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The New PH MEGA Equality Ball celebrates the remarkable work of influential people who champion for equality and freedom. From fashion to business, New PH awards those who empower people to embrace individuality and reach their potential. This year, MEGA Magazine names society figures Gabbie Sarenas, Nico Bolzico, Bang Pineda, and Sudar Khadka for the New PH Award together with Francis Libiran and Catriona Gray for the Global Pinoy Award. The New PH celebrates their inspiring stories of calling for equality in their respective industries.

Photographed by Floyd Jhocson.

Nico Bolzico

Though known for his entertaining Instagram posts, and as the husband of the model/artist Solenn Heussaff, Nico is more than the witty social media star people came to love. He is also the founder of LM10, an agricultural business focusing on innovative technology. Through his work, the farmer-entrepreneur empowers people, especially farmers to unlock their potential. Through LM10 and its innovative techniques, farmers will be able to expand their business. Nico believes agriculture work is one of the key factors for the growth and development of the country.

Photograph courtesy of Francis Libiran’s Instagram account.

Francis Libiran

Known for his luxurious and timeless creations, Francis relentlessly pursues fashion design. The international designer not only offers sophisticated bridal gowns but he has recently expanded into suits line, robe and lingerie collection. With his eye for beautiful and elegant designs, he curates his collection to ensure the fit on his client. His passion has earned him a name in the industry. As a Global Pinoy awardee, he and his works open the doors to empower people especially for brides as they start a new chapter in their life.

Photograph courtesy of Anthology Fest.

Sudar Khadka

Leandro V. Locsin Partners (LVLP) architect Sudar partnered with Alexander Furunes to start Project Streetlight. It won the 2017 World Architecture Festival in the Civic and Community. The project is a community center of Tagpuro in Tacloban to build back the homes of the community destroyed by Supertyphoon Haiyan or Yolanda. To rebuild the homes, Streelight purchased 4-hectare site in Tagpuro after securing funds. The area consists of an office building, a clinic, function and study hall. Apart from the reconstruction, Sudar and the team developed workshops to empower the organization and the community. The leadership of Sudar opened doors for the concept of ‘Bayanihan’ and equality for the community.

Photograph courtesy of Magzter.

Gabbie Sarenas

Known for fusing tradition with contemporary in her designs, Gabbie pursues reintroducing Filipino culture in fashion. She preserves and supports local clothing through her bespoke creations, piña bibs. The collection features Filipino artisanship with the use of local materials and detailed embroidery on every piece. Through interaction with the local community, Gabbie learned how empowering it is for everyone. The work is a practice of igniting and reigniting the love for the country and its traditions.

Photograph courtesy of Catriona Gray’s Instagram account.

Catriona Gray

As Miss Universe 2018, Catriona brings attention to the need for equal access to education. The four pageant-title holder partnered with Young Focus International, an NGO that supports impoverished children, especially in the Tondo community. Catriona also founded Paraiso: The Bright Beginnings Project which turned an apartment into a preschool. Through her social work, Catriona believes this can open more opportunities and raise awareness for supporting the youth in their dreams.

Photograph courtesy of Bang Pineda’s Instagram account.

Bang Pineda

Bang is known for his urban style pieces. Although his creations are predominantly for men, he launched his first all-female collection called POWER at the StyleFest PH last year. The collection features relaxed tailoring and athleisure, the mingling of casual and sports apparel. Bang’s contemporary pieces are not simply made for the sake of fashion. His familiar logo printed on his line suggests embracing individuality. He shared how his inspiration for designing is “the power to use fashion to express yourself.”

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