Winners of 2023: Reflecting on Leadership, Service and Success

As 2023 draws to a close, it's time to reflect upon the individuals whose achievements have marked this year as remarkable. These individuals have proven that, despite the challenges we face, it is possible to rise and not just survive, but thrive. Their stories have inspired us, their accomplishments have awed us, and their leadership has guided us. Today, we spotlight such leaders: Dr. Irineo "Bong" Alvaro, Governor Dennis "Delta" Pineda, Mayor Jing Capil, BCDA Pres. Jake Bingcang, CIAC Pres. Arrey Perez, Jaime "Jack" Uy and his sons, and Christopher Victorino.

Dr. Irineo "Bong" Alvaro, the 14th president of Wesleyan University - Philippines, has proven that leadership does not end with retirement. Appointed as one of the awardees of the 2023 Most Outstanding Kapampangan Awards (MOKA), his post-retirement achievements continue to inspire his fellow kabalens. His philanthropic efforts, coupled with his unwavering dedication to education, have made him a beacon of hope and a symbol of relentless service. It is a reminder that leadership is not a position or a title, but action and example.

Turning to the realm of sports and public service, Pampanga Governor Dennis "Delta" Pineda has shown that these two can indeed intersect. Pineda, in addition to his role as governor, took on the mantle of coach for the Pampanga Giant Lanterns and led them to a triumphant victory in the Maharlika Pilipinas Basketball League. His dedication and strategic acumen have not only brought home the championship but also instilled a renewed sense of pride and unity among the Pampanga community. He embodies the spirit of a true sports leader who understands the importance of team dynamics, strategic planning, and, above all, perseverance.

In the thriving town of Porac, municipal Mayor Jaime "Jing" Capil deserves special recognition. His hands-on approach and dedicated service to his constituents have been unwavering. Known for his strong political will, Mayor Capil has shown that he is not afraid to make bold decisions, even in the face of criticism, as long as it is for the betterment of his kabalens and the municipality of Porac. His leadership style is a testament to the power of conviction and the courage to act decisively. Mayor Capil's vision for Porac is not limited to its current state. He sees a brighter future where Porac will be "the destination", a modern metropolis bustling with opportunities for all its residents. His commitment to this vision is evident in his daily efforts to improve the lives of his constituents. As we watch Porac evolve under his leadership, it is not difficult to believe that it will indeed become the thriving metropolis Mayor Capil envisions. His unwavering dedication to his role serves as a reminder that great leadership is about vision, courage, and the relentless pursuit of what is best for the community.

In addition to the remarkable leaders previously mentioned, we must also acknowledge the exemplary contributions of Joshua "Jake" Bingcang, the President and CEO of the Bases Conversion and Development Authority (BCDA), and Arrey Perez, the President and CEO of the Clark International Airport Corporation (CIAC). Both Bingcang and Perez have been instrumental in driving significant developments that are shaping the landscape of the region.

Jake Bingcang's leadership at the BCDA has earned him well-deserved recognition. His efforts have been pivotal in the implementation of transformative projects, including the development of the New Clark City, the Subic-Clark-Tarlac Expressway, and the new Clark International Airport passenger terminal. His visionary approach and unwavering commitment to these projects have not only enhanced the region's infrastructure but have also laid the foundation for sustainable economic growth and urban development.

Similarly, Arrey Perez, as the President and CEO of CIAC, has been a driving force behind the realization of the 7-Flagship Projects that are set to redefine the Clark area. His strategic vision encompasses the creation of a direct road link to the new Clark International Airport, the establishment of a national food terminal, an urban renewal and heritage conservation program, the development of a Clark entertainment and events hub, the expansion and upgrading of road networks and utilities, detailed site development of a second runway, and the construction of a new CIAC headquarters. Perez's forward-thinking initiatives are poised to elevate Clark into a hub of economic activity, innovation, and connectivity.

Meanwhile, in the business sector, the Uy family, consisting of Jaime "Jack" Uy and his sons Jansen and Justin, have demonstrated that resilience and innovation can lead to astounding success. Despite the pandemic's challenges, their business, Savers Group Holdings Inc., has flourished. Their successful launch of the Best Western Plus Metro Clark also stands as a testament to their strategic thinking, adaptability, and a deep understanding of their industry. Their story is a powerful reminder that with resourcefulness and tenacity, obstacles can be turned into opportunities. The Uy father-and-sons team has exemplified resilience and innovation, especially as they celebrate the 40th anniversary of Savers Group. Jaime "J1" Uy's leadership and entrepreneurial acumen have been pivotal in steering the company through the challenges of the past four decades, making it a mainstay in the industry. Furthermore, J1’s role as a role model to his sons, who are now actively involved in the family-owned business, has laid a strong foundation for their continued success. Jansen and Justin have brought a modern approach to the management style, infusing fresh perspectives and innovative strategies into the business operations. Their collaborative efforts have not only ensured the company's continued growth and success but have also positioned Savers Group as a dynamic and forward-thinking entity in the industry. This multi-generational commitment to excellence and adaptability is a testament to the enduring legacy of the Uy family and their unwavering dedication to the continued success of Savers Group.

Lastly, we honor Christopher Victorino and UAS or Universal Access and Systems Solutions, whose dedication to excellence in IP networking and security solutions has set them apart in the tech industry. Their success illustrates the importance of continual learning and adapting in a rapidly evolving field. They serve as an example to all that commitment to quality and customer satisfaction is the backbone of any successful enterprise. In addition to UAS' exceptional performance in IP networking and security solutions, Christopher Victorino has further distinguished himself through a heartwarming initiative—the Water Project Turnover with water filtration at a remote area in Cauayan. This endeavor showcases Victorino's commitment to corporate social responsibility and his dedication to improving the lives of those in underserved communities. By providing access to clean and safe drinking water through the implementation of water filtration systems, Victorino has demonstrated that corporate success can be intertwined with meaningful contributions to society. His philanthropic efforts mirror the values of compassion and empathy, and they serve as a shining example of how businesses can make a positive impact beyond their immediate industry. Victorino's holistic approach to success, which encompasses both business excellence and social responsibility, exemplifies the kind of leadership that uplifts communities and fosters sustainable positive change.

These remarkable individuals and their successes in 2023 remind us that great leadership comes in many forms, but at its heart, it is about service, dedication, innovation, and resilience. As we move into 2024, let's carry forward the lessons they've taught us and strive to make a positive impact in our own spheres of influence. After all, each one of us, in our own unique way, can be a mover or a leader.


Kuya J Pelayo IV is a Kapampangan broadcast journalist. For comments and suggestions, e-mail at


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