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Natori, Hizon win world-class award

First Posted 12:41:00 10/11/2008

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INTERNATIONAL fashion designer Josie Natori and BBC World News business anchor Rico Hizon are the 2008 BPInoy Awardees for overseas Filipino excellence.

International broadcast journalist Rico Hizon is based in Singapore (with wife Melanie and son Migo), and designer Josie Natori is based in New York (with husband Ken Natori).

Hailed as one of 2006?s Ten Outstanding Young Men (TOYM) for International Journalism and Community Service, Hizon is the first Filipino broadcast journalist to work for global broadcasting networks BBC World News and CNBC Asia.

Rico started his TV career covering the business beat for GMA Network and in 1995 joined CNBC Asia in Hong Kong and later in Singapore. He moved to the BBC in 2002 and currently anchors Asia Business Report and World Business Report.

Rico is a very active community Filipino community leader and with his wife champion of Filipino art in the city-state.

?Receiving the BPInoy Award is a particularly significant recognition for me because I feel that my life?s work has been acknowledged and my passion, validated,? said Hizon.

?I am incredibly blessed that my work allows me to do what I love and I am very grateful to BPI for appreciating what I have accomplished,? he said.

Josie, on the other hand, moved from the finance world to fashion design. She was the first female vice president for investment banking at Merrill Lynch when she left Wall Street in 1977.

Her Natori Company started with lingerie and now her designs ?women?s fashion and accessories ? are sold in upscale department stores around the world. In September 2009, her Natori perfume will debut.

Now on its third year, the Bank of the Philippine Islands (BPI) recognizes the achievements of overseas Filipinos in their various fields of expertise, and showcases BPI?s commitment to excellence and seek to instill nationalism among Filipinos abroad.

In the past two years, awardees included musical theater artist Lea Salonga, US-based technology entrepreneur Diosdado ?Dado? Banatao, fashion designer Monique Lhuillier, and heart surgeon Dr. George Garcia of Asian Hospital & Medical Center.

?BPI is privileged to share and celebrate the success achieved by overseas Filipinos who have truly demonstrated inherent Pinoy values ? the same values that catapulted them to world renown bringing honor and recognition to our country,? said Aurelio R. Montinola III, BPI president and chief executive officer.

On behalf of Hizon and Natori, BPI made a grant of P50,000 each to the awardees? chosen charities, namely, Munting Tahanan ng Nazareth and Asian Cultural Council.

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