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Pasig City Mayor Vico Sotto is PeopleAsia magazine’s ‘People’s Choice’ awardee

By PINKY S. ICAMEN Published Dec 14, 2020 6:51 am

Beyond his good looks and sense of humor, Pasig City Mayor Vico Sotto has now been recognized by PeopleAsia magazine as its “People’s Choice” awardee for his unconventional response to the COVID-19 crisis (among other things) that garnered positive feedback, both from Pasigueños and netizens from all over the Philippines.

Vico, who is known for his transparent public service, joins the magazine’s recently revealed roster of “People of the Year” 2021 awardees that are being recognized for spreading hope, taking action and serving others. Vico also graces one of the magazine’s four flip cover options, shot by Mark Chester Ang.

Pasig City Mayor Vico Sotto is this year's PeopleAsia's 'People's Choice' awardee. Photo by Mark Chester Ang courtesy of PeopleAsia magazine

“As our publisher (on leave) US Ambassador Babe Romualdez said during the last ‘People of the Year’ awards night in February, the People’s Choice Award is important because it is reflective of the times we live in. It is given to individuals who pique the interest of PeopleAsia readers and inspire them the most,” PeopleAsia editor-in-chief Joanne Rae Ramirez told PhilSTAR Life.

According to Ramirez, they have been getting requests and messages on social media asking the magazine to feature the young mayor, especially after #ProtectVico trended on social media, when he was summoned by the National Bureau of Investigation in April.

“This, in our opinion, reflects our readers’ interest in good governance and proactive leadership,” Ramirez said.

The magazine’s managing editor Jose Paolo dela Cruz, who wrote the piece on Vico in this issue, shared that the mayor only allotted an hour for the photoshoot at the Pasig City Hall as Vico’s day was packed with meetings and appointments. 

“During the interview, he struck me as someone who knew the workings of city hall inside out. He (Vico) was always quick to share the compliments we paid, with the staff he works with, such as the architect from the city engineer’s office who came up with the mobile palengke; and the city health workers who came up with their effective COVID-19 measures,” shared Dela Cruz.

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Despite being born to TV legends Vic Sotto and Coney Reyes, the 30-year-old mayor, whose win in the 2019 Philippine elections ended the 27-year political reign of the Eusebios in Pasig City, told the magazine that he shies away from the spotlight and would rather keep a low profile.

It is the second year in a row that the People’s Choice Award is given to a public official. Last year, it was Manila Mayor Isko "Yorme" Moreno who was honored with the award.

For its 21st anniversary issue, PeopleAsia trains the spotlight on men and women that comprise this year’s awardees.

“While success, achievements and popularity are definitely part of the equation, this year’s awardees are set apart by their relevance and commitment to serving others in this year of seismic changes unprecedented in modern times,” Ramirez said.

Ramirez added that this year, the PeopleAsia editorial board also gave importance to business leaders “who are advocating cleaner and more eco-friendly practices in the wake of natural calamities, the pandemic and the cries of the future.”

This year’s Special Awardees are Vice President Leni Robredo, who was cited for her untiring, continuous and effective response to the recent calamities that have pummeled the country; and Trade Secretary Ramon Lopez, who have proven that life and livelihood can be preserved even in the midst of a pandemic.

Other awardees include Deputy Speaker Mikee Romero, PLDT Smart SVP and group controller Chaye Cabal Revilla, I-FERN president and CEO Tommanny Tan, Cavite Gov. Jonvic Remulla, Philippine General Hospital director Dr. Gerardo Legaspi, Pilipinas Shell president and CEO Cesar Romero, AC Energy president and CEO Eric Francia, and The Philippine STAR editor-in-chief Amy Pamintuan.

“As we close the year, we want to remind our readers that everyone—just like our People of the Year awardees—can be that ray of hope in the darkest of days if we commit our energy and talents to helping uplift one another,” shared Ramirez.

“After all, a rising tide, they say, lifts all boats. We can be more powerful than any pandemic or calamity, if we continue to live with compassion, respect for nature, and unity as people.”

(PeopleAsia’s “People of the Year” 2021 issue is available on Lazada, and select bookstores and newsstands nationwide. For more information, visit PeopleAsia’s Facebook page.)