774 reasons to celebrate!

PEOPLE - Joanne Rae M. Ramirez - The Philippine Star
774 reasons to celebrate!
(FROM LEFT) ‘Humanitarian of the Year’ RS Francisco with ‘People of the Year’ awardees CamSur Gov. Migz Villafuerte, Deputy Speaker Camille Villar, Dr. Regina Berba, Manila Mayor Isko Moreno, journalist and social media star Korina Sanchez-Roxas, Sen. Joel Villanueva, Converge ICT Founder & CEO Dennis Anthony Uy, LT Group president & COO Michael G. Tan and PeopleAsia editor-in-chief Joanne Rae Ramirez; (ONSCREEN) ‘People of the Year’ actor John Arcilla, Nobel Peace Prize laureate Maria Ressa, Olympic gold medalist Hidilyn Diaz, Olympic silver medalist Nesthy Petecio and Olympic bronze medalist Eumir Marcial.

Dear beloved readers,

Today, we will be sharing a column as we bring back to life a milestone event.

After 774 days, PeopleAsia magazine unfurled the red carpet anew for its much-awaited live, in-person “People of the Year 2022” awards night.

“What a day! What a day! What a beautiful day!” People of The Year 2022 awardee Korina Sanchez-Roxas gushed as she walked down the red carpet, under a canopy of Ecuadorian roses and other spring blooms (event stylist Dave Sandoval did a dreamy setup) that wound down to another canopied arch at the entrance of the Conrad Manila’s Taft Ballroom.

Philippine Ambassador to the US and PeopleAsia president, publisher and chief executive officer on-leave Jose Manuel Romualdez, in a videotaped message from Washington DC, said in his welcome remarks to an audience of 100 at the ballroom, and tens of thousands others online: “Despite all the challenges, we are pleased to hold the first in-person event since the pandemic started.”

He added, “This hybrid event clearly proves that the magazine is able to keep pace with the changing times… All the honorees tonight are extraordinary individuals who shine and excel in their respective professions and fields of expertise.”

“I’m just happy to be able to attend a PeopleAsia party again,” said Manila Mayor Isko Moreno, also a People of the Year 2022 awardee. “Congratulations, PeopleAsia! Let’s celebrate!”

“My speech will be as brief as the past 774 days were long,” I, Joanne, began in my remarks as PeopleAsia editor-in-chief.

Nobel Peace Prize laureate Maria Ressa accepts her award from the US.

“Despite the pandemic, it was always a question of when, not if, tonight would become a reality. Thanks to the Almighty, our stakeholders, and to you who have given us your unwavering support, tonight has become a new spring,” I added.

“PeopleAsia is a trailblazer — always the first to stage momentous events like this. What a coup, both in style and substance,” Frontrow founder RS Francisco, Humanitarian of the Year awardee (along with Frontrow co-founder Sam Versoza) that night, said as he did Facebook Live.

Other luminaries who added substantial wattage to the event were People of the Year awardees Sen. Joel Villanueva, Converge ICT Founder & CEO Dennis Anthony Uy, LT Group president and COO Michael G. Tan, Deputy Speaker Camille Villar, CamSur Gov. Migz Villafuerte, and infectious disease specialist and frontliner Dr. Regina Berba.

People of the Year awardees who accepted their awards virtually were Nobel Peace Prize laureate Maria Ressa, Venice Film Festival Best Actor John Arcilla, the country’s first Olympic gold medalist Hidilyn Diaz, Olympic silver medalist Nesthy Petecio and Olympic bronze medalist Eumir Marcial.

Olympic gold medalist Hidilyn Diaz receives her award virtually.

The show was emceed by Bianca Valerio, with singers Jasmine Fitzgerald and Markki Stroem serenading the guests.

PeopleAsia’s People of the Year 2022 awards night was made possible by Conrad Manila, United Coconut Planters Life Assurance Corp. (Cocolife), Converge ICT Solutions Inc., MG Philippines, Meralco, AllDay Supermarket, Fredley Group of Companies, Pilipinas Shell, Center for Advanced Dentistry, HSBC Philippines, Ayala Corporation, Galerie Joaquin, Keman’s Expert Skincare: Your way to better skin, Ralph’s Wines and Spirits, Oman Air and The Philippine STAR.

Now, that’s 774 reasons to celebrate — and there will be more!

Best, Joanne & Büm — NEW BEGINNINGS Büm D. Tenorio, Jr.


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