A legacy award for Tita Helen

Our favorite charity fund raiser, the indefatigable and ageless Helen Ong, honorary consul of Angola to the Philippines, received the surprise of her life when the Board of Trustees of the Philippine Cancer Society bestowed on her the organization’s first-ever Legacy Award, which cited “her outstanding  service as the chairperson of the Best Dressed Women of the Philippines from 2004 to 2023, while selflessly dedicating her precious time and worthy efforts to raise funds for the benefit of the PCS and, in so doing, alleviate the plight of cancer-stricken Filipinos.”

Given during the recent “Best Dressed Women of the Philippines 2023” awarding at the Shangri La Hotel The Fort, the award underscored “her indefatigable commitment and loyal devotion to the Society for the last 20 years, even beyond the call of duty; her inspiring creativity and unparalleled perseverance in ensuring assistance was forthcoming during the Covid-19 pandemic amidst the scarcity of resources; and her unwavering belief in the compassionate hearts of her fellowmen and her steadfast faith in God.”

MEN of Great Influence 2023 (from left) David Ackerman, Noel Gonzales, Harold Co, Philippine Red Cross chairman Richard Gordon, Dr. Cecilio Kwok Pedro, Roberto Alvarez Jr., Richard Cariño and Richie Lerma.

The signatories of the award were PCS chairman of the Board of Trustees Antonio J. Ma. Guerrero and PCS president Dr. Corazon A. Ngelangel, with PCS trustee Dr. Kelly Salvador and PCS executive director Dr. Rachel Rosario handing the plaque of recognition to the awardee.

Earlier, in her welcome remarks, Tita Helen, as she is fondly referred to by her friends and family, said, “This marks a day of gratitude for me as this is our 20th year. This could not have been possible without your continued help and support to our noble cause by providing financial assistance to your cancer-stricken brothers and sisters.”


Addressing the honorees, she acknowledged “every one of you here who have accepted our invitation as an awardee. Choosing one is not an easy task as we aim to recognize achievers in their own fields of work or advocacy, who are not just measured by their success and accomplishments but also by the kindness of their hearts.

Dr. Lauren Lior Liechtenstein.


DAVID Ackerman and Mache Torres Ackerman.


Agile Zamora receives her husband Wopsy Zamora’s award. Photographs by Yummie Dingding for the Daily Tribune

“Being beautiful has nothing to do with looks; it is how you are as a person and how you make an impact on the lives of many, especially to those who are in need. Beauty isn’t about having a pretty face, it is about having a pretty mind, a pretty heart and pretty soul.”

Finally, she thanked “God who has been providing me with abundant blessings to be able to mount this event.”

Major sponsors of this most special of annual awards recognizing these icons of style and philanthropy were Museo Orlina Foundation, Midas Hotel and Casino, San Miguel Foundation Inc., PAGCOR, The French Baker, SM Investments, SM Retails, Corso Como 88, Salcedo Auctions, Wilcon Depot Inc., Czarina Foreign Exchange, IPM Holdings Inc., B.A. Securities Inc., MW Travel and Tour and NEO.