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 during the magazine’s recently concluded virtual awards night.
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.
“This year, Filipinos stood tall on the world stage thanks to the Filipina. And so tonight, we honor Hidilyn for lifting the country’s pride with every ounce of strength she had,” said PeopleAsia editor-in-chief Joanne Rae Ramirez, as she presented the award to the newly engaged athlete.
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. “To be in the company of other women who do 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.
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 redefined 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 delivered a pre-recorded speech 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 opportunites for Filipino women from all walks of life.
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 staged 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.
To watch the show, click here.