FilAm press club celebrates excellence in journalism with its first Plaridel Awards
The Plaridel Awards- excellence in Filipino American journalism, the first ever competition among the Filipino publishers coast to coast, brought in journalists from Los Angeles, New York and of course the Bay Area. Submissions came from publishers.
Asian Journal’s reporters Michael Santos and Joseph Pimentel won the Outstanding Reportage Award with their submission “Adult Day Health Care Centers pending closure to hit elderly FilAms hard” while Cristina Pastor of The FilAm, an ezine based in New York, won honorable mention with her piece “Do you sponsor?”
INQUIRER.net won back to back in the Outstanding Commentary Category when its contributing columnists, Dennis Clemente won first prize with his article “Is it okay to lose your language? Not for these FilAms” and Lawyer Ted Laguatan was runner up with his submission “The ‘Arroyo 8’ Justices.” Elizabeth Horner, an aspiring journalist also with INQUIRER.net won honorable mention in the Youth Voice Category with her piece “A tribute to Philippine Independence.” Laurel Fantauzzo’s “In the Motherland: Thank you, Manila,” won first prize in this category.
Clemente was also the runner up for the Outstanding Entertainment Category with his article “John Sayle’s ‘Amigo’ timely as today’s headlines, opens in the US.” Philippine News’ Hollywood entertainment reporter, Janet Nepales, won top prize with “‘Magno Rubio’ in Tagalog, a first at the John Anson Ford Theatre.”
Outstanding International Reporting Category’s top honor went to Philippine News’ Cherie Querol Moreno with her “Parlez vous Pilipino?” while Asian Journal’s Las Vegas editor, Dymphna Calica-La Putt, was honorable mention with “A soldier’s smile: Filipino WWII Vet turns 100 with hope in his heart.”
For the Broadcast Category’s Community Reporting in Television, Jannell So of Kababayan LA which is seen daily on KSCI-TV LA18 won first prize with their segment “Historic Filipino Town.” Runner up was “Hands-off Journey to Success: The Jessica Cox Story” produced by Arnold Pedrigal of “Power ng Pinoy” a weekly show that appears on GMA TV.
Photo-journalism’s honorable mention went to Michael Santos of Asian Journal with his photo-essay “Elderly Fil-Ams faces uncertainty.” There was no top prize winner. For the Tourism Feature Story Category sponsored by the Department of Tourism, the winner was Ruben Nepales of Balikbayan Magazine with his ouvre, “Come to my Philippines!”
Submissions came from different Filipino American publishers from New York, Chicago, Las Vegas, Los Angeles and San Francisco. Each of the top prize-winners won a crystal engraved trophy and cash.
The event was graced by California Senator Leland Yee, author of the bill that made the month of October in California, Filipino American Heritage Month, presented the Philippine American Press Club with a citation for its first ever Plaridel Awards. He said that the Filipino journalists are very helpful in disseminating information to the community on government initiatives, particularly the latest bill signed by Governor Jerry Brown that allows Voter Registration Online. Senator Yee was the author of the bill.
Presenters were industry partners and community leaders headed by Consul General Marciano Paynor Jr, Lisa Yuchengco of Phil. International Aid, Fiona Chan of Pacific Gas and Electric; Jenny Montenegro, Lucky Chances Casino; Gabriel Agcaoili of the Department of Tourism, San Francisco; and Odette Keely of New America Media. Judges came from an esteemed group of journalists who gamely accepted the task. They were Rene Ciria Cruz, Gemma Nemenzo, Barbara Jane Reyes, Ben Pimentel, Rick Rocamora and Lloyd Lacuesta. Masters of ceremonies were Lorna Dietz and Mandy Chavez.
Keynote speaker was Sandy Close, Executive Editor and Director of the New America Media and Pacific News Service who commented that the ethnic media in the U.S. is fast becoming a “Filipino media” because of the many Filipinos engaged in journalism and the quality of work they put into it.
Philippine American Press Club President, Esther Misa Chavez, Vice President for Sales of INQUIRER.net said that “We are very encouraged by today’s event and we hope that we can continue to make it an annual celebration of outstanding work by the Filipino American press corps.”
The Plaridel Awards was named after 19th century Filipino journalist and publisher Marcelo H. Del Pilar, whose nom de plume was Plaridel. The awards ceremony was captured on live streaming video and can be viewed at www.papcusa.org.