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Esquire’s Man At His Best 2019 Honors a League of Remarkable Filipinos

Raise a glass for the men of the hour.
IMAGE IAN SANTOS
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Esquire Philippines has the honor of celebrating outstanding Filipinos shaping culture as we know it. These are men and women who are truly in a class of their own—businessmen, public servants, artists, and athletes who raise the bar with every exceptional pursuit.

In 2019, we raised our glasses to the icons, game changers, and disruptors who prove what the Filipino is truly capable of. The country’s best and brightest gathered at the Esquire Apartment at The Fifth Rockwell to celebrate all the winners at Esquire’s Man At His Best 2019.

Ryan Cayabyab, Icon

Photo by IAN SANTOS.
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National Artist for Music, Ryan Cayabyab deserves the honor of being called an Icon. The musician has had a hand in shaping Filipino music and inspiring an entire generation of aspiring musicians. It’s his legacy as a maestro and mentor that earned him Esquire’s Icon award.

BenCab, Icon

Photo by IAN SANTOS.
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Benedicto Cabrera is perhaps one of the most revered Filipino artists in history, and with good reason. The 77-year-old Esquire Icon is a living institution. Aside from his well-known masterpieces, BenCab has also pursued projects like vinyl toys, figurines, limited-edition caps, and more as the National Artist for Visual Arts knows that art is everywhere.

Isko Moreno, Breakthrough

Photo by IAN SANTOS.
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Here is a man who toppled a dynasty and is on a crusade to revive what was once the Paris of the East. Isko Moreno, Mayor of Manila, is more than a crowd favorite and social media star. He is a leader and disruptor who has committed his life to one of service to the people of his city.

Michael Concepcion, Game Changer

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His name was a promise of who he was to become. Michael Concepcion is young but seasoned in the art of entrepreneurship. This is the man who brought Commonwealth, Elephant Grounds, and soon, Aesop, to the Philippines, and conceptualized the sunglasses boutique Ronnie & Joe. This Game Changer is elevating the Filipino experience.

Victor Paterno, Businessman of the Year

Photo by IAN SANTOS.
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President and CEO of 7-Eleven Philippines, Victor Paterno has been at the helm of his billion-dollar company since 2005, and shows no signs of slowing down. The businessman knows how to grow a venture, and it’s his tenacity in the industry that has made him the example that entrepreneurs emulate.

Jordy Navarra, Chef of the Year

Photo by IAN SANTOS.
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Earlier this year, Chef Jordy Navarra’s Toyo Eatery was the lone Philippine establishment to land on Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants 2019 list, but awards such as this only scratch the surface of what Navarra is all about. Aside from being a genius in the kitchen, the chef is a true champion of Filipino cuisine and the man who has captured the hearts and stomachs of Manila’s diners.

Xyza Cruz-Bacani, Creator of the Year

Photo by IAN SANTOS.
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A giant of Philippine photography, Xyza Cruz-Bacani understands that photography is a tool for truth and empathy. In her book, We Are Like Air, she told the struggles of Filipino migrant works, and this is a theme in all of her works—to tell the story of the Filipino struggle in the way it needs to be told.

Mikhail Red, Director of the Year

Photo by IAN SANTOS.
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Mikhail Red is a legend in the making. The young director might only be in his 20s, but Red has already released a number of critically acclaimed movies like Birdshot, Neomanila, and Eerie. Making movies since he was 15, the wunderkind visionary is releasing his latest project, Dead Kids, on Netflix this year.

No Rome, Music Artist of the Year

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Rome Gomez is the sound of the new generation. Known by his stage name No Rome, the 22-year-old London-based artist has proudly performed on the stages of Coachella and Reading. His music is redefining genres, while the artist himself is proving what Filipino creativity can bring to the international stage.

PADS Dragonboat Team, Sportsmen of the Year

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Composed of the deaf and the blind, amputees and polio survivors, the Philippines Accessible Disability Service (PADS) Dragonboat Team are champion athletes who have proven that disability is only a matter of perception. The winning team bagged the gold at the Hong Kong International Dragon Boat Races in 2018, and continue to win victories for the Philippines.

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Esquire Man At His Best would not have been possible without its partners. The event was co-presented by Chivas Regal and Dove Men+Care, and in partnership with Versace, Toyota GR Supra, Heineken, and Yamaha. Special thanks to Special thanks to The Fifth At Rockwell, Moss Manila, The Refined, Sapatero Manila, and Masanting Sastreria.

Photo by MYRA HO.
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Photo by MYRA HO.
Photo by IAN SANTOS.
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Photo by IAN SANTOS.
Photo by IAN SANTOS.
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Photo by IAN SANTOS.
Photo by MYRA HO.
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Photo by MYRA HO.
Photo by MYRA HO.
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About The Author
Anri Ichimura
Staff Writer, Esquire Philippines
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