* 48 Heroes of Philanthropy – 2014

By John Koppisch
Forbes Asia

For the eighth straight year we spotlight notable philanthropists in the Asia-Pacific region, especially those who made news in the past year by launching new and innovative projects. The 48-member honor roll ranges from billionaires with expansive visions of how best to help society to less well-known business people whose generosity is also leaving a huge mark.

Our goal is not to rank the biggest givers–the figures would be impossible to collect. Instead we aim to call attention to people and causes. We try to identify a new group of altruists each year, though several people here are returning to the list because of an important donation or project announced since a year ago. MORE

I contributed to this annual list of Asian givers.

* 48 Heroes Of Philanthropy – 2013

By John Koppisch
Forbes Asia

This is our seventh annual project highlighting the generous and often innovative efforts of the Asia-Pacific region’s most notable givers. We feature biotech entrepreneur Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw, who’s working to improve cancer care in India. And, below, we spotlight the 2013 crop of 48 leading philanthropists in the region. MORE

I contributed to this annual issue of Forbes Asia.

* 48 Heroes of Philanthropy

From helping earthquake victims to sending poor kids to college, they’re boosting the region in many ways.

We pick 48 givers, 4 from each of 12 countries. Some are big tycoons, even billionaires, who have a large vision of how best to help society and have donated millions of dollars to back up that vision. Others are little-known citizens who are extremely generous with their limited funds … MORE

Written by several Forbes contributors, including me.

* Back To His Roots

Washington SyCip attended Philippine public schools when they were among the best in Asia. Now nearly 90, he’s working to make them good again.

Washington SyCip by Per-Andre Hoffmann for Forbes Asia magazine May 2011

Washington SyCip at SGV, April 2011


By Susan J. Cunningham

Milwida Guevara didn’t know Washington SyCip when he turned up at her foundation’s launch in Manila in 2002. She had started the Synergeia Foundation to help keep poor children in grade school. “Our dream, really, was to give every Filipino child a decent opportunity to have a grade six education,” she says. The statistics were grim … MORE

* 48 Heroes of Philanthropy


The global financial crisis is hammering fortunes all over Asia, but the past year was still a good one for philanthropy as tycoons and more modest donors tried to maintain their charity commitments …

I was a contributor to this annual list of philanthropists in Asia in the March 12 issue of Forbes Asia magazine. I didn’t compile the whole thing!

* Prostitution in Thailand: Her fate, or choice?

Thailand has a prostitution problem. It is of neither recent nor imported vintage. Nobody really knows quite how big the problem is or how many Thais are involved in the industry because, contrary to the impressions of many tourists, the sale of sexual services is illegal. Social scientists estimate that the number of prostitutes ranges from 500,000 to 1 million within Thailand. Tens of thousands of Thai women also work overseas as prostitutes, mostly as illegal migrant workers in Germany, Switzerland, Japan, Singapore, Malaysia and other countries.

The 500,000 figure works out to be 10 percent of all Thai women aged between 15 and 25. When the large numbers of children, older women and men (the latter including transvestites and transsexuals) are considered, the estimate doesn’t seem far-fetched. After all, a well-known Thai journalist, Soporn Ongkara, a few years ago pointed out that in Bangkok there was only one neighborhood, the old royal city area, where sex was not for sale.

He was wrong, though. Continue reading