Awards event opens Filipino Heritage Month in New York
NEW YORK CITY – An awards ceremony honoring outstanding members of the community hosted by the Filipino American Historical Society (FANHS) October 3 opened the festivities for the month-long celebration of Filipino-American Heritage.
Philippine Consul General Mario L. De Leon, Jr. headlined the ceremony held at the Gallery Lobby of the Philippine Center. He underscored the increasing importance of Filipinos in American society – in medicine and the sciences, arts, business and industry. De Leon also encouraged the participation of Filipinos in US politics by engaging their legislators on issues concerning the Philippines and the Filipino constituents.
The awardees, chosen by the FANHS Metro New York Board Members, were recognized during the program.
The Outstanding Artist Award was given to Marissa Aroy, the filmmaker who created the “Delano Manongs,” “Little Manila: Filipinos in California’s Heartland” and the Emmy-award winning documentary “Sikhs in America.”
In youth advocacy, Kristina Rodolfo, former president of New York University’s Filipino student organizations and a co-founder of LEGACY New York was awarded the plaque for Youth Leadership. She authored a book entitled The Other Von Higgely, which is being used in elementary schools to teach children about justice.
Momar Visaya, editor-in-chief of the US-wide Filipino-American publication Asian Journal, was the recipient of the Contributions to Excellence Award. The almost omnipresent Momar was not seen during the ceremony, as he was on home leave after a tour in Asia.
The Bayani Award went to the Friends of Randy Gener who organized a benefit and vigil for his recovery when he encountered an unfortunate accident early this year. Liz Casasola, Nicole Ponseca, RJ Mendoza-Nadal, Cat Sandoval and Monette Rivera all received individual recognition for their compassionate efforts.
Adjunct Professor of Asian Pacific Studies at New York University Agnes Bing Magtoto received the Lifetime Achievement Award. A huge supporter of Filipino culture and issues that impact the Philippines, she authored Usapang Babae: Gender Awareness through Theatre, Arts, Games and Processes.
Entertainment was provided by Kinding Sindaw Melayu Heritage group, as well as actors from the production “Journey of A Brown Girl.”