Project DUO’s Series #3 features an interesting set of alumni pairs with distinctly diverse professional backgrounds: architecture, culinary arts, green energy, and culture. This 3rd collection of featured alumni is a continuing testimony to the myriad yet distinct contributions of our alumni to nation-building and social transformation.

In this 3rd series of Duo, we would like to acknowledge the creative team from DLS-College of St Benilde who has been helping us in executing the layout of the Duo posters. Special mention goes to Mr Adriel “Adie” Peña, Director, Center for Institutional Communications (CIC); Mr. Maurice D Cordero, Head, Marketing Office, CIC; and Gianpaolo “Pope” Mari Vergel, Creative, CIC.

[LSGH] Project Duo - Architects 683x1024


Batch HS ’79 and GS ‘76

For the past 25 years, Emmanuel A Miñana, through his eponymous architecture and interior design firm, Emmanuel A. Miñana & Associates, Architects (EAMA) has designed private residences for a number of notable Filipinos such as: Eugenio Lopez III, Bienvenido Tantoco, Jr., Jose Concepcion III, Lauro Leviste Jr., Francisco Bayot Jr., Antonio Meer, Antonio Lagdameo Jr., Stephen CuUnjieng, Christian Gonzalez, Antonio Go, Teodoro Limcaoco, Wilson Sy, Teresita Sy-Coson, Rafael Consing and Cezar Consing among others.

He was also invited to design the private residence of H.E. Prince T.A. Raman of Malaysia. In 1996, EAMA designed the Presidential Villas for the APEC Summit held in Subic Bay. Aside from designing residences, EAMA has also designed office interiors for select corporations in Manila: Accenture, Cemex, TAO Corporation, Banco Santander, Philippine Seven Corporation, Madrigal and Company, Avon, Korea Telecom, The Philippine Stock Exchange, Lopez Sugar Corporation, among others.

At present, EAMA is working on a number of private residences as well as hospitality projects such as the proposed Sta. Elena Resort and Country Club in Cabuyao, Laguna, and an undisclosed upscale wellness resort in Batangas.

In 2014, he was the first Filipino Architect to be shortlisted in the World Architecture Festival in Singapore for his project, Villa Marina, a 30,000 sq.ft. private residence in Sta. Elena. In 2015, he was awarded National Winner for Excellence in Philippine Architecture reflecting East Asian Design given by the National Commission for Culture and Arts.

His works have been featured in a number of international coffee table books on Design and Architecture such as: Contemporary Dream Houses in the Philippines, Tropical Living, by Elizabeth Reyes and Periplus Publishing, 2000; 25 Tropical Houses in the Philippines, by Elizabeth Reyes and Periplus Publishing, 2005; The Tropical House Cutting Edge Design in the Philippines by Elizabeth Reyes and Tuttle Publishing, 2009; Contemporary Houses in the Philippines by Robert Powell and Talesmian Publishing, 2015.

Architect Miñana is a trustee of the College of St. Benilde La Salle and the Metropolitan Museum of Manila. He is also a Knight of the Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulchre of Jerusalem. In 2014, he co-chaired and organized Voices for Visayas, a one-night benefit concert for the victims of typhoon Yolanda, featuring 40 of the Philippines top performers. Miñana helped raise 18 Million Pesos and built over 100 resettlement homes in the Visayas through Gawad Kalinga and Habitat for Humanity.

Miñana is a gifted graphologist, a signature analyst, and has helped several business and government leaders, individuals, couples and families, help them find themselves through self-knowledge. In 2011, to commemorate our national hero’s 150th Anniversary, Miñana gave a lecture on Jose Rizal’s signatures at the Yuchengco Museum.

Miñana received his BArch from the University of the Philippines in Diliman and attended a number of Professional Programs from the Graduate School of Design at Harvard University.


Batch HS ’85

 Anthony is the President and Design Director of Nazareno + Guerrero Design Consultancy. He also holds the position of Director of A-Team and Surface Guru.

He took up Architecture at the California College of the Arts and was mentored by famous American architects, Jim Jennings (San Francisco, CA) and Li/Saltzman (New York, NY).

His atelier is known not just for creating homes but also for designing sports complexes, such as the Gatorade Center in Mandaluyong City, and lately, the 10-hectare DLSU Sports Complex near Ayala Westbrook.

Aside from being a designer and architect, Anthony is involved in leadership activities as a Board Director of Jaime Hilario Integrated School – La Salle in Bagac, Bataan; La Salle Young Artist’s Foundation, Inc.; Greenmeadows Homeowners’ Association.

[LSGH] Project Duo - Culture Authorities 683x1024


Batch HS ‘70

Ramon N. Villegas is known for being a curator, art critic, historian and an author. He is the leading expert and authority on pre-Hispanic and antique Philippine jewelry.

Ramon is a prolific writer on what he is passionate about. His first book, “Kayamanan: The Philippine Jewelry Tradition” which was first published in 1983, has now expanded to four editions. This was followed by other books commissioned by various organizations like the Central Bank of the Philippines, National Commission for Culture and Arts, and Bank of the Philippine Islands, among others. These jewelry and art books authored by Ramon are:

  • “Hiyas: Philippine Jewelry Heritage” first published in 1997 and now comprised of two editions
  • “Sining ng Panahong Ginintuan” (Art of the Golden Age) published in 1999
  • “Tubod: The Heart of Bohol” first published in 2003, with an additional three editions
  • “Ginto: History Wrought in  Gold published in 2004 with four editions
  • “Herencia: A Legacy of Art and Progress” published in 2008 with three editions
  • “The Real H. R. Ocampo from the Paulino Que Collection”  published in 2013

He also wrote books on poetry: “Talakayan Tungkol sa Tao at Tula” and “Sa Linggo ang Bola”.

His other historical book was about his province, “Batangas: Forged in Fire” published in 2002.


Batch HS ‘69

John currently serves as the Executive Director of the Ortigas Library Foundation where he manages the library staff and the huge collection of Filipiniana books, prints, maps and photographs numbering to about 18,000 items.  His work at the Ortigas Library includes the acquisition and conservation of materials, promotion and expansion of the library’s use through digitization, and raising resources for the library’s endowment.

He took up his Master’s degree in Philippine-American History from Goddard-Cambridge in Cambridge, Massachusetts highlighted by an interesting thesis on “19th Century Photography in the Filipino American War”.

John had taught courses in Asian-American Literature, Pre-Spanish Philippine History, Philippine Labor History, and Philippine-American Relations at the Asian-American Studies department of University of California in Berkeley.

After leaving the academe, he shifted his focus on fund-raising for non-traditional organizations involved in social issues such as women’s rights, people of color community issues, nuclear disarmament, environment, and international affairs while serving as Co-Director for the North Star Fund based in New York City. He established a $4M capital campaign for the Salisbury School in Connecticut for its Science Center as part of his corporate funding and major donor/alumni research work for the school.

John likewise served as a Director for Resource Development for Oxfam America, an international relief and development agency based in Boston, Massachusetts raising a yearly income target of $10M through various fund-raising activities such as direct mailing, pledge program, outreach, and others. He reviewed all Oxfam print, radio, and television public announcements; reviewed and recommended funding directions in Asia, particularly the Philippines; and conducted public speaking and major visits throughout the world.

As Associate Publisher and Advertising Director, Filipinas Magazine in San Francisco, CA, John managed the daily operations of the only monthly Filipino-American magazine with nationwide circulation and distribution in Canada and the Philippines.  He is one of the original founders, and is a current board member and contributing writer of the magazine.

When he returned to the Philippines in 1998, he became the Executive Director of the Geronimo B. de los Reyes, Jr. Foundation and Museum in Makati City. He administered the foundation’s philanthropic activities in the areas of education and the arts. He supervised the development and construction of the GBR Museum; curated the museum’s rare books, prints, maps, antiquarian photographs and Chinese antiques; administered the acquisitions program to enlarge the museum’s collection.

John served as Senior Consultant of the National Museum of the Philippines from 1998 to 2010. As consultant, he reviewed the museum’s administrative functions, planned future exhibitions, developed an outreach and publicity program, and installed a fundraising program to include a $40 million capital campaign for building renovations.

Mr Silva is a Board Member of the following organizations: Ballet Philippines, Mangyan Heritage Society, Filipinas Magazine, Cinemalaya Foundation, Synergeia Foundation, and the Manila Symphony Orchestra.      

John is also a prolific writer of articles, essays, and short stories for Arts of Asia, Filipinas Magazine, Philippine News, Mabuhay Magazine, Philippine Inquirer, and Philippine StarWeek Magazine

Here are some of the articles he wrote:

  • June 2005, Mabuhay, Philippine Airlines inflight magazine, “Revisiting the Past. The National Museum.”
  • May 28 – 30, 2004, Asian Wall Street Journal, “A Philippine Tragedy, An Inspiring Exercise in Sufferage.”
  • April 16 – 18 2004, Asian Wall Street Journal. “TRAVEL ADVISORY, The Country’s Politicians Are Destroying Their Surroundings.”
  • August 19, 2003, Asian Wall Street Journal. “World War II, the Japanese Version.  The Yasukuni Shrine and Museum.”
  • April 25, 2003, The Philippine Inquirer “When a Museum Falls Victim to War, The Iraq National Museum.”
  • November 24, 2002, Sunday Inquirer Magazine. “Was She Worth The Price? The Controversial Government Purchase of a Juan Luna Painting.”
  • April 28, 2002, Sunday Inquirer Magazine. “How To Love A Museum”
  • March 27, 2005, Sunday Philippine Star Magazine. “An Ilocano Son Returns.”
  • March 24, 2002, Sunday Inquirer Magazine. “Collecting and Commitment.”

Mr Silva was also the curator for the following exhibits:

  • 1987 – UC Berkeley Museum of Anthropology, “Philippine Photographs 1860 – 1910”
  • 1990 – SOMA Gallery, San Francisco, “Colonial Photographs of the Philippines”
  • 1993 – Malacañang Palace, Manila Philippines, “Early Philippine Photography”
  • 1996 – Albert Honiss, “An English Photographer in 19th Century Philippines”

[LSGH] Project Duo Green Energy Guys 683x1024


Batch HS ’78 and GS ‘75

Gao Pronove has always been a leader. He was the Vice-President of the Student Affairs Central Body at La Salle Green Hills (LSGH). Later, he was the President of the Law Student Government at University of Philippines (UP), which led the UP Law Liberation Forces at EDSA in 1986.

Eventually Gao became a social entrepreneur, focused on the environment and sustainability. After practicing law in the country for four years with the Siguion Reyna, Montecillo & Ongsiako Law Office, Gao took up graduate studies in Urban and Environmental Policy at Tufts University in the United States. He then joined the United Nations in Geneva at the time of the Rio Earth Summit. For the next decade, he worked with developing countries in crafting national climate change strategies.

After “seeing the world”, Gao established two global NGOs specializing in training related to climate change mitigation and GoVida e-Learning in Makati. Each of these organizations helped further the cause of accessible cost effective training related to sustainability efforts.

Starting in 2007, Gao switched his focus to developing renewable energy resources here in the Philippines. Working through his RSP3 Corporation and with partners, including EcoMarket Solutions, UpGrade Energy Philippines, and Negros Wide Biomass, Gao has spearheaded the development of solar farms, solar roofs, biomass power plants, and biomass farms. From literally planting cassava in Zamboanga to hauling equipment over unpaved mountains to working with local and national government agencies, Gao has embraced doing what it takes to make renewable energy happen.  He is bullish on the future of sustainable renewable energy production in our country and he is happy to note that many members of the De La Salle community are working to advance this great cause.

Gao is currently the Chairman and President of RSP3 Corporation based in Makati City, Philippines. RSP3 Corp. is the umbrella development company for all of Gao’s renewable energy projects in the

Philippines. RSP3 develops energy projects using biomass, solar, and water resources for power generation, energy efficiency, and agriculture applications. RSP3 brings decades of experience to scale up renewable energy in the Philippines.

As head of RSP3, he held numerous executive positions overseeing renewable energy project development:

  • UpGrade Energy Philippines Makati City, Philippines, Founding President and Director

UGEP is a joint venture with UpGrade Energy NV of Belgium. UGEP is full service renewable energy developer and EPC (engineering, procurement, and construction) company.  He served as President of UGEP until early 2017, during which time the company developed solar roof top projects in the Philippines (1.8MW at C.W. Home Depot in Sta. Rosa, Laguna, and 1MW at Solaire Resorts and Casino in the Entertainment City) and launched a pioneering program offering solar equipment lease to clients all over the Philippines.

  • Negros Wide Biomass Corporation, Negros Occidental, Philippines, Founder and Director from 2016 up to the present

Negros Wide Biomass is a leading and fast growing planter of napier grass and other biomass, which it supplies to industrial clients for power generation and process steam across the Philippines.

  • PhilCarbon Inc. Makati City, Philippines as its Executive Director and Lead Developer until 2016

PCI is a DOE-accredited renewable energy development company with projects in wind, biomass, solar, hydro, and geothermal. As the development partner of Megawide Construction Corporation (PSE: MWIDE) in Megawatt Clean Energy Inc., he led the development of the 25 MW Silay Solar Power Plant in Silay City, Negros Occidental, online since February 2016.

  • Eco Market Solutions Makati City, Philippines as Co-Founder and CEO from 2007 to the present

After initially focusing on developing ethanol in the Philippines, since 2011 EMS has been developing a 2.5 MW biomass power plant in an off-grid area of Luzon in the Philippines. It completed a two-year development and regulatory process and built a pilot biomass gasification plant that went online in June 2013. The project will be built starting 2Q of 2017. This is the first off-grid commercial biomass power project in the Philippines and the first to have an integrated biomass plantation. It will replace expensive and carbon intense diesel generators of the National Power Corp. The project will directly promote reforestation and creating sustainable livelihood in forest areas.

Gao was also involved in various international and local-based organizations:

  • Co-Founder, Director of Business Development, Consultant

Greenhouse Gas Management Institute (2007-2013) Seattle, WA, USA

  • President

GoVida eLearning (2001-2010) Makati City, Philippines

  • Co-Founder and Executive Director

Earth Council Geneva (2001-2007) Geneva, Switzerland and Minnesota, USA

  • Senior Project Officer, Senior Advisor (2001-2005)

UNCTAD International Greenhouse Gas Emissions Trading Project, Geneva, Switzerland

  • Team Leader

United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) (2000) Bonn, Germany

  • Team Leader

CC:Train United Nations Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR) (1991-2001) Geneva, Switzerland

He also engaged in volunteer work, as follows:

  • Citizens Advisory Committee Member, Minnehaha Creek Watershed District, 2004-2005
  • Convenor, Rock Ed Philippines, 2005-present
  • Senior Class Party Volunteer, Edina High School Badminton Coach, 2010, 2011, 2012
  • Basketball Coach, Edina Girls Athletic Association, 2002-2008
  • Edina Troop Leader, Boy Scouts of America, 2002-2004

Mr Pronove is an avid golfer, flyfisherman, badminton player, scuba diver, cyclist, reader, and cook. Gao is married and has two children, one of whom works with him at RSP3.


Batch HS ’78 and GS ‘75

Henry presently serves as a Director and Board Member of Paragon Pegasus Solutions, Inc. (PPSI) which provides efficient business solutions in the renewable energy field. It seeks and remains open to partnerships with groups or companies interested in investing in renewable power projects.

PPSI is presently operating the following facilities for renewable energy:

  • Sipangpang Falls Hydro-Electric Power Plant in Cantilan, Surigao del Sur which produces 8 MW
  • Catuiran Mini Hydro Project in Naujan, Oriental Mindoro which produces 8 MW
  • Busuanga Mini Hydro Project in Busuanga, Palawan producing 8 MW
  • Inagawan Mini Hydro Project in Puerto Princesa, Palawan producing 12 MW
  • Malatgao Mini Hydro Project in Narra, Palawan producing 10 MW
  • Estrella Mini Hydro Project in Narra, Palawan producing 8 MW
  • Batang-Batang Mini Hydro Project in Narra, Palawan producing 12 MW
  • Marangas Mini Hydro Project in Balaraza, Palawan producing 12 MW
  • Salogon Mini Hydro Project in Brooke’s Point, Palawan producing 12 MW
  • Culasian Mini Hydro Project in Rizal, Palawan producing 10 MW

Henry concurrently holds several other positions in various sister companies of PPSI:

  • President and Director of 1st Paragon Logistics Incorporated
  • President and Director of Paragon Brokerage Corp.
  • Vice-President for Marketing of Paragon Business Consultancy
  • Board Member of Mindoro Grid Corporation

Henry is also known for his avid loyalty and dedication to La Salle. He is currently the Secretary General of PARC for UMAEL, which stands for Mundiale des Anciens Eleves Lasalliens (World Union of Lasallian Former Students) after serving as its President.

He also serves as the Executive Director for the Advancement and Alumni Affairs Office of De La Salle University (DLSU), at the same time its Sports Marketing Director. Henry is also the Sports Consultant for De La Salle – College of St Benilde and La Salle Green Hills (LSGH), and a Board Member of the De La Salle Alumni Association.

In the past, Henry was a Board Member of the Lasallian Family Council of De La Salle Institute at the Generate in Rome, Italy, and former President of the De La Salle Alumni Association (DLSAA); former Board Member of the UAAP representing DLSU.

His other past positions include:

  • Board Member of the NCAA representing College of St. Benilde
  • 3-Time President of the La Salle Green Hills Alumni Association (LSGHAA)
  • 18 years as Board Member of the LSGHAA
  • Four years Vice President for Asia Pacific for UMAEL
  • Six years Member of the Board of Trustees for La Salle Green Hills
  • Six years Member of the Lasallian Partners Council
  • Couple President of the La Salle Green Hills Parents Association
  • Four years VP for Ways and Means for the DLSAA.

Henry is happily married to Elizabeth “Lizzie” Afzelius Atayde and has two sons: Martin, who graduated from LSGH and DLS-CSB, and Joaquin, also an alumnus of LSGH and currently a student at DLSU.

[LSGH] Project Duo Master Chefs 683x1024


Batch HS ‘96


Gino wears many hats as a culinary expert. He is currently working at Café Ysabel as its Executive Chef and Executive Vice President. He is the President and Executive Chef of Buenisimo, Inc. and Culinary Arts Program Director, Head Instructor and Director of Center for Asian Culinary Studies, and a Senior Consultant for Supreme Food and Beverage Consultancy.

Since 2006, Gino has been a Vice Conseiller Culinaire of the Chaine des Rotisseurs Bailliage de Manilla, a distinction he earned after he represented the Philippines in the Young World Chef’s Competition (Jeunes Commis de Rotisseurs Gran Prix Mondial) in Adelaide, Australia in 2006. His international reputation as a master chef is also enhanced by his membership in the Ordre Mondial des Gourmets Degustateurs.

After graduating from De La Salle University, Manila in 1996 with a Bachelor of Science in Commerce, Major in Business Management, Gino decided to follow his father’s footsteps by enrolling in the 

Professional Culinary Arts Program at Center for Asian Culinary Studies. To deepen his knowledge and broaden his experiences in culinary arts, he enrolled in the Culinary Program of ADF – Le Centre de Formation D’Alain Ducasse in Argentuil, France. His drive to excel in his art brought him to the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, NY where he took up Food Styling: Preparing Food for the Camera, and at the Greystone, California campus of CIA where he took up advanced techniques in a wide spectrum of food items, such as seafood, charcuterie, meat, game, poultry and seafood, wine and food pairing, desserts and breads.

Gino owes his current TV celebrity status to two TV shows:  Lifestyle Channel’s Chefscapade where he was the Host for Seasons 1 and 2; and GMA QTV 11’s My Favorite Recipes as its Guest Host for Seasons 4 and 6.

His expertise as a master chef earned him several awards /recognitions/citations:

  • PGTM Collaborator for the Culinary Arts Foundation of the Philippines’ Young Gourmet Master Entrechef
  • Scholarships from the US Department of Agriculture’s Council of Chefs Philippines and Cochran Fellowship
  • From the Ordre Mondial des Gourmets Degustateurs: Chef’s Table with Single Malt Whisky, Wolf Blass Aphrodisiac Feast, Chef’s Table with Torres Wines, and Zinfandel Game dinner
  • Chaine des Rotisseurs Cuisine Inspirations by the movie, Chocolat

True to his Lasallian upbringing, Gino finds the time to share his time and skills through community service, such as organizing livelihood training programs for the family members of San Juan City Government’s workers and even for the barangays. He also serves as Chef Consultant for the Philippine Olympic Committee/Philippine Sports Commission. He provides culinary scholarships in partnership with San Juan City’s Mayor Guia Gomez. He is actively engaged in the feeding program and education program of the Chaine des Rotisseurs Support Programmes.


Batch HS ‘75

Chef Gene Gonzalez is a moving force in the culinary industry. He started quite early as a chef-businessman when he opened Café Ysabel when he was only 23 years of age. Aside from a series of apprenticeships in Italy and France, he completed various specialized courses at the Culinary Institute of America, the California Culinary Academy and the Callebaut Chocolate College.

Chef Gene is the only Ten Outstanding Young Men (TOYM) awardee in Culinary Arts. He also garnered other awards such as the Gerry Roxas Foundation Award for Excellence, and the Hotel and Restaurant Association’s Plate d’Or for excellence and dedication to culinary arts.

His expertise includes research and development projects with major food manufacturers and flavor laboratories. He co-founded Alta Cocina Filipina, a movement that aims to promote contemporary Filipino cuisine in the global arena.

He has written several milestone culinary books such as Cucina Sulipeña: Culinary Gems from Old Pampanga; Going East: A Merging of Asian Culinary Styles; Fundamentals of Cooking and Baking which he co-authored with Jill Sandique; the Little Pinoy Cookbook Series, a collection of 17 books on various Filipino dishes; Philippine Tropical Cocktails; and most recently, Philippine Breads.

Chef Gene also served as Board Member of the De La Salle – College of St Benilde, and at present, a Conseiller Culinaire of the National Board of the Chaines des Rotisseurs and also a member of the London-based International Wine and Food Society.

Chef Gene is the owner and President of Café Ysabel, and founder and President of the Center of Asian Culinary Studies where he also handles Professional and Recreational courses. He chairs the Supreme Food and Beverage Consultancy, a management firm catering to the hotel and restaurant industry.