trust_worthy_public_figures_main.jpgA nationwide survey conducted on behalf of Reader’s Digest in October 2009 has revealed which public figures the Filipino people believe they can rely on the most. In the March 2010 issue, results of The Trust Survey show that actress and humanitarian Rosa Rosal tops a list of 80 influential Pinoy personalities as the most trusted woman in the country. At the bottom of the list is Hayden Kho, the former Belo Medical Group doctor whose celebrity sex scandal rocked the nation last year.

It is interesting to note that actresses Cristine Reyes and Katrina Halili ranked higher on the trust list than President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo; Cristine ranked 72nd and Katrina 76th, while GMA placed third to the last at 78th.

According to the survey, the top five most trusted public figures are as follows:


Hailed the “original femme fatale of Philippine cinema,” Rosa Rosal has matched an enduring career in showbiz with an impressive dedication to philanthropy. The efforts she has made to relieve the plight of the impoverished has boded well with the Filipino public, who have deemed the actress’s work sincere as well as generous. In 1999, Rosa received the Ramon Magsaysay Award for Public Service for her lifelong commitment to charitable voluntarism; this year marks her 60th anniversary of working with the Philippine Red Cross.


Coming in at number two is world-famous singer and stage actress Lea Salonga, who shot to international acclaim with a leading role in Miss Saigon. Her amazing talent has brought her esteemed accolades—most notably her Tony and Olivier Award wins. This makes her worthy of emulation among Filipinos, who see Lea as an embodiment of Pinoy pride.


Award-winning journalist and vice president of GMA News Jessica Soho takes third place on the trust list for her objective, non-partisan reportage. Jessica has also been at the forefront of the country’s breaking news for almost 20 years (she covered issue like the Mount Pinatubo eruption and Cory Aquino’s death), giving viewers a familiar and somewhat comforting face in the midst of crisis.


Fourth place goes to the founder of Gawad Kalinga, Tony Meloto. By establishing a foundation that houses the indigent, sends relief to victims of calamity, and provides livelihood opportunities for the impoverished—all with the validation of the Catholic Church—Tony has more than earned the trust of the Filipino people.


Rounding off the top five and ranking the highest among all the politicians in the survey is presidential candidate Senator Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino. His virtually “clean” image amidst widespread political corruption, along with the simple fact that he is the son of Ninoy and Cory, instantly gains trust points with the voting (and non-voting) public.

Want to be as trustworthy as Reader’s Digest’s Top 5? Here are some tips on building a more dependable character.


The best way to be trusted is to tell the truth at all times. Even seemingly insignificant embellishments to the truth can damage your reputation as a reliable source—plus, these little white lies pile up over time. You’ll soon find yourself weaving tangled webs with your false words before you know it.


If you come to an agreement over something, honor it. This doesn’t only apply to major company contracts or settlements—a promise is meant to kept, no matter how trivial the commitment. If you tell someone you’re going to call them back, call them back; or if you’re expected home at a certain hour, make sure you’re there on the dot. Be consistent, and other people will take you at your word.


The Bible says, “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.” The same principle applies to trust—it’s a two-way street. You can’t expect other people to have faith in your so-called honorable character if you are unable to return the favor. Open up to the ones you trust, and they in turn will trust you with their secrets. There’s always a give-and-take.



(Photo by Sara Black)

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