Asia Society honors outstanding Filipino young leaders

The Asia Society, a well-renowned international organization based in New York that aims to strengthen relationships and understanding among the leaders of the Asia Pacific region, has selected 9 outstanding young Filipino leaders to become this year’s batch of honorees for its Asia 21-Philippines Young Leaders program. Aimed to identify a core group of next generation leaders, the Asia 21 Young Leaders Program aspires to help develop a critical mass of individuals who will take up the challenge to collaborate on creative solutions in order to address national and regional issues. The honorees will also take part in the Asia 21 Young Leaders Summit where Asia Society gathers the top 200 young leaders of the Asia-Pacific region. This year’s summit will be held this coming November in New Delhi, India. Former Filipino fellows include, education advocate Ching Jorge, former National Youth Commission Chairperson Bam Aquino, DNA Forensics Scientist Dr. Ma. Corazon De Ungria, human rights lawyer Atty. Damcelle Torres-Cortez, social entrepreneur Lt. Col. Dennis Eclarin, IPVG’s Enrique Gonzalez and Mayor Jeng Reyes of Alicia, Isabela.


For the selection of this year’s delegates of the summit, the Asia Society center in the Philippines screened more than 100 nominations of Filipino leaders between the ages of 25-40 years old. These leaders come from various sectors such as government, academe, media, business, health, non-profit, military and culture and the arts. The top Filipino young leaders were chosen based on their leadership experience, achievement in their chosen field, impact of their leadership and service to our country. The program is currently being supported by Metro Pacific Investments.


This year’s batch of honorees include Atty. Paulino Salvador Leachon, Atty. Lesley Jeanne Cordero, Maria Doris Dumlao, Jeffrey Tarayao, Alvin Cloyd Dakis, Michael Sandejas, Soledad Sylvia Nubla-Lee, Annalie Edday and Joy Anya Lim. Proving that there are still many inspiring leaders in our government, Leachon and Cordero represent the government sector. Cordero was chosen for her contributions as the Assistant Secretary for Legislative affairs under the Presidential Communications Operations Office while Leachon is being honored for his effective management and policy implementations as the Mayor of Calapan City. During his term, Calapan City was awarded by the Asian Institute of Management in 2008 as one of the Most Competitive Cities in the Philippines.  Nubla-Lee and Edday both represent the non-profit sector with Nubla-Lee being honored for her work in providing access to quality higher education for underprivileged public high school students through Pathways to Higher Education and Edday being honored for her advocacy of improving educational systems in the rural areas through programs such as Quality Education in Sarangani Today (QUEST). Tarayao was chosen for his achievements in the field of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) being the current Chief CSR Officer of Meralco and previously, the CSR Head of Globe Telecom. Under his leadership, Globe Telecom’s CSR Programs has allowed the company to help public school teachers in rural areas access educational videos that they can use for their classes. Dakis, the Founding Chairman and National President of Alliance of Young Leaders & Advocates International, Inc., is being honored for his active advocacies in health and human rights. Lim, a social entrepreneur from Cebu, founded ANTHILL Fabric Gallery, an organization that promotes cultural preservation of the Philippines’ weaving industry. Dumlao is being honored for her work as a multi-awarded business reporter from the Philippine Daily Inquirer. Finally, Sandejas represents the arts and culture sector by using his films as a means to shed light on marginalized sectors of society such as the deaf. His films such as Dinig Sana Kita (2009), Tulad ng Dati (2006) and What floor ma’am (2009) have won local and international awards.

For more information regarding the Asia Society’s Philippines 21 Young Leaders Program, you can contact Migel Estoque at 7524374 or send an email to [email protected].

Con Yap