2021’s Year of the Metal Ox has finally arrived!
Though we’re looking forward to positive and exciting things this Lunar New Year, we also recognize that there were some remarkable feats that were accomplished in 2020 amid the pandemic. In recognition of these achievements, CHiNOY TV has put together the inaugural CHY List, an annual list to celebrate 10 Chinoys who have all risen to the occasion, achieving great things, inspiring others, and contributing greatly to their respective fields and beyond.
Its namesake, “CHY,” combines the abbreviation of Chinese New Year (CNY), the Chinoy heritage, and the concept of qi (气, qì), which refers to the vital energy found in all living things. Pronounced similarly to the latter, the CHY List aims to connect the Filipino-Chinese community and epitomize the best of us by honoring and celebrating their accomplishments.
Without further ado, here is this Lunar New Year’s distinguished list of Filipino-Chinese individuals who all shot for the moon and in doing so, made the world a brighter place amid its darkest year:
Steve Christopher Wong
Steve Wong is the school head of the Philippine Chen Kuang High School. Passionate about teaching and sharing what knowledge he has with others, Wong has spent over 30 years in the education industry as a Chinese teacher, a competitive speaking trainer, and a resource speaker both in and outside of the country.
Last year alone, in recognition of his contributions to the field, Wong received the Outstanding School Head Award (Asia Pacific Association of Educators Training Institute), the Outstanding School Head Award (2020 International Education Summit and Award at Bangkok Thailand), and the Outstanding Humanitarian Works Recognition (Beyond Books Publication).
Occupation: Chess Grandmaster
Born and raised in Cavite, Wesley So is the reigning World Fischer Random Chess Champion, a three-time Filipino Chess Champion (2009–2011), and a two-time U.S. Chess Champion (2017, 2020). He represented the Philippines until his emigration led to his competitive transfer to the U.S. in 2014.
Representing the Philippines, So was the gold medalist of the 2013 Summer Universiade at Kazan. This marked the Philippines’ first gold medal in the Universiade, the largest multi-sport event in the world apart from the Olympics.
Under the U.S., he has also won the 2015 Bilbao Chess Masters, the 2016 Grand Chess Tour Title, and the 2017 Tata Steel Masters competitions, which ultimately allowed him to reach a peak ranking of second in the world, as recognized by the International Chess Federation. As of 2020, So ranked eighth in the world.
Patricia Celina Ngo
Patricia Ngo is a three-time Palanca Award winner for her works in children’s poetry (English): Ordinary Adventures (2015), Miniature Masterpieces (2016), and Magical Mall of Mysteries (2017). She is also the third-place finisher of the 2019 Nick Joaquin Literary Awards.
In 2020, Ngo published her most recent work, That’s It, Pancit!, as an ode to her Chinoy experiences while growing up. Portraying the wonders of a multicultural perspective, the children’s book largely discusses the question of identity that many of the Filipino-Chinese diaspora community have struggled with: “Am I Chinese, or am I Filipino?”
Occupation: Actress, Singer
Nationally adored as the country’s Chinita Princess, Kim Chiu rose to prominence as a young actress following her win in the reality series, Pinoy Big Brother: Teen Edition. Since then, Chiu has been active in the Filipino entertainment industry, having successfully gained much public acclaim for her works in television and film to the point where she was dubbed the “Princess of Philippine Movies and Television.”
In 2020, Chiu released the song, “Bawal Lumabas (The Classroom Song),” which was based on a viral video gaffe that she had made during a live stream. Not only was the song officially released on Apple Music and Spotify, but it was also performed live on Wish 107.5, garnering more than 9 million views.
Chiu used this opportunity to sell Bawal Lumabas merchandise and used the funds to donate food packages to 1,500 families. She also donated P300,000 to Shop and Share, which raised funds for mass testing for COVID-19.
Occupation: Athlete (Pole Vaulting)
Ernest John “EJ” Obiena is the pole-vaulting champion of the 2019 Asian Athletics Championships, the 2019 Summer Universiade, and the 2019 Southeast Asian (SEA) Games. He is also the bronze medalist of the 2017 Asian Athletics Championships and the silver medalist of the 2015 SEA Games.
Obiena was the first Filipino athlete to qualify for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics. Although the Olympic games have been delayed to 2021 because of the COVID-19 pandemic, Obiena has racked up seven additional medals this year.
Among these is an impressive gold medal finish in the 59th Ostrava Golden Spike tournament in the Czech Republic, where he bested 2016 and 2012 Olympic champions, Mondo Duplantis and Renaud Lavilenie, as well as reigning world champion Sam Kendricks. As recently as February 2021, Obiena won another gold at the pole vault event of the Internationales Stadionfest Indoor athletics meet in Germany.
Dr. Tiffany Uy
Dr. Tiffany Uy has spent the last few years trending online due to her various godly achievements. Uy first made headlines in 2015 when she graduated summa cum laude for her degree in biology and received a GWA of 1.004, the highest ever recorded in the history of the University of the Philippines (UP) since the end of the Second World War.
Last year, Uy followed up these achievements by topping the UP College of Medicine Class of 2020, not only graduating magna cum laude but also as the class valedictorian. After just a few months, Uy added to her accomplishments by ranking 5th in the 2020 Physician Licensure Exams (PLE).
Amb. Francis Chua
Ambassador Francis Chua is a Filipino-Chinese businessman who has been the head of 14 different companies and is on the board of 26 companies, in addition to having held other notable leadership positions in various organizations and foundations.
Adding to his several accolades as an entrepreneur in 2020, Chua was presented with the PCCI Presidential Excellence Award by the Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PCCI), the highest award of the country’s largest business organization, in recognition of his efforts to globalize PCCI and contributions to the Philippine business community.
Chua was also named as the Most Influential Man of the Year by Philippine Cancer Society Inc. (PCSI) for his philanthropy, especially towards the families and frontliners affected by both the pandemic and recent typhoons.
Occupation: TV Host, Advocate
Gretchen Ho first gained national popularity as a collegiate volleyball player for the Ateneo Lady Eagles from 2008 to 2013. This paved the way to her debut as a television presenter for sports magazine show Gameday Weekend on ABS-CBN. Since then Ho has worked as an anchor, segment host, and field reporter for several ABS-CBN programs which include CHiNOY TV, Umagang Kay Ganda, TV Patrol, News Patrol, The Score, and University Town.
In light of her television work, Ho was awarded Best News Personality by the 2020 Paragala Media Awards. In addition to this, Ho also made active efforts in 2020 to provide aid to others during the COVID-19 pandemic, launching the “Donate a Bike, Save a Job campaign,” which has provided more than 1,000 bicycles to the unemployed, as well as to medical frontliners, construction workers, and typhoon flood victims, among many others.
Dr. Beverly Ho
Dr. Beverly Ho is currently the Director of the Health Promotion Bureau and the Special Assistant to the Secretary of Health for Universal Health Coverage at the Department of Health – Philippines. Prior to this, she was the Chief of Research Division of the Health Policy Development and Planning Bureau, where she designed research grants to support health system reforms.
Ho attained her MD from the University of the Philippines and her MPH in Health Policy and Management from the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health as a Fulbright Scholar. She is also a fellow of the Maurice Greenberg World Fellows Program at Yale University, the Equity Initiative, and the Atlantic Institute. Using her expertise and experience in the medical field, Ho has served as a spokesperson for the Department of Health (DOH) and as a resource speaker for several local and international events.
Ramon Ang is the President and Chief Executive Officer of Top Frontier Investment Holdings, Inc., the biggest shareholder of San Miguel Corporation (SMC). This year, Ang was presented with the distinction of a Lifetime Contributor Award at the 2020 Asia CEO Awards for his exemplary leadership and contributions to the country, as well as for his greatly visible charitable efforts during the global pandemic.
As the President and Chief Operating Officer of SMC, he has been at the forefront of an outreach program, which has accumulated over P13 billion pesos in aid. Under his guidance, SMC has managed to spearhead several projects and drives to assist medical frontliners, affected families, and government sectors in their response towards COVID-19.
In addition to celebrating the achievements of the Filipino-Chinese, CHiNOY TV also actively supports the Chinoy creative community. This year’s CHY List photos have been produced in partnership with Chinoy sketch artist Lexter Ang. For more of his works, check out his Facebook page Sketch with Lex!