8 Filipinos Land on Forbes 30 Under 30 Asia List 2021

Young movers and shakers.

Eight Filipinos were honored in the Forbes 30 Under 30 Asia List of 2021. The prestigious list recognizes Asia’s young entrepreneurs, scientists, activists, and more, all of whom are making waves in their respective industries. In total, 300 trailblazers are honored each year, 30 from each of the 10 industries across 22 countries and territories across Asia.

From the Philippines, eight movers and shakers made it to the list, which was dominated by Indian tech wizards this year. 

1| No Rome, 23

At only 23, No Rome was one of the youngest honorees under the Entertainment & Sports category. No Rome is the stage name of Guendoline Rome Viray Gomez, a London-based musician who was the first Filipino to perform at Coachella. He’s recently teamed up with The 1975 and Charli XCX to form a musical supergroup that recently released their first collaboration, “Spinning.” He was also an honoree during Esquire Philippines' Man At His Best event in 2019.

2| Rexy Dorado, 28

Twenty-eight-year-old Rexy Josh Dorado was honored under the Media, Marketing, and Advertising category for co-founding the livestreaming startup, Kumu, which is now one of the most downloaded social media apps in the Philippines, according to research firm Sensor Tower. Founded in 2018, Kumu now boasts over six million registered users and has raised over $8 million (P368 million) in funding.


3| Carmina Bayombong, 27

Another startup founder on the Forbes list is Carmina Bayombong, the 27-year-old behind InvestED Philippines. The social enterprise was founded in 2016 with the goal of giving underprivileged kids a shot at quality education by providing them with educational loans. InvestED has grown considerably since it first began, and now has its own credit rating and risk-control algorithm.

4| Gab Mejia, 24

Nature and wildlife photographer Gab Meija was honored under The Arts category for his commitment to the conservation of wetlands, its wildlife, and its indigenous communities. The Filipino photographer has been featured in National Geographic, United Nations Development Programme, and World Wide Fund for Nature. Earlier this year during the typhoon floods, Mejia went viral for raising awareness as to how indigenous tribes of Mindanao have adapted to floods by creating floating communities.

5| and 6| Angela Chen, 29, and Aurelien Chu, 29

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Chen and Chu are the cofounders of Eskwelabs, a Manila-based educational technology startup that offers online courses on data science and analytics, with an audience base made up of stay-at-home moms, out-of-school youths, and youths without college degrees. By providing this community with technical skills, Eskwelabs hopes to give them the capabilities to improve their careers and livelihoods.

7| Ryan Gersava, 27

Like InvestED and Eskwelabs, Gersava’s Virtualahan was recognized under Forbes’ Social Impact category for his work to give the stigmatized and marginalized groups in our communities a second chance at employment. Virtualahan focuses on providing digital job skills to persons with disabilities, recovering drug addicts, and more. Virtualahan was borne from Gersava’s personal experience with workplace discrimination after he was denied a job because he has hepatitis B. He has since helped over 600 people overcome challenges to find employment.

8| Edward Christopher Dee, 28

A researcher at the Harvard-affiliated Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Edward Christopher Dee is a student at Harvard Medical School and served on the Philippines’ COVID-19 task force last year. He contributes to the Philippine Daily Inquirer and Rappler while also researching how to improve healthcare for the disadvantaged.

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Anri Ichimura
Section Editor, Esquire Philippines
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