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Nanette Medved-Po Among Forbes’ Asian Heroes of Philanthropy in 2017

Ex-Darna Actress founded social enterprise that has built classrooms for 7,300 pupils
By Pauline Macaraeg |



Since 2008, the US business magazine Forbes has listed men and women in the Asia Pacific region who have done extraordinary acts of altruism over the past year, and compiles them in a list called Heroes of Philanthropy. This year, three Filipinos made it to the list.


Among them is Nanette Medved-Po, an award-winning actress who once played the Pinoy superhero Darna. Now a philanthropist and business owner, she is still doing heroic acts sans the costume.



Medved-Po founded Generation Hope, a company that manufactures and sells bottled water called Hope in a Bottle. All of the proceeds are then donated to Friends of Hope, a nonprofit that she also established, which uses the funds to build public school classrooms around the country. As of June 29, 2017, Medved-Po has already sold almost nine million bottles of water and built 37 classrooms that have benefited 7,310 students.


Also included in this year’s Heroes of Philanthropy list are cousins David and Daniel Zuellig from the distinguished Zuellig family. Known for their involvement in the pharmaceutical industry, they also established a charitable organization called Zuellig Family Foundation, of which David and Daniel are both part of the board of trustees.


The foundation provides training programs for local government health leaders, including mayors and municipal health officers, to reduce the mortality rates of mothers and infants especially in poor Filipino communities. As of October 2016, the foundation has had interventions in 643 cities and municipalities and 32 provinces all over the country.



The Philippines is one of the fourteen countries in the Asia-Pacific region that made it to this year’s Heroes of Philanthropy. Leading the list with six representatives is India, followed by China with five. Malaysia and Vietnam only have one representative each.


To see the full list, visit 






Pauline Macaraeg is Entrepreneur PH's data journalist. Follow her on Twitter @paulinemacaraeg

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