Today is the 114th anniversary of Philippine Independence, and we take this opportunity to take a look at Filipinos who have made a name and a reputation for themselves worldwide with their achievements. Whether it’s the arts, sports, performance or business, these individuals from the Pearl of the Orient Seas have distinguished themselves internationally and show that Filipinos can indeed stand tall and shake the heavens. Here’s to hoping that someday our kids can aspire to reach these heights as well.
Photo from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fernando_Amorsolo
One of the most important painters in the Philippines, Amorsolo was known for his vibrant, idyllic scenes of country life and for the use of light in his artworks. A prolific artist, he is known to have illustrated over 10,000 sketches and paintings, utilizing natural light and backlighting techniques to create an ethereal glow for his subjects. Although Amorsolo died in 1972, the world has recently begun to take notice of his genius – in recent auctions held at Christies, a painting of his fetched a princely sum of $440,000 (P19M), making it one of the highest sums ever paid for a Filipino painter’s work. His pieces have been appreciating in the international art market as previous auctions have seen sales of $100,000 to $374,000 for his other works.
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Tony Tan Caktiong
Photo from http://www.forbes.com/lists/2009/86/philippines-billionaires-09_Tony-Tan-Caktiong_7TXY.html
Not too many people are familiar with this boyish, bespectacled Filipino-Chinese entrepreneur but there is no doubt that you have probably heard of the brand he founded - Jollibee. The Jollibee franchise has over 745 restaurants in the Philippines and 78 other branches worldwide employing more than 29,000 workers. In addition, Caktiong’s fast food empire also consists of other well-known restaurants such as Greenwich Pizza, Red Ribbon Bakeshop, Chowking and Mang Inasal. To date, Jollibee Foods Corporation has an annual income of over $73M and Caktiong himself ranked number 11 in a July 2011 Forbes magazine poll for the top 40 richest Filipinos, with an estimated net worth of over $1B. Not bad for a guy who started with an ice cream parlor in 1978.