The Best Dressed Women of the Philippines (BDWP) Annual Awards Ball was the most elegant and longest program in its 13-year history.
Makati Shangri-La’s Rizal Ballroom was a vision in white, tables were laden with pristine linens and floral centerpieces in a monochromatic theme. The stage was bigger than usual, to accommodate 49 awardees.
The BDWP is a glamorous way to raise funds for the Philippine Cancer Society (PCS), a nonprofit organization that helps indigent cancer patients. Businesswoman and honorary consul to Angola Helen Ong has been spearheading the events. She understands the depth of the disease, having taken care of her husband who died of cancer.
Since its inception, Imelda Ongsiako-Cojuangco had been gracing the event and donating P1 million to the PCS until her death last year. Awardees normally pay the tables for dinner, proceeds of which go to the PCS. Beyond ticket sales, many of the awardees have made the PCS their personal charity.
This year’s Style Icon, Carolyn Tan, former Miss Korea and dancer, is married to Elton See Tan, chair of E-Hotels Resorts and Residence. This year’s BDWP awardees are younger, such as rural banker and property heiress Ingga S. Cabangon-Chua, Negros Occidental councilor and brand activations agency head Jerianne Ejercito Peña, and Sheila Dizon-Carlos, host of values-based show “Family Matters.”
Men of Extraordinary Influence adopt a cancer patient for radiation or chemotherapy. Among this year’s awardees are architect Ed Romualdez III, retail entrepreneur Ben Chan, builder Oscar Violago and Malacañang communications head Martin Andanar, among others.
Women of Influence and Style recipients were restaurateur Beng Dee and financial advisor Rosario Salientes; Ambassadors for Life were dancer Pinky Puno, fashion entrepreneur Sheree Chua, jeweler Elizabeth Co and manufacturer Connie Haw.
In his speech, PCS board chair Dr. Roberto Paterno said that of the 5,100 beneficiaries, 4,900 have survived with the society’s support. “The Philippine Cancer Society owes a lot to the Best Dressed and the Ambassadors for Life women of the Philippines over the last 13 years, as they provide much-needed funding support for most of our programs that affect the impoverished sector of our society,” said Paterno.