Angel Locsin and Hans Sy Are the Only Filipinos to be Honored by Forbes on Asia’s 2019 Heroes Of Philanthropy List

A list to be proud of.

Forbes just released its list, Asia’s 2019 Heroes Of Philanthropy, which honors 30 of the most generous philanthropists in the Asia-Pacific region who use their power and money to solve issues affecting their countries. These philanthropic heroes include billionaires, entrepreneurs, and celebrities, and in the Philippines, only two were recognized for their outstanding acts—actress Angel Locsin and businessman Hans Sy.  

Angel Locsin, a true Darna

Proving that she’s a hero both on and off the screen, the former Darna actress has reportedly donated as much as P15 million to funding educational scholarships, supporting economic and political rights of indigenous peoples, and ending violence against women and children—all of this in the last decade alone.

She’s been hailed for donating P1 million to the victims of the Mindanao earthquakes in October, and for going to the island and distributing relief goods herself. This wasn’t the first time she flew herself to the area to help communities after a calamity or crisis. When the Battle of Marawi hit the southern region, she joined the Rural Missionaries of the Philippines and made it a mission to support the lives of the thousands of displaced Mindanaoans.

Her philanthropic work has also helped the families affected by Typhoons Ondoy, Habagat, and Haiyan. As to what encourages her to be a hero of philanthropy, “The only motivation we need is being part of humanity,” according to Locsin.

Hans Sy, supporter of cancer-stricken families

The chairman of the executive committee and director of SM Prime has long been a supporter of cancer-stricken families. He is the main financial backer of Child Haus, a center that houses children with cancer as well as their caregivers. In 2010, he paid P20.5 million to purchase the property in Quezon City. The son of late tycoon Henry Sy, Sr. also paid P30.6 million to buy the organization’s first location in Manila in 2015, and an additional P71.5 million to build it.


In total, he’s spent over P120 million supporting Child Haus, excluding the operating expenses he still covers to this day, which has directly helped many cancer-stricken families.

Like the other 28 philanthropists on the list, Locsin and Sy used their own personal wealth to support the causes they’re committed to. Unlike other Forbes lists, this one remains unranked as each hero of philanthropy and their beneficiaries are equally honored alongside each other.

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Anri Ichimura
Section Editor, Esquire Philippines
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