The Best Dressed Women of the Philippines held its 20th charity fashion show on Sept. 27 at the Ballroom of Shangri-La at the Fort. The successful gala was attended by 700 guests and raised, as of the end of September, P23 million for its beneficiary, the Philippine Cancer Society. The final funds raised will be announced later.
Initiated by the late Roberto Montilla Paterno when he was the chairman of the PCS, the annual gala exists to further the cause of cancer awareness, as well as assist patients in need through the PCS.
Each year, stylish women are chosen by the BDWP Board led by the Consul of Angola, Helen Ong. Through the years, the list has grown in the number of categories; it also broadened to include gentlemen of influence and leadership.
A new award, the Paterno Award, was recently added to honor the man who started it all. And it also comes now with its very own coffee-table book.
This year, six special ladies were honored as icons of style. Crystal Jacinto is a successful businesswoman in the field of stem-cell technology. Lauren Liechtenstein is a young surgeon with a special advocacy for breast cancer awareness and treatment. Michelle Jacqueline Lim is a dynamic young woman in the energy industry. Imelda Menguito-Sciandra owns Corso Como, a robust retail platform of Italian brands. Shernee Tan is the party-list congressional representative of Kusug Tausug, being a Tausug herself. Nikki Tang is the woman behind two successful skincare brands. They will grace the cover of the soon-to-be-launched coffee-table book, 2023 Best Dressed Women of the Philippines.
Special recognitions were also given to a few. These were the Icon of the Best Dressed Women of the Philippines, which went to Chaye Cabal-Revilla and Caroline “Bing” Taojo; and the Philanthropy Award, which went to Annabel Braganza, a highly competent grief counselor, and two generous women who requested anonymity.
Also honored were 16 Best Dressed Ladies, 21 Ambassadors for Life, 10 Men of Exemplary Influence, 6 Golden Hearts awardees, and 10 Paterno Awardees.
An auction of a special glass sculpture by Ramon Orlina also lent vibrancy to the evening with Richie Lerma of Salcedo Auctions as the auctioneer, assisted by the emcee of the program, RJ Ledesma. The piece went for P2.4 million to the lucky bidder, Roberto Alvarez, Jr.
The longevity and success of this worthy endeavor can be credited to the indefatigable members of the BDWP Board of Trustees, who have served through the decades. For 2023, however, the BDWP Board is composed of Helen Ong, chairman; members Betty Ang-Chua, Flora Chua, Mario Katigbak, Kathleen Liechtenstein, Isabelita Mercado, Bo Muralla, Marian Ong, Charlie Rufino, Dr. Mildred Vitangcol, Froilan Gonzales, Sheree Chua; and representing the PCS are Dr. Corazon Ngelangel, Dr. Rachael Rosario, and Dr. Kelly Salvador.
The success of this endeavor is wholly due to the generosity of the awardees and the supporters of the Best Dressed Women of the Philippines.
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