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Newsmakers

Men who matter 2022: Because they matter as people

PEOPLE - Joanne Rae M. Ramirez - The Philippine Star
Men who matter 2022: Because they matter as people
(From left) Philippine Airlines’ president Capt. Stanley Ng, LT Group vice chairman Lucio Tan III, actor Donny Pangilinan, broadcast journalist Ed Lingao, UAAP Men’s Basketball Season 84 “Rookie of the Year” Carl Tamayo, human rights lawyer Chel Diokno, cardiologist and transcatheter aortic valve replacement pioneer Dr. Enrique Posas and chemist and Ateneo professor Dr. Fabian Dayrit.

Men who matter will take center stage in PeopleAsia’s “Men Who Matter” awards night unfolding this week at the New World Makati Hotel, with society’s movers and shakers applauding these accomplished men. The awards celebrate not just the masculine gender — but the attributes that make them matter as people.

These “Men Who Matter” excel not just in flying planes or leaping on the hard court, but in saving lives and livelihoods, and setting examples for multiple generations with their lives’ flight plan.

In this year’s talent-studded “Men Who Matter” lineup is Philippine Airlines (PAL) president Capt. Stanley Ng, the first pilot to steer the flag carrier in its 81-year history. “I am humbled to take the reins of the airline at this very momentous time,” says Ng. “I’m a PAL ‘lifer.’ I’ve been a customer service agent at the airport, a captain on the Airbus A320/A321 fleet, the head of PAL’s Operations Group for the last three years and now I’m doing the task of a lifetime. However, I’ll always be a pilot.”

Also on the list is a millennial who has taken on the responsibilities that usually burden men twice his age. Lucio Tan III, 29, suddenly found himself crown prince to an empire, the LT Group, with the untimely demise of his father, Lucio Tan Jr., in 2019. But this Golden State Warriors fan welcomes both the privileges and the pressures of his responsibilities. Taking things “one day at a time” and not being “fixated on the end goal” is how he’s going to take the Tan empire soaring to new heights.

(From left) Ascott Limited’s country general manager Philip Barnes, chef Chele Gonzalez, Galerie Joaquin founder Jack Teotico, event stylist Dave Sandoval, Fredley Group of Companies founder and CEO Avin Ong, Cocolife president and CEO Atty. Martin Loon and Budji+Royal co-founder, chairman and principal designer Budji Layug and co-founder, CEO and principal architect Royal Pineda.

Donny Pangilinan, one of the country’s hottest young actors, also likes “to take things one day at a time.” But he is also very much aware that he had pretty big shoes to fill the moment he decided to enter showbiz. Heir to a showbiz legacy from his mother, the former Maricel Laxa, grandfather Tony Ferrer, grandmother Imelda Ilanan, and uncle-in-law Gary Valenciano, Donny has high standards to keep.

Journalist Ed Lingao simply inspires, and I say this as a fellow journalist. “I miss the old days when life was simpler,” he says. “When you only have to make sure that you got things right. Now you have the added stress to fight for what is right. But, on the other hand, this is what we live for… Journalism in this country, as we know it, will stay so long as we hold the fort. It will go as soon as we let it go.”

Fighting Maroon Carl Tamayo is a standout in more ways than one. Towering at 6’8,” UAAP Men’s Basketball Season 84 “Rookie of the Year” Tamayo played a vital role in clinching the University of the Philippines’ historic championship — its first in 36 years. His is a story of practice makes perfect.

Human rights lawyer Chel Diokno, no matter the political season, will always stand for the principles he learned from his father, the late Sen. Jose W. Diokno. Even without a seat in the Senate, Diokno intends to do what he has always done for more than 30 years — fight injustice, defend democracy and protect the civil liberties of the everyday Filipino.

Dr. Enrique Posas is the man you want to turn to when you have a broken heart. Posas pioneered minimally invasive interventions, such as TAVR (transcatheter aortic valve replacement) in 2012; mitral valve repair using the mitra-clip in 2013; and endograft repairs of complex aortic anatomy.

Chemist Dr. Fabian “Toby” Dayrit, longtime Ateneo professor and lifelong researcher, swears by the efficacy and healing benefits of lagundi and virgin coconut oil, or VCO. Everything Dayrit studies, he uses. He has never taken medicine for colds, he reveals. He only brews lagundi when he feels under the weather. He has also been taking VCO since 2000.

As the Ascott Limited’s country general manager, hotelier Philip Barnes is currently on top of 11 properties grouped under different brands, making the Singapore-based company the largest hospitality and lodging operator in the Philippines.

When he dove into the culinary scene, chef Chele Gonzalez wasn’t only a devoted student within the four walls of culinary school. Now 46, he is on top of several leading restaurants in the country. His Gallery Vask in BGC, which has since been renamed Gallery by Chele, has earned a coveted spot as one of “Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants.”

Through his love for the arts and knack for business, Jack Teotico has been able to establish himself as one of the most successful gallery owners in the Philippines. His Galerie Joaquin is currently one of the biggest and most influential platforms for modern and contemporary art today.

From being a young boy helping his mother do flower arrangements at home, to being one of today’s most established events stylists and floral designers, Dave Sandoval is definitely in full bloom. Dave is the man behind Dave Sandoval Floral Atelier, which handles as many as five big events a week. His work simply stuns.

Self-made entrepreneur Avin Ong was named the “Injap Sia Outstanding Young Entrepreneur” in 2018. Today, he has 180 restaurants and café branches operating in the Philippines with over 2,000 employees and nine separate brands in the company portfolio.

Lawyer Martin Loon is the current president and CEO of Cocolife, a post he assumed in March 2019. In less than two years under his leadership, Cocolife marked the two highest net income records in its 42-year history, and won International Business Magazine’s “Most Outstanding Life Insurance Company in the Philippines” and the “Most Outstanding Healthcare Provider in the Philippines” in 2021.

A Renaissance man who first made a name through his hair salon a few decades ago, Budji Layug, one-half of the design tandem that make up Budji+Royal, is now making waves as a total designer. His mission: to elevate modern Filipino design and put it on a pedestal through his firm’s works.

His business partner and co-founder architect Royal Pineda’s works, on the other hand, celebrate and adapt to nature. He also believes that such design attributes as “Filipino” and “modern” need not be mutually exclusive. Although the jury is still out on what Philippine architecture really is, it shouldn’t be dependent or limited to a mishmash of colonial influences.

From all these men who matter — and they come from such a broad spectrum of fields — people will never want for inspiration.

PeopleAsia’s “Men Who Matter” 2022 Awards Night is supported by New World Makati Hotel, Sta. Elena Construction and Development Corp., Maserati, Philippine Airlines, Converge ICT Solutions, Philippine National Bank, JC Group, Vie by VCDC, Aivee Group, St. Luke’s Medical Center, Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp. (PAGCOR) and The Philippine STAR.

(You may e-mail me at [email protected]. Follow me on Instagram @joanneraeramirez.)

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