Highlighting Business Excellence in an Emerging Asia

Philippine Star11-24-2014

With the upcoming ASEAN Integrated Economic Community and the rising importance of Asian economies, it is more important than ever that business leaders in the Philippines are of sufficient caliber to compete on a global scale. The Asia CEO Awards aim to both honor these leaders and to inspire others to rise to their heights.

The Asia CEO Awards, presented by PLDT ALPHA Enterprise, represents an alliance of Filipino and international business executives, created to promote the Philippines on the world stage. This is why PLDT ALPHA Enterprise, which is dedicated to furthering the interests of the Philippines' top corporations, partnered with the Asia CEO Awards.

This year's event, whose theme was "Emerging Asia," saw the guests ' and finalists conversing under the sparkling chandeliers of Solaire's grand ballroom foyer, with classical music as a gentle underscore. Servers slipped smoothly through the crowd, offering wine, champagne, and various small delicacies.

Later, as guests filed into the grand ballroom, event host Cesca Litton introduced the distinguished judges. San Miguel Purefoods Vice President­ International Oscar Sanez delivered the welcome remarks, inviting everyone to enjoy their evening while noting that' the Philippines, considered one of the, fastest­growing markets in the world, was preparing to take a more active role in the international business community ­ and that the awardees and finalists had all contributed greatly.

The guests then dined on fine cuisine as provided by Solaire's excellent catering, the night punctuated by live performances from the Pag­ibig Fund Chorale and the Ryan Cayabyab Singers.

The awards ceremony began with the prestigious 'Asia CEO Lifetime Contributor of the Year which honors individuals who have made a significant positive impact to the economy and towards nation building.

Former Asia CEO Awardee for Global Filipino Executive of the Year and PLDT Chairman Manuel V. Pangilinan, presented the awards for Henry Sy Sr., Chairman of SM Prime Holdings, Inc. and 2014 awardee for the private sector, (accepted on his behalf by his son, Hans Sy) and for Ramon Jimenez, Jr., Philippine Secretary of Tourism and awardee for the public sector.

Later, PLDT PVP and Head of PLDT ALPHA Enterprise and SMART Enterprise Jovy Hernandez, along with PLDT VP and Head of Corporate Relationship Management ­Jay Lagdameo, presented the SMART Enterprise Global Filipino Executive of the Year to Roberto Juanchito Dispo, President of First Metro Investment Corporation.

"The Philippines has been experiencing a surge in economic activity in recent years, and we are poised to see further economic development ­ if we play our cards right," noted Mr. Hernandez. "In this, leaders who can think and act on a global scale are essential for the future of the country ­ and, luckily, we can see that many of the Philippines' foremost leaders ­ whether in business, the government, or academia ­ fit this profile. This award highlights the leadership qualities of the Filipino ­whether he has achieved success inside the country, or outside of it, or both."

The evening ended with a generous raffle­draw, for a wide variety of prizes ­ including trips to Hawaii and Palawan, overnight stays at Solaire, and Apple MacBook Airs, Samsung Tabs, and iPhone 5S units. Asia CEO Awards President Rebecca Bustamante led the room in a toast to close the night, saying: "I'd just like to thank the event presentor, PLDT ALPHA Enterprise, and all our other sponsors, media partners, finalists, and guests, for your patronage and support. We trust that you will continue to support us in pushing for the Philippines as a viable business investment location and destination. We hope to see you again next year at the Asia CEO Awards 2015. Mabuhay tayong lahat!"