Filipinos Reaching Greater Heights Here and Abroad
Filipinos have made a remarkable presence on a global scale. The Philippine Overseas Employment Administration reported that as of December 2013, the total population of Filipinos who worked and resided in other parts of the globe has reached to whopping 10,238,614.
Truly, Filipinos are conquering the planet in terms of presence--but not just that, they are also taking the world stage when it comes to talent and skills.
Despite all the bad news about the Philippines that reached other parts of the world, Filipinos were still able to attract the international spotlight with their amazing prowess in various fields.
When talking about internationally acclaimed Filipinos, the first names that pop in their heads are Manny Pacquiao and Lea Salonga. However, there are more modern-day Filipinos who have already carved their names in the international scene. Get to know more about them in this article.
Lessons from Internationally Acclaimed Pinoys
World class Filipinos share common characteristics that made them successful, and people can learn important life lessons from them.
- Aim High and Work Hard
One of the most important ingredients in achieving success is dreaming high and working hard. A world-class Filipino knows that his caliber is not limited to the boundaries of the place he lives in. He understands that standing out in a very competitive field would be impossible if he slacks.
- Humility is a Must
A world-class Filipino keeps his feet firm on ground. He gratefully looks back to his roots in every great thing he achieves--as it molded him to become the person he is today. Even at his high status, he still allots more room for his own growth because he knows there’s so much more to learn.
- Be Friends with Your Fellow
A world-class Filipino maintains good relationship with his colleagues in the industry he’s in. Though there is a tough competition between each other, it does not stop him to be friends with his rivals. He won’t drag his opponents down personally, but still outshines them professionally.
25 World Class Filipinos Recognized in the 21st Century
With all the recognitions and awards received in the name of the Philippines, the excellence of Filipinos in different fields has become more prominent around the globe.
Here are 25 of the world-class Filipinos who made it to the top among others.
Arnel Campaner Pineda is a singer and songwriter who was born in the humble place of Tondo, Manila. He started his singing career in the Philippines during 1980s and became known internationally when he was set as the lead singer of American rock band Journey in 2007. From a homeless boy in the streets to a world-acclaimed rock singer, Pineda has shown qualifications to be referred as Filipino pride.
Peter Gene Hernandez, popularly known as Bruno Mars, is the singer-songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, record producer, and choreographer behind the chart-topping hits “Billionaire”, “Just The Way You Are”, and “Nothing On You”. His late mother named Bernadette San Pedro Bayot is half-Filipina. His sister Jamie told Inquirer that as a kid, Bruno has enjoyed Kare-kare, Dinuguan, Adobo, and Pinakbet every Sunday, and he was also taught of Filipino values like respect for elderly.
Born as Nicole Prascovia Elikolani Valiente, Nicole Scherzinger came to prominence after she became the lead singer of one the best-selling girl groups ever, Pussycat Dolls. Within her 13 years of singing career, she has reaped three UK #1 singles, sold over 16 million albums, over 37 million singles worldwide, and 16 million records as a solo artist. His father is a Filipino descent, and her parents separated when she was a baby. She changed her surname “Valiente” to“Scherzinger” after being adopted by her stepfather.
Charmaine Clarice Relucio Pempengco or Charice Pempengco was first discovered through her Youtube videos that gained 15 million hits in 2007. Her first international album Charice in 2010 has made to 8th rank of Billboard 200 albums chart, making her as the very first Asian solo singer to enter the prestigious record ranking. She has received over 35 awards and recognitions in the Philippines and abroad. Charice was raised in Cabuyao, Laguna by her single mother Racquel and started out as a frequent contender in local amateur singing contests at the age of seven before rising to fame.
Allan Pineda Lindo, popularly known as apl.de.ap, became known for being a member of the Grammy award-winning American group The Black Eyed Peas along with will.i.am, Taboo, and Fergie. Apl.de.ap grew up in Angeles City, Pampanga with her filipino single mother and six siblings, and helped his family through farming. He came to United states with the help of a foundation for abandoned American children. There, he started his singing career and over the years, he with Black Eyed Peas sold millions of albums and created chart-topping songs.
Dubbed as “King of Latin Pop”, Enrique Miguel Iglesias Preysler is a singer, record producer, song writer, and actor. He is the best-selling Latin artist in United Kingdom and also recognized as the best-selling international artist in India. With over 159 million records sold worldwide, 150 top hits in all Billboard charts, Enrique has the most #1 hits and longest running number-one hit “Finally Found You” on Billboard. His mother is a Filipina magazine journalist and socialite Isabel Preysler.
Jessica Elizabeth Sanchez is a singer and songwriter who became popular when she triumphed as the runner-up on the eleventh season of the reality talent show American Idol. Before that, this Filipino-Mexican singer first appeared on the first season of America’s Got Talent when she was 11 years old. Jessica’s mother is a Filipina who was hailed from Samal, Bataan in the Philippines.
Vanessa Anne Hudgens is an actress and singer who made it to spotlight after starring as Gabriella Montez in the award-winning teen musical High School Musical trilogy. Since the booming of her acting career in 2006, she had received numerous awards and recognitions. Her mother is a Filipino-Chinese-Spanish, but grew up in Manila. In an interview with Yahoo!, Vanessa said that “Filipinos are very passionate. You look at Manny "Pacman" Pacquiao--You don't want to mess with him. My mom, too, is extremely passionate. You don't want to piss her off.”
Shannon Ashley Mitchell is an actress, model, author, and businesswoman who rose to fame after her starring role as Emily Fields in the teen series Pretty Little Liars. She started out as a model in Bangkok, Hong Kong, and Barcelona and later on, pursued acting in Canada. Her mother is a Kapampangan and a cousin of Lea Salonga. Shay shared with Inquirer that she’s very good at karaoke, adding that “Singing and dancing and performing—my [Filipino] family made me do that at every wedding when I was a kid!”
Brillante Mendoza is an internationally-acclaimed filmmaker from San Fernando, Pampanga. He has been a film director since 2005. In 2009, Brillante was hailed as ‘Best Director” for his movie Kinatay at the 62nd Cannes Film Festival. In the same year, his film Lola has also won as Best Film at the 6th Dubai International Film Festival. His other movies such as Captive, Thy Womb, and Taklub were displayed and competed in various prestigious international award-giving bodies. Just recently, Brillante directed the first State of the Nation Address of President Rodrigo Duterte.
Mary Jane Santa Ana Guck, best known as Jaclyn Jose, has always been part of the Philippine television since 1995. She gained popularity through her unforgettable roles in the movies Salome, White Slavery, and Santa Juana, and in numerous soap operas. In 2016, Jaclyn played the lead role in Golden Palm-nominated film Ma’Rosa by Brillante Mendoza which garnered her the Best Actress award in the 69th Cannes Film Festival. She is the first Southeast Asian to ever receive the said award.
Jose Lorenzo "Pepe" Diokno is a world-class Filipino director, producer, and screenwriter and also the grandson of the late Philippine Senator Jose Diokno. His first movie Engkwentro has received “Luigi de Laurentiis” or Lion of the Future Award for Best Debut Film in 2009 Venice Film Festival. It also garnered more awards and recognitions internationally and locally. In 2010, Pepe was included in the world’s “100 most exceptional emerging filmmakers” in the book Take 100: The Future of Film in UK. In the same year he was bestowed with Ani ng Dangal Award by Malacañang Palace.
John Lloyd Cruz
John Lloyd Cruz is an award-winning actor and model that almost everyone living in the Philippines know. He starred in many soap operas in Philippine television, but he was well-recognized for his roles in It Might Be You, Maging Sino Ka Man, I ♥ Betty La Fea, and Imortal. Aside from his numerous awards received locally, John Lloyd was also the first Filipino and Southeast Asian to get Star Asia Award at the 15th New York Asian Film Festival in 2016 for his film Honor Thy Father.
Dr. Ramon Barba is an inventor and horticulturist from San Nicolas, Ilocos Norte. He was best known for his mango flower induction technology that made mangoes available all year round with the use of ethrel and potassium nitrate. Because of his significant contribution to agriculture, Ramon, along with three other foreign scientists, was awarded as one of Southeast Asia’s top agricultural scientists at the Dioscoro L. Umali Achievement Award in Agricultural Development--a collaboration of local science institutions with Southeast Asian Regional Center for Graduate Study and Research in Agriculture (SEARCA).
A 17-year-old high school student from Cebu named Arianwen Rollen was acknowledged in 2016 Intel International Science and Engineering Fair (IISEF), regarded as the world’s biggest science research competition for highschool students, for her study on the tumor-curing properties of malunggay seeds. She has received $1000 cash prize from the Qatar Foundation in the said event held in Arizona, United States.
At just the age of 15, Amin Hataman has already become an award-winning inventor for his biodegradable plastic bags made from coconut by-product, nata de coco. This student at the Fountain International School in San Juan City, Metro Manila won a bronze medal in the 2015 International Sustainable World Energy, Engineering and Environment Project (I-SWEEP) Olympiad in Houston, Texas and a gold medal in the 2014 International Young Inventors Olympiad in Tbilisi, Georgia.
Franz Ontal was a 49-year-old FIlipino head inspector training of the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPWC) that bagged a Nobel Peace Prize in October 2013. He began as a medic for the said group in 2005 and later became its head of inspector training. The OPCW achieved the prestigious award for its work in removing chemical weapons from gas chambers of Adolf Hitler to the Syrian battlefields.
Monique Lhuillier is a world-class Filipino fashion designer who designed the wedding dresses of the pop star Britney Spears and red carpet dresses for Hollywood celebrities including Gwyneth Paltrow, Reese Witherspoon, Kristen Stewart, Jennifer Lopez, Taylor Swift, Katy Perry, and many more. She was raised and studied in Cebu City and continued her studies in Switzerland before moving to Los Angeles to pursue her fashion designing career. In 2003, Monique was asked to be a member of the Council of Fashion Designers of America. Malacanang has also awarded her the Presidential Medal of Merit in 2006.
Michael Cinco is a Filipino Dubai-based fashion designer whose designs were worn by a number of Hollywood stars including Sofia Vergara, Britney Spears, Lady Gaga, Paris Hilton, Fergie, Dita Von Teese, Chris Brown, and many more. He earned the title of “Asian Couturier Extraordinaire” from Asia Couture Federation in 2013. In the 2011 WGSN Global Fashion Award in New York, Michael was also regarded as Breakthrough Designer among his rivals who are international designers from Europe, America, United Kingdom, and Asia.
At a young age of 17, Danica Flores Magpantay was declared as the winner in the renowned International Ford’s Supermodel of the World in 2011. Along with the name, a million dollars-worth of contract under the highly-esteemed model agency which guarantees her appearance in famous fashion weeks, commercial castings, and works with superior fashion companies in the world. She is the daughter of Milagros "Lala" Flores who also received the Ford Supermodel of the World - Philippines in 1980. She was the first ever Filipina and second Asian to bag the prestigious title.
Happy Andrada is a Filipina fashion designer who’s currently making her way to international fashion scene. She was bestowed with the title "Emerging Designer of the Year" in the 2012 Miami Beach International Fashion Week (MBIFW), the longest standing fashion event in Miami--making her the first Filipina to receive such recognition. This young fashion designer has been representing the Philippines in respected fashion weeks in Toronto, London, Korea, and many more.
Composed of mostly PBA players, the national men’s basketball team Gilas Pilipinas has been competing in the best international tournaments. Ever since the team has begun playing in 2010, Gilas Pilipinas has already won numerous championships from the tournaments all over the world, namely 2010 MVP Invitational Champions' Cup, 2011 SEABA C'ship, 2011 SEA Games, 2012 SEABA Cup, 2012 William Jones Cup, 2013 SEA Games, 2015 SEABA C'ship, 2015 SEA Games, and 2015 MVP Cup.
Michael Christian Martinez
Michael Christian Martinez is a world-class Filipino figure skater, a champion in 2015 Asian Figure Skating Trophy, a two-time Triglav Trophy champion, and has achieved one ISU Challenger Series medal, silver at the 2014 Warsaw Cup. He is also the first figure skater from Southeast Asia to compete in the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics. Coming from a tropical country, this figure skater has caught the world’s attention with his outstanding prowess in figure skating.
Luciana Bonifacio Julaton gained the nickname “The Hurricane” after her impressive stints in boxing and martial arts. The Filipino-American lady was the first winner of Women's WBO Super Bantamweight and IBA Super Bantamweight titles. True to her sobriquet, she has acquired the IBA Super Bantamweight title fast--after just five professional fights.
Carrying the name of the Philippines in his nickname “The Filipino Flash”, Nonito Donaire was commended for his extraordinary punching powers and speed. The Filipino-American boxer is currently the second-time WBO super bantamweight champion and a former four-weight world champion--he obtained multiple titles in the flyweight, bantamweight, super bantamweight and featherweight divisions and an interim title at super flyweight. Nonito held seven world titles and consecutive championships at super bantamweight.
Filipinos can take pride of not only their unique culture and values, but also of their great fellowmen. The Filipino blood runs through the veins of these world-class Filipinos who inspired people all over the globe to achieve higher in life--and the humble nation cannot be any prouder.
What makes Filipinos world-class? Share your thoughts by leaving a comment below.