President Noynoy Aquino won the presidency with an anti-corruption
platform in 2010. The bachelor president struggled to live beyond the shadows of
his parents, democracy icons former President Cory Aquino and Senator Ninoy Aquino.
This year, he has made his own mark with the conviction of Chief Justice Renato
Corona in May, the signing of the Bangsamoro Framework Agreement with the Moro Islamic
Liberation Front (MILF) in October and the passage of the RH Bill in late December.
Nora Aunor made a big comeback this year. The superstar reaped awards
for her performance in Brillante Mendoza’s “Thy Womb,” including the Bisato d’Oro
award at the Venice International Film Festival in Italy, and the Best Actress award
at the Asia Pacific Screen Awards in Australia. Nora is also competing for Best
Actress award in the 55th Asia Pacific Film Festival this December 13 to 16.
Diosdado Banatao's life is a rags to riches story. He has come a long
way from his humble beginnings in Cagayan Valley to becoming a respected technopreneur
in Silicon Valley. His risk-taking attitude, focus, and optimism helped him succeed.
Banatao has since improved the lives of poor but deserving students from his hometown,
as well as other young Filipino minds as head of Philippine Development Fund.
Atty. Lelen Berberabe, President and CEO of Home Mutual Development
Fund more popularly known as PAGIBIG-Fund, is one of the recipients of 2012 CEO
Excel Awards. Berberabe is credited for making PAGIBIG Fund more responsive to the
needs of its members here and abroad. Under her leadership, PAGIBIG Fund cut interest
rates for calamity loans, and offered P6M housing loan for qualified members. Berberabe
also took time to clarify issues thrown at the agency.
Heart Diño is the first transgender elected as chairperson of UP Diliman-University
Student Council. This historic win is not only for herself, but for the whole community
of lesbians, gays, bisexuals, and transgenders (LGBTs). Hers is a story of self-acceptance
and courage in coming out of the closet and fighting for LGBT rights, and in that
sense, proving that LGBTs can do more than just joining beauty pageants.
Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile is an important player in a number
of pivotal points in Philippine history. He was one of the most feared officials
under the Marcos regime, who eventually redeemed himself by turning his back against
the dictator and joined the People Power Revolution in 1986. There are mixed reviews
on Enrile this year as he presided on the impeachment trial of Chief Justice Renato
Corona as well as when he engaged in heated debates with fellow senators over the
Reproductive Health Bill.
Puerto Princesa Mayor Edward Hagedorn has actively promoted the city's
natural wonders, including the Underground River that was officially named as 1
of the 7 new wonders of nature this year. For him, protecting the environment and
promoting tourism come hand in hand. Hagedorn is also known for his strong anti-mining
stance. Hagedorn is running for senator in next year's polls.
Late DILG Secretary Jesse Robredo continues to reap awards and praises
even after his death in a plane crash on August 18. He championed good governance
anchored on transparency and accountability since he served as mayor of Naga City.
Robredo, a recipient of the Ramon Magsaysay Award, was also known for keeping a
simple lifestyle for himself and his family despite the perks of being a government
Atty. Leni Robredo caught the attention of the Filipino public for
her grace in the face of the tragic loss of her husband, DILG Sec. Jesse Robredo.
More than being the late secretary's wife and mother of their 3 daughters, Leni
has also charted her own path in the judiciary by working pro-bono to advance women's
rights. Leni will carry on the fight in the coming 2013 congressional elections.
Performing is Monique Wilson’s first love. While this Miss Saigon alumna
was in the spotlight during her stint in showbiz, she decided to take it further
and took graduate studies abroad to improve her craft. She eventually became a teacher
and founder of her own theatre group, the New Voice Company, which produces provocative
theatre performances, including Eve Ensler’s “Vagina Monologues.” She has joined
Gabriela in street rallies and community visits to women as part of her advocacy.
Right now, her efforts are focused on “One Billion Rising” event in February 2013
aimed at empowering women worldwide.