PEOPLE - Joanne Rae M. Ramirez - The Philippine Star

In the popular spy movie franchise Kingsman, Colin Firth’s character tells his protégé the now iconic line: “Manners maketh man.”

In PeopleAsia, though, manners are but one ingredient to become a “Men Who Matter” awardee. First released in 2006, the annual roster aims to recognize men who have raised the bar in their respective fields — not just for themselves, but also to inspire and uplift others.

Alvero, De Venecia, Dingcong and Go

Nineteen years later, the same still rings true. Aside from being true-blue gentlemen, PeopleAsia’s highly anticipated “Men Who Matter” awardees are forged by things that matter — whether in the public arena where they serve their fellowmen, or their respective businesses that provide livelihood to countless others, all the way to the arts, entertainment and more.

Leading this year’s list are two presidential appointees who are making the country a better place. They are Special Assistant to the President for Investment and Economic Affairs Secretary Frederick Go, who gave up his plum role in one of the country’s largest conglomerates to serve the nation; and Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp. chairman Al Tengco, who has boosted the institution’s revenues by 34.6 percent, thus allowing it to help fund more programs for underprivileged Filipinos.

Pangasinan Fourth District Rep. Christopher ‘Toff’ De Venecia is also being recognized for breaking new ground for Filipino creatives through the Philippine Creative Industries Act, which champions the causes of artists in various fields.

Tengco, Dantes, Berto and Del Rosario.

PeopleAsia also honors Potato Corner’s chief operating officer Joey Alvero, whose leadership steers more than 800 franchisees for the country’s leading kiosk brand to new horizons; IT expert and Opulence Design Concept owner Gerry Sy, who imports not just the most modern gadgets, but also some of the most beautiful home pieces from brands such as Fornasetti, Versace Home, Dolce & Gabbana and more; and the first Filipino president of Citi Philippines in 30 years, Paul Favila, whose dynamic leadership has resulted in a number of international awards and meaningful financial inclusion initiatives.

Also commanding attention on this year’s list are award-winning actor Dingdong Dantes, whose recent blockbusters Rewind and Firefly continue to prove his versatility and bankability on the silver screen; starmaker and celebrity talent manager Jojie Dingcong, who also lends his talent to organizing the Masskara Festival; Paul Cabral, who held his first fashion show with a bang at the Laperal Mansion in Malacañang after decades of reigning as one of the country’s top fashion designers; and visual artist Michael Cacnio, whose mesmerizing artworks not only build on the legacy of his late father, but also  continue to capture the beauty of everyday life.

Cabral, Favila, Cacnio, Sy and Chan.

Rounding up the magazine’s newest “Men Who Matter” list are chef Sau del Rosario, who continues to put Filipino cuisine on the map through his numerous restaurants; The Bellevue Hotel and Resorts managing director Patrick Chan, who ensures that Filipino hospitality shines through in all of their properties in the country; and Conrad Manila general manager Fabio Berto, who brings with him 35 years of expertise as a world-class hotelier.

Aside from being featured in PeopleAsia’s April-May 2024 issue — which also trains the spotlight on former “People of the Year” awardee, Mr. Pure Energy Gary Valenciano — the “Men Who Matter” awardees will also be feted in an in-person awards night in July.

Indeed, these men matter, not just because of success or fame, but because they work on things that matter to mankind, every day and, when needed, even every night!



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

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