2019 PhilDev Awardees
Our mission to eradicate poverty in the Philippines and to enable success to all Filipinos is such a huge and challenging mission. In 2018, we launched PhilDev Awards as a testament that when we work together, we can make a difference. This year, we continue to recognize these Filipino-Americans who are at the forefront, leading and creating lasting impact globally:
Philanthropist of the Year
Priscilla is the current CEO and President of Hunt Enterprises, Inc., a multi-million dollar company owned and founded by her late husband Mr. Donald Hunt, a very successful real estate mogul. It is a company that develops and manages high-quality residential communities of over 4,000 multi-family rental units, commercial or industrial facilities and a 38-acre shipping container lot, operated by a manpower of 250 employees.
Priscilla and Donald shared the belief of giving back. Mr. and Mrs. Hunt’s philanthropic gestures and charitable efforts benefited various institutions in the US. She also extended her generosity in the Philippines (her country of origin) by helping educate impoverished children via the Thompson Christian School in Davao City, along with the construction of the beautiful Santa Lucia Plaza in Aringay, La Union, in honor of her parents.
Rising Star in Entrepreneurship
Chef Nicole Ponseca
Nicole is a passionate advocate for both Filipino cuisine and people. A native of San Diego, she moved to New York to pursue a career in advertising and quickly realized the city lacked authentic Filipino food. She started leading a double life, working for a major advertising company during the day, and learning the ins and outs of the restaurant world at night. She finally left the corporate world and together with chef Miguel Trinidad opened Maharlika in 2011 and Jeepney one year later. Their first cookbook, I Am a Filipino: And This Is How We Cook, is a celebration of their much-loved restaurants and their culture.
Innovation in Branding
Raissa Gerona of Revolve
Raissa is the Chief Brand Officer of REVOLVE and Co-Founder of Alliance Apparel. Leading the REVOLVE Brand Marketing team, Gerona spearheaded the company’s unparalleled influencer marketing strategy, bringing the REVOLVE brand to life with social media activations and events.
In 2010, Gerona co-founded Lovers + Friends, the first in-house brand to be brought under Alliance Apparel umbrella in 2013, and is now one of REVOLVE’s top selling brands. Gerona continues to build REVOLVE’s brand awareness, lead experiential marketing campaigns and strategy to ensure it is at the forefront of contemporary fashion for savvy millennials.
Innovation in the Arts
apl.de.ap is a Filipino American musician, rapper, record producer, entrepreneur & philanthropist best known as a co-founder/member of the Grammy Award-winning hip hop group The Black Eyed Peas born in the province of Pampanga. BEP has sold an estimated 76 million records (35 million albums and 41 million singles), making them one of the world's best-selling groups of all time. Apl has been a popular judge on the hit TV show, The Voice Philippines and is also the founder of the Apl.de.ap Foundation which focuses on supporting youth to grant opportunities through arts, technology and healthcare in the Philippines. He will be the opening act at the 2019 Southeast Asian (SEA) Games in Clark, Philippines.
Innovation in Education
Jose Antonio Vargas
Jose Antonio Vargas is a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist, Emmy-nominated filmmaker, and Tony-nominated producer. A leading voice for the human rights of immigrants, he founded the non-profit media and culture organization Define American, named one of the World’s Most Innovative Companies by Fast Company. His best-selling memoir, Dear America: Notes of an Undocumented Citizen, was published by HarperCollins in 2018. Most recently, he co-produced Heidi Schreck’s acclaimed Broadway play What the Constitution Means to Me, which was nominated for two 2019 Tony awards, including “Best Play.”