QUIZ: How Well Do You Know Manila's Society Figures?
Andrew Tan was the son of poor immigrants from Fujian, China. He is now a billionaire with business interests in real estate, liquor and fast food.
Lizzie Eder Zobel, wife of Ayala Corporation’s Jaime Augusto Zobel de Ayala, works with Teach for the Philippines, an organization that enlists some of the country’s most promising graduates to teach for two years at public schools around the country.
Margarita Fores, Asia’s 2016 Best Female Chef, spent years in Italy learning the techniques of Italian cuisine. She co-founded Casa Artusi Philippines, the first an only off-shore campus of the culinary center based in Forlimpopoli, Northern Italy.
Lea Salonga stars as Erzulie, the goddess of love, in the stunning revival of “Once on This Island” on Broadway. Lea made her Tony-Award winning Broadway debut as Kim in Miss Saigon when she was 20 years old. Meanwhile, Rachelle Ann Go is wowing crowds on London’s West End as Eliza Schuyler in Lin-Manuel Miranda’s “Hamilton.”
John Gokongwei, Jr., now 91 years old, lost his father at the age of 13. He helped his mother raise his young siblings by selling peanuts to his classmates and by buying and selling what he believed people needed. He is the founder of JG Summit, which has interests in airlines, banking, food, power, real estate, and communications, including Summit Media, the publisher of Town&Country Philippines.
Ultra-chic internationally celebrated designer Bea Valdes was recently commissioned by Shangri-La Hotel, Colombo, to work on the centerpiece of the hotel’s ballroom, the largest hotel conference and events facility in the region. Each petal was fabricated by hand, then tacked on a metal mesh pattern with metal thread, needle, and pliers. The result is a gorgeous display inspired by flowers native to Sri Lanka.
Bea and his sister, Marga Valdes-Trinidad, recently collaborated on a furniture and accessories collection with Philux, the family-run furniture company of Town&Country cover subjects Stephanie Kienle-Gonzalez and Jessica Kienle-Maxwell founded by their parents, Max and Zelda Kienle.
Sofia Zobel Elizalde is the founder of Steps Dance Studio, which offers a variety of dance classes for all levels and ages. Its Steps Scholarship Program gives assistance to gifted Filipino dancers who wish to have serious training in dance and hope to make dance a future profession.
In April, Sofia is producing “An Intimate Evening with Stella Abrera and American Ballet Stars,” which will raise funds for CENTEX, Ayala Foundation’s flagship education program, which provides education for talented children from underprivileged families. Stella Abrera is a principal dancer with the American Ballet Theater, the first Filipino-American to do so.
Donnie Tantoco, president of Rustan Commercial Corporation, takes hip-hop classes four times a week. It consists of rhythmic music that usually accompanies rap or chanted speech.
Donnie is known for being an inspiring leader to his colleagues, imparting the wisdom passed on to him by his grandparents, Bienvenido and Gliceria Tantoco, the founders of Rustan’s. He uses WISDOM as an acronym for Winning, Integrity, Sharing, Daring, Outstanding, Malasakit.
Lisa Periquet, Trickie Lopa, and Dindin Araneta are the women behind Art Fair Philippines, which started in 2013. Five years later, it has become the nation’s biggest event for showing and selling the best in Filipino contemporary art. This year, Art Fair Philippines will be held from March 1 to 4 at the Link in Makati.