ceiling. This way we can empower more women and get them started on their own path to success,” Sazon said in her speech.

Well-loved celebrities also added star power to the event. Aside from receiving her award, Concert Queen Pops Fernandez also dazzled the virtual audience with an exciting song and dance number.

Award-winning actress Judy Ann Santos, on the other hand, gave sage advice in her speech. “Kung may positive attitude ka, maayos na paniniwala at takot sa Panginoon, walang imposible (If you have a positive attitude, sound principles and fear in God, nothing is impossible),” she said.

Maginhawa Community Pantry founder Ana Patricia ‘Patreng’ Non, whose breakthrough advocacy model inspired the creation of more than 6,000 other community pantries nationwide, was also recognized. Patreng accepted her award and accepted her award with a pre-recorded speech delivered in the middle of one of the pantry’s repacking activities.

Being beautiful also gained deeper meaning through awardees who represent the beauty sector. They are Brilliant Skin Essentials president and CEO Glenda Victorio, and South Care Cosmetics Mfg. Inc. founder and CEO Maricor Monton Flores — both of whom provide not just skincare solutions, but income-generating opportunities for Filipino women from all walks of life.

(First row, from left) Rustan’s Dina Tantoco, jewelry designer Ann Ong, iFuel’s Krizzia Ann Loyang Tanabe, (second row) Lemeur’s Mae Ng, Bases Conversion and Development Authority’s Lani Macasaet and Conrad Manila’s Zeny Iglesias.

The show, which included musical performances by Pops Fernandez and Jon Joven, was streamed on PeopleAsia’s Facebook page to the delight of thousands of viewers worldwide.

“Because of our new normal digital world, we can now mount a hybrid event like this, so more people can attend and watch events such as this, like I can from here in Washington, DC and other people from other parts of the world,” said the magazine’s publisher, president and CEO (on leave), Philippine Ambassador to the US Jose Manuel Romualdez.

PeopleAsia’s “Women of Style & Substance” was presented in cooperation with Vista Land Landscapes Inc., Philippine Airlines, Megaworld Corp., San Miguel Corp., Sta. Elena Construction and Development Corp., PLDT Home, Smart Signature, MVP Sports Foundation, Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp. (PAGCOR), The Philippine STAR, Be Safe MD and Crimson Hotels and Resorts.

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

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