Forbes Asia recognizes young Filipina icons, Margielyn Didal and Louise Mabulo

preen forbes 30 under 30

Forbes magazine announced their “Forbes 30 Under 30 Asia Class of 2020” today and this year’s list of young innovators and change-makers recognized the talents of, as editor Rana Wehbe says, a roster of stand out young women under 21 and includes the stories of five outstanding Filipinos. 

There are 30 honorees for each of the 10 categories (The Arts; Entertainment & Sports; Finance & Venture Capital; Media, Marketing & Advertising; Retail & E-Commerce; Enterprise Technology; Industry, Manufacturing & Energy; Healthcare & Science; Social Entrepreneurs and Consumer Technology) that went through an intensive vetting process by industry leaders. 

Here are the Forbes profiles of some of the young women listees that you should keep an eye on.

Margielyn Didal

Margielyn Didal won one of the Philippines’s four gold medals by winning the women’s street skateboarding event in the 2018 Asian Games. Currently, she’s preparing to qualify for the first skateboarding tournament to be included in the upcoming Olympic Games in Tokyo. She was awarded Athlete of the Year at the Sportswriters Association of Cebu-San Miguel Brewery Cebu Sports Awards back in February and took home the bronze prize at the first-ever Women’s Open at the annual Tampa Pro competition. 

Louise Mabulo

Louise Emmanuelle Mabulo is the founder of The Cacao Project, an initiative dedicated to providing for and teaching Filipino farmers how responsibly and sustainably produce cacao. The project has so far helped more than 200 farmers plant 80,000 trees and has been a valuable factor in reforestation efforts. She was also recognized as a Young Champion of the Earth 2019 by the United Nations Environment Programme.

Raba Khan

Raba Khan is a Bangladeshi entertainer who makes comedic videos on her YouTube channel, The Jhakanaka Project. Her content is satirical and addresses social issues and stereotypes. Since 2018, she has been one of The United Nations Children’s Fund’s (UNICEF) Youth Ambassadors advocating for children’s rights.

Nor ‘Phoenix’ Diana

We’ve previously written a profile for Malaysia’s first hijab-wearing female pro wrestler, Nor ‘Phoenix’ Diana. She became the first female winner of the Malaysia Pro Wrestling (MyPW) Wrestlecon championship and this gained her a worldwide following. Since November of last year, she has been training in London with feminist-punk-rock wrestling promotion, Pro Wrestling EVE. While she’s been criticized in Malaysia for promoting fighting, she has inspired young Malaysian women to try the sport.

Juju Noda

Juju Noda first started kart racing at age three and has been breaking records since she was nine years old. Currently, the 14-year-old Japanese prodigy is in Denmark for her European racing debut in the Danish Formula 4 Championship and to continue pursuing her dream to be the first female F1 champion.

Carlos Yulo

Carlos Yulo became a Philippine household name after becoming the first male athlete in Southeast Asia to win a gold medal at the World Artistic Gymnastics Championships in 2019 for the men’s floor exercise. He also bagged two gold and five silver medals in the same competition. He will be representing the Philippines in the 2020 Summer Olympics to be held in Tokyo.

Francis Plaza

Francis Plaza is the co-founder and CEO of PayMongo, a Philippine-based online payment processing platform. Last September, he launched the startup that would raise $2.7 million in seed funding from PayPal co-founder Peter Thiel. Plaza also co-founded online marketplace Muber. He is a graduate of Massachusetts Institute of Technology ⁠— where he was admitted at 16 years old.

Breech Asher Harani

Breech Asher Harani is a Filipino filmmaker and digital artist whose work aims to raise awareness on social issues such as diversity, migration, environment, and culture. He is also the founder of independent studio Alexandrite Pictures. Last year, he was one of the recipients of the JCS International Young Creatives Award presented by the International Academy of Television Arts and Sciences.

We are looking forward to hearing more from these challengers and problem solvers. The future is definitely looking bright.


Photo courtesy of Margielyn Didal’s Instagram account

Follow Preen on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, YouTube, and Viber

Related Stories:
Nor “Phoenix” Diana on stereotypes and becoming the world’s first female hijabi wrestling champion
Best of: The most inspiring moments of IWM 2019
In honor of Transgender Awareness Week, follow these inspiring trans people
It’s time we remember these Filipina pioneers

More Stories
The ‘Glee’ cast will reunite for a Naya Rivera tribute, and we’re crying