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‘100 Filipinos’ Puts Outstanding Filipinos in Focus

FCC member Noel de Guzman’s new book celebrates illustrious Filipinos, from Jollibee’s founder to fashion moguls and tech wunderkinds.

In 2018, graphic designer and illustrator Noel de Guzman stumbled upon a Google doodle of Fe del Mundo, the first Filipino woman admitted to Harvard Medical School and the first person to establish a paediatric hospital in the Philippines. 

Fe del Mundo Fe del Mundo, the mother of Philippine pediatrics.

But this was the first time de Guzman, a native Filipino, had heard of her. “When I learned about del Mundo, I was in awe. At the same time, I felt a little ashamed for not knowing who she was, so that inspired me to research more notable people from the Philippines,” says de Guzman. Determined to learn more about his country’s history, de Guzman began compiling information on a Google spreadsheet, amassing research on more than 500 notable personalities. 

Tony Tan Caktiong, the face of Jollibee.

Fast forward two years later, and de Guzman has transformed that research into a new book, 100 Filipinos: A Collection of Biographies of Remarkable Men and Women of the Philippines. The 212-page compilation highlights inspiring success stories, from the inventor of banana ketchup to a “computer genius who rocked Silicon Valley” and the first Filipino fashion mogul. An accomplished illustrator, de Guzman pairs each profile with colourful portraits, making this book a joy to read. 

Dado Banatao, the rock star of Silicon Valley.

“We should learn from the people who really matter – people who are leaders, pioneers, and mavericks,” says de Guzman. “This book is my contribution to the country. It aims to inspire and educate. I hope one day, the book will be in every Filipino home.” 

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