Wilson Lee Flores
|Wilson Lee Flores|
Wilson Lee Flores is a multi-awarded journalist, a college professor, a real estate entrepreneur, a public speaker, he is also in the moneylending business. He has won a record 11 times in the prestigious Catholic Mass Media Awards (CMMA) of the Philippines for his Philippine Star newspaper columns and also won three times in the top literary prize Don Carlos Palanca Memorial Awards for Literature, among numerous other honors.
On October 29, 2008, the Catholic Mass Media Awards conferred on him two CMMA Hall of Fame Awards—one for "Best Business Column" and another for "Best Entertainment Column"—with Supreme Court Chief Justice Reynato Puno and Manila Archbishop Gaudencio Cardinal Rosales as Guests of Honor in the ceremony. His latest and 11th CMMA Award was given for "Best Opinion Column" on October 13, 2010 at the University of Santo Tomas (UST) Medicine Auditorium.
He is also two-term former president and record three-term chairman of the Anvil Business Club (now renamed as Association of Young Filipino Chinese Entrepreneurs) 菲华青年企业家商会, a business organization of young ethnic Chinese entrepreneurs based in the Philippines whether they are citizens of the Philippines or foreign citizens like from Malaysia, Singapore, China, etc. He was re-elected third-term chairman of Anvil Business Club on February 28, 2009, and this term ended in March 2010. He declined another nomination for a fourth term as chairman, expressing his belief that "leaders of any organization or institution should not overstay in order to allow many other better talented and good people opportunities or else an organization or institution might not grow". He is now Honorary Chairman of this organization, which in January 2012 has adopted a new name as the Association of Young Filipino Chinese Entrepreneurs. The formal launching of the organization's new name was held on March 16, 2012 at the Manila Peninsula Hotel grand ballroom in Makati City, with special guests led by President Noynoy Aquino, China Ambassador Madame Ma Keqin, and others.
Wilson Lee Flores is also former Editor-in-Chief of Inside Showbiz magazine (formerly "S magazine"), the glossy entertainment monthly of the Mega Publishing Group, since the October 2008 issue. Ever since he became editor-in-chief, the then S magazine underwent dramatic changes in look, content, style and quality, becoming more interesting and growing in nationwide circulation and advertising revenues. In January 2011, "S magazine" was rebranded as Inside Showbiz magazine for stronger brand identity as it continues fast growth in nationwide readership and advertising revenues. He decided to end his being editor-in-chief of "Inside Showbiz" magazine in March 2012, to allocate more of his time to his real estate business. From October 2008 up to December 2011, he also served as Executive Editor of Celebrity Living magazine, which features the houses and lifestyles of celebrities in diverse fields.
He is often invited as guest speaker in schools, organizations and conventions. He has been invited public speaker in Philippine or overseas universities, high schools, commencement ceremonies, civic organizations as well as TV, radio and other media.
International and local media have interviewed his opinions and analyses on economic, business, political and even pop culture issues, such as the New York Times, International Herald Tribune, Financial Times, South China Morning Post, Time magazine, Far Eastern Economic Review, Corriere della Sera of Italy, the Globe & Mail of Canada, Phoenix TV of Hong Kong, and many others.
Wilson Lee Flores (Simplified Chinese: 李天荣; Traditional Chinese 李天榮) was born to a wealthy ethnic Chinese family in the Philippines, but lost his privileged life when his father died before he was seven. He spent his childhood in Tondo, Manila, where his late father, lumber businessman Lee Tek Hong 李德風, operated a sawmill before his death. His father had also lost a bitter legal battle for control of various family businesses before his death. His father used to manage the family's various sawmills such as Alaska Lumber Co., Uno Lumber Co., New Uno Lumber Co., General Sawmill, Lee Tay & Lee Chay, Inc. and others.
Wilson Lee Flores' entrepreneurial ancestors have a long history of political activism and social idealism which inspire his writings. His family surname Li (李） is pronounced as "Lee") in Mandarin and pronounced as "Dy" or "Dee" in Minnan (Southern Fujian) dialect. His forebears were among the overseas Chinese who supported Dr. Sun Yat Sen's 1911 uprising against the Qing Dynasty in China. His forebears and kins also actively resisted Japanese military hegemony in Asia during World War II.
His paternal great-great-grandfather Dy Han Kia was the third-generation overseas Chinese of his clan to sojourn from China's Fujian province to then Spanish-ruled Philippines, but it was Dy Han Kia who became a lumber merchant with five companies in 19th century Manila and he was a philanthropist.
His grandfather Lee Tay 李泰岱 was a prominent sawmill businessman in Manila in the American colonial era with the firm Lee Tay & Lee Chay, which had the old Chinese trade name "Guan Hoc" 源福, which meant "wellspring of fortune" and which was the name given by the pioneer Dy Han Kia. In the early 20th century, Lee Tay sent his nephews to manage new affiliate lumber enterprises or branches in Sta. Cruz and San Pablo City, Laguna province, and in Cabanatuan City, Nueva Ecija province in the pre-war American colonial era.
His grandfather's two activist cousins Dy Hoc Siu 李福壽and Dy Hoc Khe became martyrs executed by Japanese soldiers in the Philippines during World War II. Dy Hoc Siu was a leader of the committee campaigning for boycott of Japanese trade in the Philippines under the nationwide league opposing Japanese militarism called “Khong Tiak Hue” (抗敵会） led by his cousin lumber tycoon Dee C. Chuan. Dy Hoc Siu was also the sawmill production manager of the grandfather and father of Wilson Lee Flores, and there is now a memorial to him and nine other martyrs built by the Chinese community inside the Manila Chinese Cemetery.
His grandfather's cousin and close friend was the activist tycoon Dee C. Chuan 李清泉, who became the Philippine "Lumber King" of the American era, founder of China Bank in 1920, 9-term president of the Chinese Chamber of Commerce, president of a nationwide league opposing Japanese militarism, vice-chairman of the Southeast Asian Chinese coalition which supported China's war against Japan which had Singapore's "Rubber King" Tan Kah Kee as chairman. Dee was founder of two largest Chinese newspapers in the Philippines then, namely Chinese Commercial News (華僑商报） and Fookien Times （新閩日报）. Dee C. Chuan once led the Chinese minority in a legal battle (case known as Yu Cong Eng versus Trinidad) opposing a discriminatory law promulgated by Congress called the Bookkeping Act, which was won in a 1926 U.S. Supreme Court decision penned by Chief Justice William H. Taft. Taft had also served as the first civil governor of the colonial government of the Philippine Islands and also as former United States President.
A first cousin of Wilson Lee Flores' great-grandfather, lumber tycoon Dy Pac, was also imprisoned by Japanese military invaders for his resistance to their hegemony in Asia during World War II. A younger brother of Flores' great-grandfather, Dee Tian, was also an activist tycoon and Buddhist philanthropist.
Wilson Lee Flores' late mother, top educator Mary C. Young Siu-Tin 楊, was once the editors' choice among regional nominations by readers for "Asian of the Century" of Asiaweek magazine as an exemplar of Asia's unheralded heroic Asian women. She had served as outstanding principal and elementary school teacher in numerous schools throughout the Philippines, and also before 1949 in Fujian province, southeastern China. She used to also write poems published in major Chinese newspapers like Manila's Great China Press.
Wilson Lee Flores spent his two years preparatory schooling at Chiang Kai Shek College in Manila, where he won a prize in a watercolor painting competition with his painting of a tiger. After his father's death, he later spent his elementary and high school years at Grace Christian High School, a Chinese Christian school in Quezon City, Metro Manila. While in Grace, Wilson Lee Flores was the Features Editor of the student publication “Grace Journal” and had been a finalist winner for News Writing at the Metro Manila Secondary Schools Journalism Competition. In high school, he won in the school's General Information and Bible contests.
He studied AB Management Economics (where one of his economics professors was future Philippine President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo) and later shifted to BS Legal Management at the Ateneo de Manila University, since he found the law subjects of this course more interesting and he was then planning to go afterwards to law school. He became founding president of Celadon, a multi-awarded Filipino-Chinese students' organization and was also managing editor and columnist of the Ateneo's Guidon, the college newspaper. While in college, he once took a summer elective course on watercolor and pastel painting.
He also wrote for the Filipino-language student newspaper Matanglawin, the literary journal Heights, for Icarus newsletter of the Political Society of the Ateneo, was editor of his Spanish language class' newsletter, La Herencia, was among the finalists of the Asiaweek Short Story Competition with his story, The Three Deaths of Madame Hoang, about an ethnic Chinese family in Saigon forced to become refugees. He also studied the Spanish language at Instituto Cervantes. As a college student, his English poems on various themes were published in the "Caracoa" literary journal of the Philippine Literary Arts Council. His Filipino poems were published in "Midweek" magazine and also in the "Matanglawin" college newspaper.
In 2007, Wilson Lee Flores had also been invited to take a special course on economics and history at the prestigious Peking University in Beijing along with other young entrepreneurs and civic leaders from other countries. He was elected president of this international class. Their graduation ceremony was held at the Diaoyutai State Guesthouse and graced by two ministers.
The first articles of Flores outside school newspapers were two political and opinion pieces published by the Catholic Church-owned Veritas which came out after the 1983 assassination of former opposition Senator Ninoy Aquino. The articles were about age-old tradition of youth idealism and activism in times of political tumult, another article was about the anti-colonial rebel chief General Macario Sakay in the early 20th century, and another piece on politics delving on Emperor Justinian of the Byzantine Empire and his controversial Empress Theodora (the Philippines was then under President Ferdinand Marcos and his First Lady Imelda Romualdez Marcos).
Flores had written the weekly "Roots of Philippine Business" columns for the Manila Chronicle while still in college in the mid-1980s, and all of these were translated into the Chinese language and published first by the Chinese Commercial News and later by the World News. In the mid-1980s to 1989, he also wrote feature articles, book reviews and movie reviews for the Philippine Star newspaper and also Manila Chronicle.
He later wrote business features for the Business Star newspaper and the Philippine Daily Inquirer. In 1989, he also once wrote a guest column on tycoons for the Hong Kong-based Far Eastern Economic Review" and a cover story for the Hong Kong-based "Asia Magazine". In the 1990s, he was also Philippine correspondent for the Hong Kong-based Chinese-language Forbes magazine affiliated with the U.S. business magazine.
In 2001, he was invited to write for the Philippine Star in the Business Life section, with his Monday column, Bull Market, Bull Sheet. On Sundays, his column in the same newspaper known as Will Soon Flourish (rhymes with his name Wilson Flores) deals with diverse topics from humor, features, interviews, satire, movie reviews, social or political commentaries to interviews but all consistently reflect his upbeat and positive thinking attitude.
He is also Philippines correspondent for 'Yazhou Zhoukan (translated as "Asia Weekly") magazine, the Hong Kong-based international Chinese-language newsweekly and affiliated with the Ming Pao newspaper group. He is member of the Foreign Correspondents Association of the Philippines (FOCAP) and in October 2006 was elected director of the Philippine Chinese Columnists Association (PCCA).
In September 2008, Wilson Lee Flores was invited by the Mega Publishing Group to be the new Editor-in-Chief of its glossy entertainment monthly called S magazine. He and his new editorial team started with the October 2008 issue, beginning a process of decisively changing the logo, the look, the lay-out, editorial style and other features of this magazine. As editor-in-chief, he prefers to focus on team effort and is privileged to work with a highly-motivated and talented editorial team. He told his team that their goals with "S magazine" is to come out with a fun, innovative, comprehensive, intelligent and high-quality entertainment magazine that shall hopefully help expand the frontiers of reading in Philippine society, or using the popular showbiz magazine as an instrument to propagate more the habit of reading nationwide in the Philippines. Hot showbiz features, fearless analyses, scoops and lifestyles of the stars are presented with the highest standards of journalism, these are the aspirations of the "S magazine" editorial team led by Wilson Lee Flores. S magazine has since been reinvented, changed and circulation sales have hit records. The December 2009 to January 2010 issue of "S magazine" had been sold-out three times nationwide, and the publisher had to reprint. The magazine has been rebranded since January 2011 as the Inside Showbiz magazine and has grown in nationwide circulation and advertising revenues.
Books: His political analysis article on the presidency of Corazon C. Aquino at the Manila Chronicle was later published in former University of the Philippines President Dr. Jose Abueva's book about this political leader. The late scholar Dr. Doreen Fernandez of the Ateneo de Manila University also invited him to contribute to the Kasaysayan Philippine encyclopedia. De La Salle University Press then led by scholar Dr. Isagani Cruz had also commissioned him to author five bestselling books for college students on the biographies of five Philippine tycoons.
Literary works : Wilson Lee Flores is a poet and has been published in literary journals and book anthologies, mainly for his poems in English and Filipino languages. The publications include the Caracoa led by the Philippine Literary Arts Council of Alfrredo Navarro Salanga, Alfred "Krip" Yuson and others, also the Midweek magazine edited by top poet Jose F. Lacaba, and Ateneo de Manila University's Heights and Matanglawin, also a literary anthology book edited by Cornell University graduate and Kyoto University faculty Dr. Caroline Hau.
He is a real estate businessman, with his Red Apple Properties & Management, Inc. focusing mainly in real estate investments and brokerage. He is also in the business of private moneylending. He has built and sold various middle-class to high-end residential houses in different cities of Metro Manila, mostly inside residential subdivisions in Quezon City and Paranaque. One of his preferences is to buy old houses for renovations and resale. Although not an architect or interior designer, his extensive experience as real estate broker and his love of architecture make him enjoy dealing with realty properties, sometimes through flip transactions. He considers creation of homes not just a business, but a form of art like composing a beautiful poem or writing an essay.
He started out as an employee in the purchasing department of the Marina Properties Corporation, but observed that agents in the marketing department do not have high or fixed salaries but the hardworking agents can earn possibly unlimited incomes. In 1995, he decided to go into real estate sales as a broker, focusing on selling townhouses in the San Juan and Quezon City areas, selling over half of all units in a townhouse community in Mariposa Street called Marilena Gardens. Then also in 1995, he sold a lot of pre-selling residential condominium units in the booming Ortigas Center, Pasig City. In 1995 and 1996, he achieved real estate sales records pre-selling high-end residential and office condominium units in Ortigas Center in Pasig City, Makati City and other prime areas. Later on, he also tried selling life insurance, and achieved the international feat of the Million Dollar Round Table (MDRT) on his first year and attended the MDRT international conference in Anaheim City, California. He is no longer active in life insurance sales, but still owns a non-life insurance agency called Red Apple Insurance Agency, Inc.
Not known to many people, he had his share of near-fatal business mistakes, such as when he in 2001 decided to franchise Padi's Point Bar & Restaurant due to its having the cheapest franchise fee. He did not know that not all franchise systems are good or trustworthy. It was a time of Philippine real estate industry slump and nonstop political instabilities. Upon the advise and specific recommendations of the franchiser, he leased a commercial lot in Quezon City to build a three-storey building for a resto bar. Despite his aggressive marketing efforts and hard work generating huge sales, the venture eventually failed and cost him a huge loss. A few months after he decided to cut his losses and closed the huge resto-bar, the McDonald's fast-food right across the street from him also decided to close, and a few more months later, the 24-hour Tropical Hut fast-food restaurant in Q Plaza building also almost across the street also closed, although it was only leasing space from a building owned by the same owners of Tropical Hut. About two dozen other Padi's Point franchise outlets closed at around the same period or after he closed his resto-bar. He said he is grateful for that mistake, because it gave him "so many priceless lessons that could never be learned in success" and that it happened in his youth, therefore allowing him to again recover financially by refocusing on his forte and passion of real estate business.
He believes entrepreneurship is a great and exciting challenge, because it requires strategic thinking, character, discipline, faith, creativity, positive thinking, guts and people skills. He believes his love of writing, books and his interest in many aspects of life help make him a better entrepreneur.
Although he teaches only part-time, Wilson Lee Flores considers his avocation of teaching as one of his most important endeavors compared to business or journalism. He said teaching has improved him as a person in terms of intellectual discipline, patience with other people, creativity, understanding contemporary young people, and better appreciation of the challenges of being a teacher.
In the summer of 2008 at the movie premiere of Sharon Cuneta's "Caregiver" film at SM Megamall, an official of the La Consolacion College Manila recognized him from his "Philippine Star" columns and invited him to teach. In June 2008, he accepted teaching seven classes on journalism, news writing, print advertising, Rizal and Asian Civilization. In the next semester, he decided to teach less classes, but focusing mainly on journalism, literature, advertising and history. At present, he continues to teach college students at La Consolacion College Manila, a Catholic school run by Agustinian nuns. La Consolacion College Manila has the most beautiful resort-like campus in Mendiola Street in Manila's old San Miguel district and located right beside Malacanang Palace. He has also been invited to serve as moderator or adviser of the "Consolatrix" college newspaper of this school.
Due mainly to his writings, Wilson Lee Flores has been invited to lecture or speak before students at schools like the Ateneo de Manila University, University of the Philippines, De La Salle University, La Consolacion College Manila, Miriam College, De La Salle Lipa in Batangas province, Letran College in Intramuros of Manila, St. Paul College in Parañaque City, Chiang Kai Shek Collehe in Tondo district of Manila City, Torres High School in Tondo of Manila City, Jubilee Christian Academy, Chiang Kai Shek College, Grace Christian High School, public schools as well as numerous other high schools such as his delivering graduation speeches in 2006 at Francisco Benitez Elementary School in Gagalangin, Tondo of Manila City; in 2008 at Bayanihan Institute and Tarlac Living Faith Academy, both of which are located in Tarlac City, Tarlac province.
He proposed building a Rizal Monument in honor of the Philippine national hero's ancestral hometown in Jinjiang City, Fujian China through his Philippine Star columns as well as writings in other media. He also pioneered in making a genealogical research tracing Jose Rizal's ancestors to Jinjiang county (now a city), Fujian province, China. He also referred multi-awarded sculptor Juan Sajid Imao to do a life-size Dr. Jose Rizal bronze statue for the Rizal monument and park in China, to be sponsored by ethnic Chinese businessmen and philanthropists, this statue originally meant for the national hero's ancestral hometown was eventually donated to the Fort Santiago in Instramuros, Manila through the help of then Tourism Secretary Richard Gordon and after China had already constructed their own Rizal monument.
Due to his lifelong love of art, from 2001 to 2002, Wilson Lee Flores sponsored an art group of talented young painters who are mostly graduates of the University of the Philippines' College of Fine Arts for their weekly nude painting sessions at the second-floor of his then resto-bar and it was called the Ikalawang Palapag Art Group (in English, "Ikalawang Palapag" means "Second Floor"). This group had two group exhibits. The members of the group included nine (9) artist-friends who are multi-awarded and renowned artists, painters, sculptor and art educators namely Juan "Bing" Sajid Imao (Sculptor, TOYM 2004 Awardee), Jasper de Leon (Ateneo High School Art Teacher, Shell Art Contest 1990 Winner), Norman Dreo (Painter, multi-awarded painter - Shell, AAP, Philip Morris, etc.), Kris Soguilon (Painter, AAP 2nd Place Winner, 2001), Eric Quay Evano (Philip Morris Art Contest Finalist, 1999; Painter, Writer, Art Director, Musician), Alfonso "Dayong" Mendoza (Painter), John Paul "Lakan" Olivares (FEU Art Teacher, Painter), Omar Sebastian (Painter) and Raul Delfin (Video Editor, Graphic Artist). They have held two group exhibits in the past entitled "Unang Hakbang"; "Ikalawang Hakbang" in Manila and was once featured in one of GMA 7's shows. The group is momentarily on hiatus since two of its members are working and living abroad namely Kris Soguilon who is in the UK and Eric Quay Evano who is in the UAE. Except for John Paul Olivares, all the other seven members are batchmates, entering UPCFA in 1989.
Wilson Lee Flores had also introduced sculptor Juan Sajid Imao to then Tourism Secretary Richard Gordon, who eventually was instrumental in helping arrange for Imao to do the giant landmark Lapu Lapu monument in the Rizal Park area, and Gordon also donated an Imao-created bust of the World War II hero Wenceslao Vinzons for the Vinzons Hall at the University of the Philippines' campus in Diliman, Quezon City.
Due to his admiration for the talents of the artists of the Ikalawang Palapag Art Group, Wilson Lee Flores in March 2010 was sponsor of the "Reunion" art exhibit by University of the Philippines (U.P.) College of Fine Arts Studio Arts Batch 1989 artists Tessa Alcantara, Grandier Bella, Daniel Coquilla, Susan Corpus, Kweenie Young-Cotton, Aba Lluch Dalena, Jasper de Leon, Norman Dreo, Juan Sajid Imao, Nikulas Lebajo, Jesus Lozada, Joey Luna, Noel Mahilum, Marc Malto, Dayong Mendoza, JJ San Pascual, Paul Albert Quiaño, Omar Sebastian, Kris Soguilon and Rogel Tapang at Sining Kamalig Gallery in Gateway Mall, Araneta Center, Cubao, Quezon City.
As former Director of the Unyon ng Mga Manunulat sa Pilipinas (UMPIL) or Philippine Writers Union, he once spearheaded the country’s biggest poetry reading project held in Marikina City Hall. He advocates popularizing reading among the public.
On January 26, 2009 in the Chinese Lunar New Year, Wilson Lee Flores's 2005 proposal for the Anvil Business Club to donate a larger-than-life granite Confucius monument to the Chinese Garden of Manila's Rizal Park to honor the great moral teacher and to pay homage to all teachers of the world became a reality. The project hopes to add another unique landmark to Rizal Park and to Manila City as a new tourist attraction, since Confucius is revered throughout East Asia. The project also hopes to promote Confucian moral values and to encourage reverence for teachers. Wilson Lee Flores believes and has written many times in his columns: "I believe teaching is the noblest of all professions". This Confucius Monument project became a reality due to the Thanks to the support of Tourism Secretary Ace Durano and the hard work of Anvil Business Club officers led by then President Eduardo Cobankiat. The inauguration of the Confucius monument was graced by the presence of various teachers, former President Fidel V. Ramos, Singaporean Ambassador A. Selverajab; Senator Francis “Kiko” Pangilinan, Manila Mayor Alfredo Lim, Former Manila Mayor Mel Lopez, Congresswoman Risa Hontiveros Baraquel and others.
On October 13, 2010, Wilson Lee Flores won a record 11th Catholic Mass Media Award (CMMA), this time the CMMA Award was for "Best Opinion Column". The ceremony was held at the University of Santo Tomas (UST) Medicine Auditorium in España Boulevard, Manila.
On October 29, 2008, he won the unprecedented distinction of the two CMMA Hall of Fame Awards for "Best Business Column" and "Best Entertainment Column" at Teatro ng GSIS, GSIS Headquarters, Financial Center, Roxas Boulevard, Pasay City with Chief Justice Reynato Puno and Manila Archbishop Gaudencio Cardinal Rosales presiding the ceremony.
On October 25, 2007, he won his record seventh and eighth Catholic Mass Media Awards at ceremonies presided by Manila Archbishop Gaudencio Cardinal Rosales and Foreign Affairs Secretary Alberto Romulo. He won "Best Business Column" and "Best Entertainment Column" for his movie reviews.
On November 10, 2006, he won his record sixth Catholic Mass Media Award (CMMA) at the Marie Eugenie Theater of the Assumption (METTA), Assumption College, San Lorenzo Village, Makati City at rites presided by President Gloria M. Arroyo and Manila Archbishop Gaudencio Cardinal Rosales. He won "Best Entertainment Column" for his film reviews which have critical socio-political and cultural commentaries.
In the year 2005, he won the “Best Opinion Column” category for his essays on social/political issues and the “Best Entertainment Column” category in the Catholic Mass Media Awards.
In the previous years 2003 and 2004, he also won two CMMA awards for “Best Business Column” and one CMMA award for “Best Opinion Column.”
Here are his Catholic Mass Media Awards (CMMA) Awards:
1. CMMA Award for “Best Business Column” - October 21, 2003, Henry Lee Irwin Theater, Ateneo De Manila University, Loyola Heights, Quezon City
2. CMMA Award for “Best Opinion Column” - October 21, 2003, Henry Lee Irwin Theater, Ateneo De Manila University, Loyola Heights, Quezon City
3. CMMA Award for “Best Business Column” - October 12, 2004, Henry Lee Irwin Theater Ateneo De Manila University, Loyola Heights, Quezon City
4. CMMA Award for “Best Entertainment column” - October 24, 2005, RCBC Theater, Ayala Avenue corner Gil Puyat Avenue, Makati City
5. CMMA Award for “Best Opinion Column” - October 24, 2005, RCBC Theater, Ayala Avenue corner Gil Puyat Avenue, Makati City
6. CMMA award for “Best Entertainment Column” - November 10, 2006 - RCBC Theater, Ayala Avenue corner Gil Puyat Avenue, Makati City
7. CMMA Award for “Best Business Column” - October 25, 2007, Marie Eugenie Theater, Assumption College, Makati City
8. CMMA Award for “Best Entertainment Column” - October 25, 2007, Marie Eugenie Theater, Assumption College, Makati City
9. CMMA Hall of Fame Award for “Best Entertainment Column” for the years 2005, 2006, 2007 – October 29, 2008, Teatro ng GSIS, GSIS Headquarters Building, Financial Center, Roxas Boulevard, Pasay City
10. CMMA Hall of Fame Award for “Best Business Column” for the years 2003, 2004, 2007 – October 29, 2008, Teatro ng GSIS, GSIS Headquarters Building, Financial Center, Roxas Boulevard, Pasay City
11. CMMA Award for “Best Opinion Column” - October 13, 2010, University of Santo Tomas Medicine Auditorium, Manila
While an undergraduate college student at the Ateneo, he had also won three Palanca literary awards.
Many of his columns advocate sweeping political, social, economic, cultural and moral reforms. In his 2005 CMMA acceptance speech, he said: "I believe the Philippines is not hopeless, but it is our many corrupt politicians in the Philippines who are hopeless!"
- Caurtero, Nestor (December 17, 2010). "Aga rumored to be moving to TV5, reconciles with Sharon". Manila Bulletin. Archived from the original on September 21, 2011.