For our 12th annual philanthropy roundup we’ve sifted through dozens of candidates to compile a list of altruists attracted to causes in the Asia-Pacific region.

The 40-member honor roll spans entrepreneurs, executives and one celebrity, and unlike our wealth lists, these selections are subjective. The goal is to capture individual philanthropists–those making donations with personal funds and not through their businesses (unless they own a substantial stake in the companies, in which case we consider the giving a part of their fortune). We also don’t include fundraisers or heads of nonprofits, though they play an important role. Forbes Asia zooms in on names with the financial or social capital to put their stamp on issues of importance.

Countries such as China and India traditionally have more names than one like Japan, where cultural sensitivities on celebrating individual generosity can limit our scope. As in previous years, we aim to unearth new names, unless a past donor has made a significant pledge or contribution.

Some people have been fervent in the arts, while many others are committed to efforts in education and healthcare across the region. Indian tycoon Kochouseph Chittilappilly gave not only his time and money but donated one of his kidneys to a total stranger. See our story on him here. For the first time, a philanthropist from Cambodia makes the list: Suwanna Gauntlett, an American residing there for 18 years, has dedicated herself to guarding rain forests and wildlife in the country.


Jose Mari “Butch” T. Albert, 68

Chairman, Fila Isport Life

Gave more than $110,000 to his Operation Compassion’s iRebuild in 2014, which provides emergency relief but also works to rebuild the community with a long-term view, offering livelihood training and trauma counseling in the country. Another $66,000 supported the nonprofits’ iFoster, created to help find foster homes for abandoned children. Albert says foster parents “just need to have an open heart and let children feel they are loved.” Another $450,000 was given to a church in a low-income area that provides mass medical care and food to malnourished children.

Alice Galang Eduardo, 53

President & CEO, Santa Elena Construction & Development Corp.

After visiting an employee’s sick child at a public hospital, Eduardo decided that charity could not wait. In 2014, she donated $277,000 to build a 320-square-meter isolation ward at the Philippines’ biggest government hospital, aimed at reducing childhood cancer mortality levels. In 2018, she provided $370,000 to build a nearby dormitory to house patients’ families. Another $370,000 helped initial funding for Tuloy Foundation, a nonprofit in the Philippines, which cares for and educates abandoned children. She also contributed $185,000 to building 100 homes for Typhoon Yolanda victims and provided $184,000 to Habitat for Humanity.

Susana Abad Santos Madrigal, 63

President, Consuelo Chito Madrigal Group of Companies

Granddaughter of former tycoon-senator Vicente Madrigal has given $1 million to projects tied to her personal life. After a daughter partially lost hearing in one ear, Madrigal donated $93,000 to the Catholic Ministry for the Deaf. Her eldest daughter’s social action prompted a $185,000 gift to help early education of underprivileged children; the same amount was given to a church in honor of her late aunt and philanthropist Chito Madrigal. She supported a Business & Accountancy building for an underresourced state university in honor of her late father, Antonio P. Madrigal, who ran part of the clan’s conglomerate. Madrigal’s current focus stems from surviving breast cancer: In 2014 she initiated a $18,600-a-year pledge to the Cancer Samurai Scholar Fund, to cover medical costs of a needy patient. Madrigal says, “My goal is to save a life. If I am able to do that, then I am happy.”


This is an excerpt from the article that originally appeared in Forbes online on December 11, 2018.