A Night of Visionaries
Photos at the booth set-up by Dix Perez
Events photos by Lino Santos and Manny Palmero
The Standard’s 2015 Visionary Awards was successfully held last December 4, 2015 at the Rigodon Ballroom of The Manila Hotel. It was, in a manner of speaking, a historic event for this paper as it ushers in what hopefully will be a tradition of recognizing visionaries – inspiring men and women who are fueled by passion and a sense of purpose to drive change and make this country a better place – even if a little at a time – for Filipinos.
As The Standard Chairman Philip Romualdez noted in his welcome speech, “we are a nation of visionaries.” The Philippines is a country at a crossroads, and the people need individuals who can inspire all of us to see beyond ourselves, to envision a better world.
They are individuals imbued with passion and a sense of purpose, unafraid to take a stand.
In the words of The Standard president and CEO Arnold Liong who toasted the 2015 Visionary awardees, the individuals we honored embody what being a visionary is all about – passion, dedication, an out-of-the-box perspective, unafraid to take a stand and willing to work hard to achieve a goal and a vision. These are the same qualities that define The Standard as a newspaper – we dare to be different, and we present the news from a fresh perspective.
Along with talented photographer Dix Perez, the editorial team of Life at The Standard traveled to various parts of the country including Mindanao to chronicle in photos the work and advocacy of our awardees. Some of our awardees who had to fly in to Manila to receive their award were ferried from the airport and arrived in style at The Manila Hotel courtesy of Chevrolet.
It was heartwarming, and certainly gratifying, to see such an amazing group of people celebrating the event, proudly holding aloft the trophies specially designed by their fellow awardee Jason Buensalido, our Young Visionary for Architecture.
The Manila Hotel’s Rigodon Ballroom buzzed with excitement, with the impressive hosting job of Rex Flores that made the program virtually seamless, while the rich vocal talent of Jon Joven of Primo elicited warm applause from the guests.
In our special supplement published last November 29, we fully featured the 21 individuals whom we recognized in last Friday’s event, but perhaps our readers will indulge us if we name them all once again and briefly explain why the Life editorial and marketing team of The Standard deemed them worthy of recognition:
Charie Villa for Citizen Journalism, whose Tao Po!” social platform is empowering Filipinos to demand better service from public and private companies, and making government leaders accountable; Waya Araos Wijangco for Special Needs Culinary Art Education whose Open Hand School for Applied Arts trains developmentally challenged children to acquire culinary and other skills; Rachel Harrison for Autism Awareness and Education, who utilized her talent as an artist and architect to create Zambawood, a haven where individuals with special needs can be trained and given a sense of purpose; Casimiro Olvida for Watershed Protection who oversees a huge reforestation project within the Siguil and Kamanga watersheds in Maasim, Sarangani province; and Jaafar Kimpa for Muslim Rights who goes around far-flung areas in Mindanao to register undocumented Muslims and provide them with identification.
We also honored SLIM’S Fashion and Arts School’s Sandy and Mark Higgins for Fashion Education. These siblings are continuing the legacy started by their mother Salvacion Lim Higgins whose school has produced some of the most notable names in fashion today. And then there is Lenora Luisa Cabili, also a Fashion category awardee, whose clothing brand Filip + Inna is carving out a remarkable niche in the global fashion industry and providing livelihood opportunities for weavers from the different tribes in Mindanao; Maiki Oreta for Children’s Advocacy whose Kiddo-preneur is empowering children to become business savvy individuals while developing the values of hard work and perseverance; Quintin Pastrana for Reading and Literacy Advancement whose Library Renewal Partnership has built over 100 libraries including one in the New Bilibid Prison; Hindy Weber Tantoco for Sustainable Living whose Holy Carabao Farms delivers organic produce from farmers; Roberta Dans Thomas for Arts and Culture who is helping a lot of Filipino artists break into the international scene.
The Standard also gave recognition to Social Entrepreneurs who are driving change in society: Cristina Liamzon and Edgardo Valenzuela who are empowering OFWs by weaning them away from a lifestyle of debt; Kevin Lee whose A Single Drop of Safe Water program enables many communities to receive quality water, sanitation and hygiene systems; John Paul Maunes who is empowering the hearing impaired through Gualandi Volunteer Service Program, now known as Philippine Accessible Deaf Services, Inc. which helps battle sexual abuse against hearing impaired individuals; and Ines Fernandez, a breastfeeding advocate whose Arugaan educates mothers in marginalized communities about proper breastfeeding, health practices and relactation counseling.
And finally, the Young Visionaries: Jason Buensalido for Architecture who builds unique structures that are responsive to our climate and cognizant of our heritage; Xyza Cruz Bacani for Photography whose compelling photographs on human trafficking and domestic worker abuse has caught global attention; Rolandrei Viktor Varona for Entrepreneurship whose successful chain of Zark’s Burgers has exponentially grown since 2009; Cristalle Belo Henares, also for Entrepreneurship, whose Belo Essentials business is making beauty accessible to all Filipinos; siblings Aisa and Raphael Mijeno for Science and Technology whose Sustainable Alternative Lighting or SALt project impressed even US president Barack Obama as it provides a sustainable and cost-effective source of light for impoverished people from far-flung areas; and Charlene Tan for Community Shared Agriculture – a young woman whose Good Food Community educates people about sustainability and connects organic farmers with enlightened citizens through a “Community Shared Agriculture” program.
To our friends and supporters, our heartfelt thanks for helping make The Standard 2015 Visionary Awards night a huge success!
Watch the live stream coverage of the awards night at http://thestandard.com.ph/visionaries/193567/the-2015-standard-visionary-awards.html
Read more about The Standard Visionaries 2015 on http://thestandard.com.ph/visionaries/192871/visionaries-2015.html