Lifestyle Asia Game Changers 2018: Meet the 30 Millennials Making a Difference in the World
July 26, 2018
Every year, Lifestyle Asia releases a list of 30 millennials who are changing the game. They are a new generation of power players—citizens filled with the ethos of hard work, boundless enthusiasm and the idealism of the young. We’re proud to present the Class of 2018, which includes young men and women of different backgrounds, positively changing the Philippines (and soon the world) in their respective fields…
Ai Ai Garcia, 29
Occupation: Asia Pacific Director for ConsenSys
Ai Ai Garcia is the Asia Pacific Director for ConsenSys, a group focusing on business development, operations and regional growth strategy for one of the largest Ethereum-focused blockchain software technology companies in the world. Ai Ai decided to pursue blockchain because the technology inspired her. “It’s ultimately the best tool around that can incentivize human coordination,” she explains.
Brandon Limpe-Aw, 25
Occupation: DJ and On-Premise Specialist, Destileria Limtuaco & Co. Inc.
Brandon Limpe-Aw is part of the family who founded and operates Destileria Limtuaco, the oldest brewery in the country. As the company’s On-Premise Specialist, Brandon handles sales for on premise accounts such as restaurants, bars, clubs, and hotels that carry their alcoholic beverages. He feels proud to have been instrumental in putting up Manille P.U.B., a bar that carries products from their nearly two-century old company. As a sideline, the young man works as a DJ, playing gigs in some of Manila’s hottest night spots.
Ceej Tantengco, 26
Occupation: Sports Media Personality & Writer
Ceej advocates for women’s rights and gender equality within the sports industry. “The answer is not to dumb women’s sports down, but to highlight their hard work and achievement. Their stories are just as compelling as men’s. We just need to trust that the audience will see that, and educate those who don’t,” she shares. Her articles have sparked discussions both fair and otherwise. “This guy once called me a ‘troublemaker feminist.’ Joke’s on him; I took that as a compliment!”
Dennis & Dexter Lee, 32 and 33
Occupation: Land Developers, Managing Director of Luana Lifestyle & Leisure Hotel and Managing Director of Lotus Central Mall
Brothers Dexter and Dennis Lee are a powerhouse tandem looking to change the Philippine landscape through multiple projects in construction and land development. Big brother Dennis is Managing Director at Lotus Central Mall, Inc. (LCMI), where he leads the management of their various commercial projects from conceptualization to operation. The development company, which is into sustainable green communities, are responsible for numerous current and upcoming commercial space projects in Cavite such as Lotus Mall, Portal Mall, the upcoming Stadium Shopping Strip, Harvest Market Place, Brique Plaza, Terminus Plaza, The Urbann Grove Plaza, two Harvest Market Place at Carsadang Bago and Molino Blvd., Link Market Street, Lumina Point, Hue Hotel and StationX Boracay. Dexter, on the other hand, handles Paseo Verde, the residential and hospitality industry spectrum of their companies. He acts as Managing Director of Luana Lifestyle and Leisure Hotel, who has been responsible for various developments such as the Paseo Verde at Real project in Las Piñas and the Hue Hotel brand in Boracay and Palawan.
E.G. Bautista, 25
Occupation: Project Development Manager at The Moment Group, Farmer, Entrepreneur and Cycling Instructor at Ride Revolution
E.G. Bautista is a jack of all trades. During the day, he works for the food and beverage industry as a Brand and Project Development Manager for the Moment Group, the company responsible for such restaurants like Din Tai Fung, 8 Cuts, OOMA, and Manam in the Philippines. After work hours, he is an indoor cycling instructor for Ride Revolution. He also manages the family’s farm in Tarlac, making sure that the growing of rice and mangoes are going seamlessly. All the while, he continues to be managing partner at The Galley Health Bites, a business he co-founded in 2012 while attending the Ateneo Manila University, which serves gourmet sandwiches in school cafeterias.
Gabriel Esguerra, 27
Occupation: Entrepreneur, The Gentleman Project & R.M. Gallagher
Gabriel Esguerra believes in the power and grace of old school gentleman. This is why he launched his two start-up companies, The Gentleman Project and R.M. Gallagher, as a way to promote the gentleman lifestyle and help bring out the best in his fellow men. The former, is a local watch brand that features slick timepieces to the younger market. The latter is a vintage watch store that sells a curated selection of chronographs from Omega, Rolex, Patek Philippe, and other leading watchmakers.
Isabella & Natasha Tanjutco, 16 and 18
Occupation: Philanthropists, Kids for Kids Philippines
Natasha and Isabella Tanjutco started Kids for Kids Philippines, a youth charity and empowerment organization run by young people like themselves, ages 12 to 21. They are behind the local chapter of Bye Bye Plastic Bags and partner with UNICEF Philippines to contribute to addressing malnutrition and providing quality education. Their mission is to help kids in need and empower their sector to cultivate kindness, creativity and change, promoting the spirit of bayanihan to give back to the country and the people.
Isabelle Fernandez, 22
Occupation: Co-founder of Alba Beach and Swim
Isabella Fernandez wasn’t sure what she wanted to do after graduation, but she followed her heart and went to design. She co-owns Alba Beach and Swim, a swimsuit line that focuses on self love and body positivity.
Jacqui Dizon, 21
Occupation: Jeweler in the making & Student
Jacqui is a third generation jeweler in the making, learning the ropes of the business from her mother Candy Dizon, who learned from hers, Jul B. Dizon, the iconic family matriarch. Besides the joallerie craft, she also has the genetic predisposition to helping others. On her 15th birthday, she opted to celebrate with the children of San Mateo Elementary School, a special needs learning center.
Jam Chan, 27
Occupation: Marketing and Retail for Dunlopillio and owner of House of Ital
Jam Chan was immersed in the family furniture supply business, working in marketing and retail, when she decided to open her own store. House of Ital is a curated furniture store with versatile pieces for any kind of customer. Although working on her own continues to be challenging, the biggest lesson she has learned is that “when you are passionate about something, you’ll do everything you can to see it through.”
Kaia Gerber, 16
Occupation: Fashion Model & OMEGA Brand Ambassador
Sixteen year old Kaia is the fastest rising star in the world of fashion and the newest Omega brand ambassador for the Trésor collection. When she is not on the catwalk or being photographed for a brand’s campaign, she is pursuing high school studies online. Home life is important to her and she enjoys just being together with family. She does charity work with her mother Cindy Crawford. “I learned from my parents that they truly are the happiest when helping other people” she says. “I will help where I can make a difference.”
Keena Vazquez, 29
Occupation: Architect at Vazdesigns Asia
Keena Vazquez completed her Bachelor and Masters degrees at the University of New South Wales. “I gained appreciation for Architecture…as a vehicle to elevate people’s daily life through thoughtful spaces,” she says. After eight years in Australia, she moved back to the Philippines and is now an architect and design consultant at Vazdesigns Asia. “I advocate bridging everything I have learned overseas with the local context. I train our local draftsmen in technical architectural software, and oversee drafting operations for projects outsourced to us by Australian design firms.”
Mara Javier, 25
Occupation: Entrepreneur, Mi Camara and Pino Studio
Mara Javier keeps herself busy by managing her two growing businesses. She begins her day at the Mi Camara offices, a website for wedding planning and inspiration, where she meets with her team, approves content, and oversees every department’s activities. After making sure everything is running smoothly, she runs on over to Pino Studio, a branding design firm she co-founded, where she assists in overseeing overall operations, while handling certain accounts. Although it may seem like a lot, Mara remains positive and looks to powerful women like Oprah Winfrey to keep her moving forward.
Mariella Laurel, 27
Occupation: Theater and Television Actress
Born into a family of thespians, Mariella Laurel is finding her feet in the world of theater. Her most recent triumph was an independent musical called I Remember a Boy, in which she starred and directed. Recently added to her resume was her role as Jasmine in Joel Lamangan’s Binondo, A Tsinoy Musical, which ran at the theater in Solaire. Mariella hopes that she will continue a career as a working actress, and is excited for the future. Her biggest wish: to appear on Broadway or the West End.
May Yao, 24
Occupation: Brand Manager, Steinway & Sons
May Yao hopes to foster and develop the local music scene through her job as the Brand Manager of Steinway & Sons. Apart from looking after the company’s day to day operations and sales, she also promotes the brand by planning various events and marketing activities. Her most recent project was the Steinway piano competition, which sent one local pianist to perform at an Imagine Asia competition in Korea. May believes that local talents need support to succeed, and she hopes to be there as one of their major champions.
Micki Olaguer, 26
Occupation: Jewelry Designer
As a child in her mom’s workshop, Micki swallowed pearls that fell on the floor, thinking they were candy. Currently certified as a GIA Accredited Jewelry Professional, she has won prestigious awards like the top prize at the Red Box Design Competition under the Fashion Accessories category at Manila Fame 2015, and in 2016, represented the Philippines with three fellow designers as an exhibitor at London Fashion Week’s International Fashion Showcase.
Mikko, Mark & Macky Tung, 35, 34 and 26
Occupation: Vice President of Production, Vice President of Sales & Marketing Division, Marketing Manager, A. Tung Chingco Manufacturing Corporation
Brothers Mikko, Mark and Macky Tung all look up to their father, Gregory, who manages A. Tung Chingco Manufacturing Corporation, the 65-year-old company responsible for famous canned food brand Ligo. As the company’s Vice President of Production, Vice President of Sales & Marketing Division, and Marketing Manager, respectively, the boys hope to take the company to new heights and add more milestones their rich history, but this time through their hard work and perseverance.
Miko de los Reyes, 30
Occupation: Architect at Imagimax
Miko de los Reyes now helps manage Imaginmax, the family architectural firm his mother founded in the 1980s. Through the company, the 30-year-old is able to exercise his passion for building things. He strongly believes in using sustainable materials and methods for his projects. His love for nature and the environment is no surprise, because he grew up visiting the family’s flower farm in Tagaytay. Now a business as old as he is, Miko helps manage it as well. They grow various blooms like chrysanthemums, gerberas, and asters.
Monica Araneta Tiosejo, 30
Occupation: Content Editor of MBites, Manila Bulletin
Monica Araneta Tiosejo found her calling as a food journalist after moving to New York and studying at the International Culinary Center under Alan Richman, the acclaimed American food writer. Upon returning home, she took the chance and applied at the Manila Bulletin, without knowing if they had a position open. She got the job, and now handles MBites, which she describes is an index of our national culinary culture and identity.
Mykie Concepcion, 24
Mykie Concepcion’s work leans towards realism, with subjects that are usually people, still-life and sceneries. “I do my best to depict things that bring me happiness and love, because (as cheesy as it sounds) my personal goal is to spread positivity with my art.”
Nacho Tambunting, 22
Occupation: Theater and Television Actor
Nacho Tambunting loves “playing pretend” for a living. His was literally in diapers when he had his first brush with the theater, while joining the workshop of Monique Wilson. Years later, he has graduated with a Drama Degree from NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts, and has worked in theater and television in both New York and Manila. The most recent addition to his resume is the NBC television show Rise, in which he had a recurring role.
Neelam Gopwani, 27
Occupation: President of Eye Society
After graduating from Northeastern University in Boston with a B.B.A. in Finance, management and entrepreneurship, Neelam Gopwani worked abroad in London before coming home to join the family company. She is the assistant vice president in marketing and business development of Eye Society, which carries exclusive collections and niche brands of eyewear. Neelam is inspired by women like Amal Clooney, Alphabeat Google CFO Ruth Porat and Lucasfilm President Kathleen Kennedy.
RELATED READS: Meet The 7 Millennials That Are Next in Power
Nicole Server, 27
After taking up Culinary Arts at De la Salle College of St Benilde, studying in Italy for a few years and working for Chef Cyrille Soenen at Resort’s World Manila, she applied for an internship at Noma. The experience of living in Denmark and working with Rene Redzepi changed her life forever. Today, she and her husband are in the process of moving to Ireland to open their own restaurant. ““Every great chef started out from nothing, they didn’t have beautiful, state-of-the-art kitchens right away. You have to start somewhere.”
Paula Plaza, 30
Occupation: Litigation Lawyer at ACCRALAW
Paula Plaza is a litigation lawyer at a reputable law firm. “I learned to cope [with pressures] through meditation, praying the rosary daily, and by adopting a growth mindset,” she says.“I have a journal to keep track of my personal and professional goals, and to remind me to be fully present in each moment.” She was invited by the Asian Development Bank Institute and the United Nations to publish her research on food security and international dispute resolution and to speak at an international conference in Vietnam.
Rosenthal Tee, 30
Occupation: Fashion Designer
Rosenthal Tee runs her Ortigas-based fashion house like a well-oiled machine. She focuses primarily on bridal and evening wear with a strongly feminine silhouettes. Despite a flourishing career as a couturier, she shares that she found her calling late in life. Originally a painter, she was inspired to join the industry after seeing her mother and grandmother dress up for different social engagements. In the future, Rosenthal hopes to bring the brand global, and see her clothes dressing powerful women around the world.
RELATED READS: Designer Spotlight: The Rise of Rosenthal Tee
Sabrina Co, 21
Occupation: Perfumer and Entrepreneur, ATIN
Sabrina Co is entering her senior year at Syracuse University in New York. Although the new school year is yet to begin, Sabrina is busy all year round. While balancing her studies, she operates her home fragrance company ATIN, which is based back home in Philippines. ATIN, which means “ours” in Filipino, is actually an acronym for “Aiming to Inspire a Nation”, and sells distinctly Filipino scents through reed diffusers, automatic air fragrance dispensers, scented soy wax candles, and linen sprays, all of which are available in local department store Kultura.
To read the full stories of the Lifestyle Asia Game Changers, run to your nearest bookstand to purchase a copy of Lifestyle Asia July 2018 (The Millennial Issue) For a digital copy, download the FLIP100 app on the App Store.