Visayan people are not just recognized in the region but also worldwide in terms of culinary arts, beauty, brain, film, business, fashion, politics, literature, and sports.
Here are some Visayan people that made us all proud:
Jesuit Paul Nugas is a registered nurse by profession but he is engaging in cake decoration from Tacloban City (Philippines) who is slowly making waves in New York. Nugas was the first Filipino to top the competition, which is now on its third year running. It was held at the Radisson Hotel in Rochelle. NY Cake Store is the pioneer in the cake ingredients and cake decorating supply business in New York.
Nick Deocampo was born in Mina, Iloilo. He is a Filipino film producer, author and director of the Center for New Cinema. He was named one of the Ten Outstanding Young Men of the Philippines in 1992. A year later, he was recognized in Japan as one of the Ten Outstanding Young Persons of the World. His contributions were honored with a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Filipino Academy of Movie Arts and Sciences Awards (FAMAS), and a Lamberto Avellana Award from the Film Academy of the Philippines. Deocampo also made it to the Who’s Who of the 21st Century by the International Biographical Society in England.
Miriam Defensor Santiago was born in Iloilo City, 15 June 1945. She is a Filipino politician, notable for having served in all three branches of the Philippine government – judicial, executive, and legislative. She was named one of The 100 Most Powerful Women in the World in 1997 by The Australian magazine. She became the first Filipina and the first Asian from a developing country to be elected judge of the International Criminal Court.
Monique Lhuillier was born on September 15, 1971, Cebu City, Philippines. She is a fashion designer most prominently known for bridal wear. She owns a couture fashion house based in Los Angeles. In 2004 she drew wide notice for her wedding dresses for Britney Spears and Emmy Awards dresses for Jamie-Lynn DiScala and Allison Janney, among others. Her collections now include ready-to-wear, evening gowns, bridal, bridesmaids, linens, tableware, fine paper, and home fragrances. Lhuillier has become especially known for her celebrity wedding and red carpet gowns. Her list of clientele includes Gwyneth Paltrow, Reese Witherspoon, Kristen Stewart, Hilary Swank, Jennifer Lopez, Taylor Swift, Ginnifer Goodwin, and Katy Perry.
Edwin N. Aroma was born to a fisherman and a school teacher in Catmon, Cebu on September 11, 1949. He is a low-profile Cebuano businessman now living in Van Nuys, California. Above this line is a long list of former employment and current business enterprises that range from being an auditor with the San Miguel Corp. to being president and owner of numerous agricultural, financial, and management consultancy firms. Behind this impressive employment and business history is a barrio boy’s story of success, vision, hard work, and dogged determination.
Sandra Inez Suravilla Seifert (born February 1, 1984) is a beauty queen and an international fashion model of mixed Filipina and German descent. She is a New York-educated nurse from Bacolod City, Negros Occidental and was crowned Miss Philippines Earth 2009 in San Juan City, Philippines. She represented her country in the Miss Earth 2009, the 9th edition of Miss Earth international pageant, where she was crowned Miss Earth Air (1st Runner-up) on November 22, 2009.
Cecilia Manguerra Brainard is an author and editor of nineteen books. She co-founded PAWWA or Philippine American Women Writers and Artists; she also founded the Philippine American Literary House. Brainard’s works include the World War II novel, When the Rainbow Goddess Wept, Magdalena, and Woman with Horns and Other Stories. She edited several anthologies including Fiction by Filipinos in America, Contemporary Fiction by Filipinos in America, and two volumes of Growing Up Filipino I and II, books used by educators
Nonito Donaire was born in Talibon, Bohol, Philippines. He grew up in General Santos City, South Cotabato, where he lived until age six and went to the same school as boxing icon eight-division world champion Manny Pacquiao. Known as “The Filipino Flash,” Donaire is a five-division world champion and the former WBA (Super) Featherweight champion. Donaire is also a former IBF, WBO, The Ring Super Bantamweight, WBC, WBO Bantamweight, Interim WBA Super Flyweight, IBF and IBO Flyweight Champion.
More and more Filipinos, not just Visayans, are making names in the whole world, bringing pride to our country. This just shows that Filipinos can also compete worldwide.
Jynvel R. Anguren
Leyte Normal University