25 Hospitality Heroes in the Philippines

25 Hospitality Heroes in the Philippines

MY RANGGO invited people to nominate their Hospitality Heroes. These are people who work in the Hospitality Industry and also give their time, passion and energy to projects or causes. Or people who are exceptional in their work and inspire their team mates.

You can visit our Hospitality Heroes feature to see our growing list of Hero Profiles.  There we showcase our Heroes in full, with a detailed profile about them, their advocacies and activities.  You will see just why they have been nominated!   Below, some of our MY RANGGO Hospitality Heroes offer their top tips for colleagues, such as how they focus at work, their inspirations and what they hope for in their future. 

You can read the full profile of each of our Hospitality Heroes, by visiting our Hospitality Heroes website, or by clicking on their names below.

Eco Heroes – Click on hero’s name to see full profile

Eco Hero Dave Albao:

Executive Director Philippine Reef and Rainforest Conservation Foundation (PRRCFI) – Danjugan Island

Dave Albao MY RANGGO Hospitality Hero
Dave Albao

Your Activities:  The PRRCFI programs focus on experiential learning, Marine and Wildlife Camps and Sustainable Tourism. We work with local governments, schools, communities and other organizations through environment education.

Three things you make sure you focus on in your work: Meditation. Enjoying nature. Showing gratitude

Inspirations: I am inspired by Danjugan Island – it is a very special place on Earth teeming with biodiversity. We call it “nature’s perfect classroom”. It’s where we hold our Marine and Wildlife Camps, and where we invite guests to experience sustainable tourism.

Eco Hero Faye Cabio:

Marketing Supervisor Eco Hotels Philippines

Faye Cabio MY RANGGO Eco Hero
Faye Cabio

Your Activities: I am a member of the Eco Hotel Philippines’ Sustainability Group which focuses on promoting environmental and sustainable initiatives and practices to the communities around the Eco Hotels, and to other hotels and businesses.  And Eco Gives Back, a program focused on educating street children in Metro Manila that having fun and living life should NOT be wasteful or harmful to the environment.  Faye is also involved with the Green Conference a platform for environmental and sustainable organisations and companies to raise awareness and educate people about environmental problems and what we can do to help.

Three things that are important to you when working: The advocacy, cause and purpose of Eco Hotels. Having great Leaders, Team and environment. Having a goal and vision.

Top Tip for your hospitality Colleagues: Find your Ikigai; what you love, what you are good at, what can be paid for, and what the world needs.  Mistakes and rejections will always be part of the process. Use it to fuel yourself to reach for your goals. Partner your ikigai with a lot of hard work, thirst for continuous learning, focus and determination, and everything else will follow.

Eco Hero Janelle Katipunan-Ante:

General Manager Dona Maria Rice Surprise Inc. (Subsidiary of the Sterling Group of Companies) Batangas

Janelle Katipunan Ante MY RANGGO Hospitality Hero
Janelle Katipunan Ante

Your activities: Our Marine Conservation Advocacy Project organizes annual and bi-annual beach and ocean clean-ups in Anilao, Batangas. We have also been blessed to encourage young leaders to love scuba diving, in the pursuit of creating innovations for preserving our beaches and marine life.

Aspirations: We hope to hold summer beach camps for young families and future leaders. To encourage them to create their own programs to protect the marine life.  We will also launch other sustainable campaigns for educating boat men, tourists and communities to work together.

Eco Hero Judith Distal

Owner/Manager El Nido Boutique Art Cafe

Judith Distal MY RANGGO Hospitality Eco Hero
Judith Distal

Your activities:  Our programs and initiatives include helping El Nido to become Plastic Free, regular island and beach clean-ups, and marine life protection projects such as the installation of mooring buoys, so our corals, reefs and sand beds are not damaged by anchors.

We are involved with an animal welfare project, rescuing, neutering and helping strays, followed by re-homing. We operate a no-waste composting scheme for our business and we are actively involved in the local Tourism Board, to help make El Nido better. We have also contributed to the local Arts and Music scene through workshops, festivals and sports events.

Top tip for your Hospitality colleagues: As an owner, it’s important to know my business inside out; knowing what the Manager and Supervisors are doing, and being hands-on personally, whenever required. That way I can see the problems easier and provide better training to the staff.  And I gain a greater understanding of what guests truly desire.

Eco Hero Julia Lervik

Owner – Diniview Villa Resort | Business Partner – Lemoni Cafe & Restaurant Boracay | President – Friends of the Flying Foxes

Julia Lervik MY RANGGO Eco Hero
Julia Lervik

Your Activities: Friends of the Flying Foxes is a non-stock, non-profit organization concerned with the preservation of one of the greatest natural treasures on Boracay; the Bats.  The main focus is to conserve and protect the bats, and other wildlife, and the forests they live in. In doing so we are also protecting the environment of Boracay and the Northwest Panay Peninsula.

Top tip for your Hospitality colleagues:

“Change starts with you, but it only does if you do!”  It sounds easy, but every little step matters, and if we start to care and make a difference in our environment it impacts on our personal life, and in the life we can have; then we can make a big difference in the long run.

What’s in your Future? For years we have been striving to make the forest ridges on the northern part of Boracay, a protected area. Our aim is to have it declared as Critical Habitat zone. That way we can make sure to project the environment of Boracay for us, and our future generations to come.  Development can happen hand in hand with nature, and it’s important that people wake up and realize that we would be nothing without it.

Eco Hero Ma. Suzette F Abela:

Sinag Hostel Siargao, Isang Lakbay Corporation.

Ma Suzette Abela MY RANGGO Eco Hero
Ma Suzette Abela

Your Activities: Sinag Hostel was purpose built to minimize the impact on the environment. The build fits with the companies ethos; promoting sustainability, responsible traveling and local advancement. We started promoting first on social media, involving the Siargao community and working on partnership with brands that support our cause. 

Three things you make sure you focus on in your work: Work with integrity. Continuously seek feedback. Treat People with kindness and respect

Top tip for your Hospitality colleagues: Listen to feedback – it’s always a goldmine for ideas and improvement.

Eco Hero Rosy Turner 

F&B Head-Cashier Aloha Boracay Hotel

Rosy Turner MY RANGGO Hospitality Hero
Rosy Turner

Your Activities: I get involved with Beach clean-ups on Boracay Island, as well as Tree Planting and Beach Fit We Fit, where we run along the beach and pick up litter and debris.  It’s not about what you feel you should do. It’s about it being the right thing to do.  And I hope that others feel the same way, as our planet is in a fragile state.

Top tip for your Hospitality colleagues: It’s the little things that makes the big difference.  I like making special occasions extra special, such as doing a surprise room set up when it’s a guests birthday, or helping guests with planning a wedding proposal.

Eco Hero We Are Aware (Boracay)

We Are Aware (Boracay) boasts members who work in hospitality, businesses and advocacy projects, such as Shangri-La Boracay’s Resort & Spa, Friends of the Flying Foxes, Boracay Foundation Inc (BFI), Boracay Island Water Company (BIWC) and DENR

We Are Aware Boracay Hospitality Heroes
We Are Aware Boracay

Your activities: We visit organizations and establishments in Boracay  to help spread awareness on a range of environmental and ecological issues. The establishments provide a venue and request staff to attend.  The sessions help employees to be more aware of Boracay’s environment and what needs to be done to protect the island in the long run.

Top tip for your Hospitality colleagues: For any community benefiting from tourism gains, everyone has the responsibility to preserve their destination or island. To spread awareness about their surrounding natural environment and the need to protect the environmental “Assets” (e.g. Biodiversity = indigenous animals, such as Boracay’s ‘Flying Foxes, marine resources, wetlands, forests, etc)

Charity Heroes – Click on hero’s name to see full profile

Charity Hero Gian Paolo Sisan

Head Chef/Owner Carnivores Snack Shack, Alabang, Muntinlupa | Lead singer Hey Moonshine

Gian Sison MY RANGGO
Gian Sison

Your activities: I do Feeding Programs for street kids and the homeless. From just five families right up to programs for as many as one hundred (100) families.  We sometimes partner up with others who want to help.

The band I’m in, Hey Moonshine, plays at and supports fundraising gigs and events. We’ve played at gigs where donations of school supplies were given to less fortunate students, fundraisers for cancer patients, a benefit gig for Taal volcano victims and evacuees, and an animal rescue shelter fundraiser.

Top tip for your Hospitality colleagues: My tip to others is that you need to keep on trying other foods.  Go out and try to experience the food, consider how it’s different from the other foods; you’ll be amazed on how dishes vary in taste and texture.  Chefs often put their signature stamps on their dishes,  so try to discover what they are and see which inspires you more.

Charity Hero Richard ‘RJ’ Jacinto

Red Swan Catering | 8 Food Storeys (Chicken Storey) | JCR Group Food Manufacturing Inc. (Dynamita Hot Sauce) | Digital Marketing Head, Brave Warrior Kids Foundation

Richard RJ Jacinto Charity Hero
Richard RJ Jacinto

Your activities: Brave Warrior Kids (BWK) Foundation, established in 2016, helps under-privileged children with cancer and Spinal Muscular Atrophy.  In 3 years, Brave Warrior Kids Foundation has supported more than 500 kids. At the moment we are closely monitoring 8 kids and their treatments. 4 of them are now cancer free. This would not have been possible without the generous people who have spent time, money and effort to our cause.

Top tip for your Hospitality colleagues:  Communicate well with everyone. This is the most vital component in the Hospitality Industry. It’s having a clear understanding of what the clients need and delivering what is promised. Which is the key in maintaining a good relationship with the people in business.

Community Heroes – Click on hero’s name to see full profile

Community Hero Almera Alulod:

General Manager Lost Wanderers TLWT Travel Service

Almera Alulod MY RANGGO Community Hero
Almera Alulod

Your Activities: Lost Wanderers donates a % of their sales to funding outreach services & school supplies for local children. This year we’re focusing on raising funds to create a mini Library for the children, at the school. 

Top tip for your Hospitality colleagues:  I find the following mantra’s really helpful: Keep Going, Keep Growing. I did not come this far, just to come this far. And, It is not your job to be everything to everyone.

What’s in your Future?  We plan to build a bigger company and help more local kids.  We also want to help aspiring businesswoman build their own businesses or their brand.

Community Hero Ernesto “Chef Padz” M Taeza Jnr

Freelance Chef/Food Consultant JMK Premium Harvest | Simbahang Lingkod ng Bayan (SLB) 

Ernesto Taeza MY RANGGO Hospitality Hero
Ernesto Taeza

Your Activities: Simbahang Lingkod ng Bayan (SLB) in Culion Palawan aims to provide housing, community development and livelihood programs, social enterprise and Eco Tourism developments to 78 families affected by Typhoon Yolanda.

Top tip for your Hospitality colleagues: Don’t let your hangovers ruin your day! Forget the ‘hangovers of your life’ (even a literal hangover, from an evenings happy hour). Sometimes people make an excuse that they can’t go to work, or can’t perform well at work, because of some kind of hangover.

What’s in your Future: To implement the Community-based Eco Tourism Village, in San Ignacio Culion; SLB-GK Eco Village. In support of this future project I am planning to plant 400 TREES on my 40th Birthday on 30 May 2020, in the village.

Community Hero Jake Deray

Bell Service Man Herald Suites Manila

Jake Deray MY RANGGO Community Hero
Jake Deray

Your Activities: I volunteer for Herald Suites CSR activities; the annual Charity Feeding Outreach, in December. It’s in coordination with the San Lorenzo Ruiz and Companion Martyrs Parish in Navotas City.  My role last year was to act as one of the ‘kuyas’ for the 200 children who participated. The children are from the nearby Dagat Dagatan community and they are between the ages of 4-7 years old. 

Top tip for your Hospitality colleagues: Go to work, always give your 100% effort and exceed everyone’s expectations. Even your own.

Community Hero Ludwig “Loy” Fuentebella

Resort Manager Encenada Beach Resort | Puerto Galera Children’s Football Clinics | The Puerto Galera Reggae Festival

Ludwig Fuentebella MY RANGGO Community Hero
Ludwig Fuentebella

Your Activities:  As a former National Football player I started a free football clinic in Puerto Galera for school kids, in Mt. Baclayan, to teach Mangyan Kids (Puerto Galera’s Indigenous Tribe), and with The Stairway Foundation (a Danish NGO), which “rescues” street children in Manila from juvenile institutions by housing them and educating them.  I also started the Puerto Galera Reggae Festival in 2003 and in my spare time I clean up the beach daily, to prepare the day at the resort.

Top Tip for your hospitality colleagues: Always be attentive to guests needs. Clean surroundings, and a friendly atmosphere among managers and employees, help make guests feel comfortable and welcome at the resort. Hospitality is our business!

Community Hero Ma. Ninfa ‘Desiree’ Segovia:

Boracay Women Producers Co-operative | Pinay Boracay heritage HUB

Desiree Segovia MY RANGGO Community Hero
Desiree Segovia

Activities:  Serving the underprivileged; organizing them to participate and have a voice in governance. Develop socially & ecologically enterprises for their empowerment & success. Helping those we support to stay focused on our missions & become good models of society. Practicing a zero waste lifestyle. Organic farming.

What’s in your Future? I want to leave a legacy that lives on/ carries on from generation to generation.

Community Hero Nicole “Nic” Anne Aurora Go Thorp

Communications Associate at Verde (formerly Mulligans, Makati)

Nicole Thorp MY RANGGO Hospitality Hero
Nicole Thorp

Verde offers an eclectic live music spectrum as well as Dj’s. Under Nicoles direction, Verde has already been used as the venue and entertainment for a number of fundraising events.

Your Activities: For our very first fundraising event we collaborated and worked closely with Fund The Forest  for their launch.  This was a fundraiser that involved four live acts and four DJ’s throughout the night; the whole event felt like a mini festival.  A portion of the money raised contributed to an advocacy fund for the reforestation of the Aeta community in Yangil, Zambales.

Top tip for your Hospitality colleagues: Always be open to learning from your peers, no matter what position they are in. It’s important to keep increasing your skills and to be open to new ideas.

Community Hero: Ryan Alba

Owner of Soul Kitchen, El Nido

Ryan Alba Soul Kitchen Community Hero
Ryan Alba

Your Activities: Soul Kitchen sells cheap but healthy meals to tourists, and residents, in El Nido.  For every meal purchased, a FREE MEAL ticket is issued. This ticket can be given to an El Nido local, to claim at Soul Kitchen.

Top tip for your Hospitality colleagues: Travel and experience as many places, hotels, restaurants and tours as possible.

Inspirations: The idea that Soul Kitchen can support local people, whilst serving the tourists and visitors to El Nido with healthy, but affordable food. My goal is to open more branches of Soul Kitchen.  And that the Soul Kitchen concept may encourage others to find ways to be a light for those in need.

Community Hero Tiffany Lim Ngo

Marketing Director at SL Agritech Corporation

Tiffany Lim Ngo Community Hero
Tiffany Lim Ngo

 Your Activities: “Bigas Mo, Tulong Mo” Program| Rice Bucket Challenge & Feeding Program for Bauan and Bolbok refugees| Batangas GMA Kapuso, Bantay Bata. 

 We do feeding programs and also donate brown rice, to different communities, educating people about the benefits of brown rice; different ways they can cook it. We also participate in donating rice to different foundations fighting malnutrition, like GMA Kapuso and Bantay Bata.

Three things you make sure you focus on in your work: Family, Fellow Workers and Philippine Farmers (Our mission is to uplift the lives of Filipino farmers and to make the Philippines rice self-sufficient one day).

What’s in your Future? Our advocacy is to help uplift the lives of our Filipino farmers. The technology that we offer, and the support extended to them, will be magnified in order to reach each and every farmer in our country.

Relief Drive Heroes – Click on hero’s name to see full profile

Relief Drive Hero Colene Tan

Co-Founder of Simple Roots | Freelance Kitchens & Restaurant Consultant

Colene Tan Relief Drive Hero
Colene Tan

Your Activities:  Operation Sagip Dapdap – 4-in-1 relief operation for Taal. H2O for Taal; a sustainable water drive project organized with a friend, Bel Castro. San Jose Bangon Kitchen led by a joint effort of CASADI-SMFI Toll: Training communities to be self-reliant, have the basic cooking and kitchen skills for mass production, all while practicing safe food handling and proper hygiene.

Three things you make sure you focus on in your work:

Communication – I always make sure to have clear communication with everyone involved. That includes setting intentions and expectation and making sure everyone is in alignment with our goals.

Organization – I also try to focus on organization in roles, responsibilities and tasks on hand.

Authenticity – Is what I’m doing authentic to my character and my purpose?  Whether it be mission work or kitchen work, these values are something I find useful to focus on.

Relief Drive Hero Dhenver Guilaran

Business Owner of AutoConnect Transport, Paranaque City | National Secretary – HiAce Club Philippines

Dhenver Guilaran MY RANGGO Hospitality Hero
Dhenver Guilaran

Your Activities: 2 Relief Drives with HiAce Club Philippines delivering relief goods, food and medicine. Intransit Manila Taal; Relief Operation and Medical Mission with a team of Doctors, Nurses, approximately 50 Volunteers and the Army. And Project Ronin : Tuloy Ang Ating Laban (TAAL): picking up and delivering relief goods.

Top tip for your Hospitality colleagues: The number one thing you can bring to the table is all that energy you have stored somewhere inside you! When you are enthusiastic about a cause, your energy will be contagious and spread to others. You will find that your positive spirit can motivate others to take action towards the cause as well.

Inspirations: There are 3 kinds of people; those who MAKE things happen, those who WATCH things happen, and those who wake up one day, and asked, What Happened? The Bayanihan Spirit of the Filipinos inspires me in times like these. Faith, resilience and a good sense of humor to sum it up. A simple act of kindness awakens the hero inside of us.

Industry Heroes – Click on hero’s name to see full profile

Industry Hero Anne Margarette R. Lapeña

Housekeeping Attendant at Herald Suites

Anne Lapena MY RANGGO Hospitality Heroes
Anne Lapena

Unique Experiences/why you were nominated: I have been nominated for Your Hospitality Heroes because of the most unique experience that has ever happened to me.  I was working and found a guest had left 70,000.00php, I was able to surrender the 70,000 pesos to the company without any hesitation. Because I believe that when you are loyal to your company you must be loyal to the customer as well.

Top tip for your Hospitality colleagues:  I remember my professor once told me that I should choose a job I love, because I will never have to work a day in my life, and that says a lot!

Industry Hero Athena

Owner of Hospitality Problems (Facebook Forum)

Hospitality Problems MY RANGGO Industry Hero
Facebooks Hospitality Problems

Your Activities: Hospitality Problems is a community forum for hospitality students and people working in the industry. It offers a place to share our common problems and experiences positively. It has more than 428,000 followers.

Top tip for your Hospitality colleagues: Be kind. Nothing beats a kind heart. With kindness, you can do everything. Just as my team and I do now.

Inspirations: The hospitality industry itself – because it is always challenging.

The Hospitality Problems Team: Antonio dela Cruz | Claire Frances Joy Espartero | Renabelle Santos | Carlo Joseff | Villanueva Azurin | Oliver Lance Caramat | Cheska Manalo | Ariel Pilapil | Mhe-ann Balierbare |Jeng Tafalla | Blazie Lopez | Edrian John Martinez | Nellaine Mariz Go | Kate dela Cruz | Justin | MJ Botio | Priscila Anne

Industry Hero Michael ‘Mike’ Martillano

Owner (corporation) Eclipse Dive Center, Boracay | PADI Open Water Scuba Instructor with specialty ratings for Nitrox, deep dive, night dive | President 2016-2019 President of BBASS (Boracay Business Administration of Scuba Shops Inc.) | 2020 Vice President of BBASS

Mike Martillano MY RANGGO Industry Hero
Mike Martillano

Your activities: During the closure of Boracay I advocated hard for Boracay’s Marine environment to be included in the Rehabilitation Program and for the remaining divers on the island to be allowed to continue with the Ocean Bed and Crown of Thorn Clean-ups even though the beach was closed and water activity banned.  I’ve continued my marine advocacy with education seminars for local fishermen and communities.

3 things you focus on in your work:  Diving is a specific industry so I have very distinct focus points.

Quality of Service – Making sure I have good and well maintained Equipment, so checking regularly. Ensuring standards and procedures of training are strictly followed

Attention to detail – this for me is getting to know and understand my students; how I may teach one can be very different to how I would teach another.

Safety – For me this is about familiarity with the dive sites on any given day in terms of how they react to weather and currents, and with my students; so we can agree on the dive sites appropriate for their skills or experience.

Industry Hero Rommel T Juan

Chief Executive Officer Binalot Fiesta Foods Inc. |DAHON Program |Eggciting Harvest Project/EMBRACE

Rommel T Juan MY RANGGO Hospitality Industry Hero
Rommel Juan

Your Activities: DAHON stands for Dangal at Hanapbuhay para sa Nayon and it is an ode to Binalot’s iconic banana-leaf packaging. DAHON was created in 2006 when, after Typhoon Milenyo, Binalot needed a new banana leaf supplier for their business. DAHON has resulted in a community livelihood program benefiting 30 families and has since expanded into a salted egg production program too.

Prior to DAHON the community was an impoverished one, now they have a reliable income source, which has helped them to live better lives and be able to send their children to college and university. The Barangay has its own dahunan, where the townspeople regularly gather to socialize and prepare Binalot’s weekly orders, and DAHON has even provided financial support to both students and teachers, at the local daycare center.

Top tips for your Hospitality Colleagues: Always try to wow your customers! And always keep your people happy, so that they can give the best service.

Industry Hero Vince Navarette – in Memoriam

Activities Director & Tour Guide, My Boracay Guide | Partner Boracay Heat Hot Sauce

Vince Navarette MY RANGGO Industry Hero
Vince Navarette

How was Vince an Industry Hero? Vince didn’t just assist guests on their tours, he always made sure he tried the activities too so he could explain them to guests, and he was always looking for new activities to add to their itineraries.

Vince would always try to read up about the country or nationality of his guests.  So when he met them he could talk about things the guest could relate to, whether about their country’s sports teams, a famous landmark, or a rock band from that area.  Each person might share more about their country or culture, and he’d remember that too and talk about it with the next guest.  For the guests it made them feel proud and recognized; that their Tour Guide knew about their country or culture.

Vince was an adventure-seeker; whether island activities, diving as part of the ocean clean-up activities, selling his Boracay Heat Hot Sauce to raise funds for Ocean Preservation and Coral Reef Planting.  He would eat at local restaurants, so he could recommend great places with great food, encouraging tourists to try these instead of the recognizable Fast Food chains.

It was all of the little things he did, that you might barely notice, to share his genuine experiences with his guests, when assisting them, so they would make the most of their time and experience on the island.

How to nominate a MY RANGGO Hospitality Hero

If you are working in the Hospitality Industry and do volunteer, community or charity work in your spare time. Or if you know someone who does, and you want to nominate them. Please email us at info@myranggo.com


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Written by Trudy Allen

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