Search on for outstanding Fil-Ams in NY as mayor praises community | Global News

Search on for outstanding Fil-Ams in NY as mayor praises community

Bill de Blasio

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio. AP FILE PHOTO

NEW YORK, New York — Mayor Bill de Blasio congratulated the annual, independent search for exemplary Filipino Americans in the New York metropolitan area that will highlight Filipino American History Month in October.

The Outstanding Filipino Americans in New York (TOFA-NY) are chosen by popular vote conducted via social media, and awardees will be honored at a ceremony set for October 25 at Carnegie Hall.


“With an estimated 200 spoken languages and more than three million residents born outside of the US, New York’s diversity in unparalleled,” de Blasio said in a statement. “Our large and thriving Filipino population is an invaluable thread in the fabric of our city.”

As in previous years, Consul General Mario de Leon Jr. andbusinesswoman and philanthropist Loida Nicolas Lewis will deliver inspirational messages.


The other speakers are retired Army Gen. Tony Taguba, AARP’s community ambassador; Jason Tengco, senior advisor at the White House Initiative on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders; and Miss USA 1st runner-up Audra Mari, who is a Fil-Am.

Maria Ressa, formerly CNN’s bureau chief in Manila and Jakarta, and one ofthe founders of Rappler, the Philippines’ first Internet-based news organization, will host the event. She has been covering Asia for more than 25 years. She lived in Toms River, New Jersey with her family, and graduated from Princeton University where she studied biology and English.

This year’s TOFA-NY awards will also feature a stellar lineup of entertainers led by Darren Espanto of “The Voice Kids Philippines ”and Geo Ed Rebucas, a “Pilipinas Got Talent” finalist.

Also featured are Broadway Barkada, Enteng Evangelista and the UST Singers, “Voice of McDonald’s” finalist Richard Tuozo and the Pilipino American Cultural Arts Society of Washington, DC.

The following are nominees for 2014:

Arts & Culture 

Kinding Sindaw


Society of Philippine American Artists

Teresa Rodriguez

Business & Entrepreneurship 

Pete & Shirley Domingo

Dennis Josue

Gary Reloj

Community Service & Advocacy 

Ryan Letada

Rommel del Rosario

Roger Santos

Courage of Conviction 

Nancy Bulalacao

Geena Rocero

Education, Research & Technology 

Emelyn de la Pena

Lemuel Sison

Michael Vea


Broadway Barkada

Deep Foundation

Jhett Tolentino

Fashion & Style 

Ryan Jordan

Elle Madrona

Danica Magpantay

Food & Restaurants 

Liza de Guia

Joel Javier

Papa’s Kitchen

Health Care 

Nemcy Cavite Duran RN

Randolf Palmaira

Corge Reyes

LGBT Advocacy 

RJ Mendoza-Nadal

Jenab-i Pareja

Marin Watts

Media & Publishing 

Gina Apostol

Ritz Mazon Craves

Tina Pamintuan

Public Service & Politics 

Ludi Hughes

R Sonny Sampayan

Maria Torres-Springer

Senior Welfare & Advocacy 

Filipino American Senior Citizens Association Queens NYC

Juliet Payabyab

PAGASA Social Foundation Inc.

Youth & Sports 

Frenie Acoba

Jonathan de Castro

Team Takbo

Heritage Awards will be awarded to five individuals and organizations whose skills, competence, professionalism and talent helped elevate the profile of Filipino Americans throughout the Tri-State.

This year’s recipients are Oscar Award-winning songwriter Bobby Lopez, CEO Josie Natori of The Natori Company, Dean of Academic Affairs at Columbia Journalism School Sheila Coronel, Fiesta in America business and cultural trade exposition, and the Philippine Medical Association of America.

The people behind TOFA-NY are multimedia professionals and entrepreneurs, with Elton Lugay as founding chair, and Sally Nunez, Cristina DC Pastor (Nominations) and Oliver Oliveros (Publicity) composing the board.

Here is the link to vote:


A night of celebration and inspiration–and ‘balut’–in NY

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TAGS: Bobby Lopez, Carnegie Hall, Columbia Journalism School Dean of Academic Affairs Sheila Coronel, Fiesta in America, Filipino American achievers in New York, Jason Tengco, Josie Natori CEO of The Natori Company, Loida Nicolas-Lewis, Maria Ressa, Mayor Bill de Blasio, outstanding Filipino-Americans award, Philippine Medical Association of America, The Outstanding Filipino Americans in New York (TOFA-NY)
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