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Aquino awards 29 overseas Filipinos and friends

President Benigno S. Aquino III honored 29 distinguished overseas Filipino individuals, organizations and friends at Awarding Ceremonies in Malacañang on Dec. 5, 2012.

The search is organized by the Commission on Filipinos Overseas.

The Pamana ng Pilipino awardees this year were: Engineer Mary Jane A. Al-Mahdi, chief executive of the Geoscience Testing Laboratory of the United Arab Emirates; food technologist Delia R. Amaya, retired professor of the University of Campinas, Brazil; Dr. Samuel Bernal, a cancer specialist and director of GlobeTekPro, a science foundation based in the Czech Republic and the United States;

Dr. Antonio Fernando III, an expert in sleep medicine and professor of psychiatry  at the University of Auckland, New Zealand; Almira Astudillo Gilles  an award-winning writer of children’s books in Chicago; Dianne Monique Lhuillier, a fashion designer in Los Angeles;

Hip-hop icon Allan “Apl.de.Ap” Pineda of the US-based Black Eyed Peas group; Dr. Ruth Elynia S. Mabanglo, a leading proponent of Filipino as a global  language and professor of Filipino language and culture at the University of Hawaii; Jorge Z. Ortoll, Executive Director of New York’s Ma-Yi Theater; Erik C. Spoelstra, the first Filipino-American head coach of US national basketball champion, Miami Heat; and Dr.  Francisca Tolete-Velcek,a noted pediatric surgeon in New York.

Three Lingkod sa Kapwa Pilipino Awardees went to: Dr.  Manuel A. Cacdac, a Boston-based neurosurgeon; Dr. Christopher M. Guerrero, a Chicago-based physician; and the Aguman Kapampangan UK, an organization of London. All are noted for their charity programs.

Banaag Awardees, honored for their contributions in advancing the interests of overseas Filipino communities, were: Engineer Carlito E. Alpay, immigration lawyer Imelda L. Argel,

British Columbia-based multicultural advocate Tomas P. Avendaño Sr.; Alaska social reformer Rafael S. Castaños; The Filipiniana–Europa VZW, The Filipino Community of Seattle, The Filipino Digerati Association (UAE); New York-based  nurse Luzviminda S. Micabalo, San Francisco Entertainment Commissioner Al Perez Jr., San Francisco police Lt. Eric Michael B. Quema; Seattle-based civil rights leader Robert Santos, The European women’s group The Stichting Bayanihan; and Taiwan-based migrant adviser Ma. Luzviminda Tsai.

The 2012 Kaanib ng Bayan Awards were given to foreign friends: Dr. Gonen Haba, an Israeli medical specialist who attends to the needs of the overseas Filipino community; and Dr. Christian Loehlein, a German reconstructive surgeon.


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