Nothing Else but Pure Pinoy Pride
Photo by Rozen Antonio; HMUA – Val Montuerto for #illustrado100
Very few talk about the Filipino’s pioneering spirit. And yet here we are, 11 million of us scattered all over the globe, in once strange lands we now call our home, over a century since the first known big wave of Overseas Filipinos moved to the United States of America to tend to the pineapple farms of Hawaii.
Here we thrive, and here we have made our mark.
Make no mistake. We not only have our smiles, our agreeableness, our music and our beauty queens to give to the world. The Filipino can and has mustered to do so much more. We have achieved and excelled, made our presence felt, and created value wherever it is in the world we have made our second home.
We may be diminutive in physique and mild in our manners, but we have the spirit of giants – of the Davids who can beat the Goliaths of this world with a slingshot bearing talent, deftness and grit. We have the ability and the chutzpah – nay, the cojones, to step out of our comfort zones and stake our claim on our own spot under the sun.
And we continue to do so, every single day in the offices where we work, in the markets where we compete, in the streets where we hustle, or the WWW where we push for our voices to be heard. And yet there is still work to be done and mountains to be conquered, but boy, oh boy, isn’t it nice to be coming from a place of pride, knowing that we Filipinos can do whatever we have set our hearts and minds on, because we have what it takes to succeed?
In keeping with the advocacy we started a decade ago, Illustrado 100 is our way of re-affirming our commitment to uplift the Filipino. This special issue is dedicated to celebrating the best and the brightest in our community, showing the world what we are capable of, while inspiring our compatriots to reach for the sky.
Whether they are trailblazers who are breaking new ground in the process paving the way for others; thoughtleaders who are at the top of their field of endeavor; or tastemakers who are able to imprint on the community’s zeitgeist, they all share the same gift of influence. They are able to shape, not only our collective consciousness, but also the way our community moves forward in this region.
Whatever fields these Filipinos excel in, they are at the forefront. They pave the way. They represent the Filipino.
Special thanks to all our supporters and collaborators who have contributed to make this issue possible, especially to photographer Alex Callueng, assistant photographer Beethoven Filomeno who have lent their talent and hardwork to capture most of the brilliant personalities in this issue. Our gratitude also goes out to photographer Rozen Antonio, HMUA Val Montuerto and the stylists @TheMetroSapiens for capturing the essence of Team Illustrado.
To all of you who believe in honest to goodness pure unadulterated Filipino pride, “Taas noo, Filipino!”
Special thanks to Illustrado 100 Most Influential Filipinos in the Gulf 2016 sponsors – Giordano, Nikon, Liali Jewellery, Lulu, Mitsubishi and Western Union.
Editor-in-Chief “almost superwoman” Lalaine has been driving Illustrado’s mission to uplift Filipinos in the region for almost a decade now. A former corporate dynamo living in Dubai for over 20 years, her natural knack for marketing and mass communications makes her a formidable authority in any dialogue regarding the re-branding of the Filipino image on a global scale.