Community journalists win Phil-Am Press Club awards | Global News

Community journalists win Phil-Am Press Club awards

/ 01:40 PM October 24, 2013

Plaridel journalism award-winners at the PAPC gala. CONTRIBUTED PHOTO/GARY DE GUZMAN

SAN FRANCISCO—The second annual Plaridel Awards in journalism honored outstanding reporters and commentators from various Filipino American news media at a gala dinner on Friday, October 19.

Sponsored by the 25-year-old Philippine American Press Club, USA (PAPC), the awards were given to the best articles entered in competition along several categories.


Esther Misa Chavez, PAPC president, welcomed honorees and guests to the awards ceremony at Rene’s Fine Dining in Colma, just outside San Francisco.

Esther Misa Chavez hands Torchbearer award for Consul General Marciano Paynor Jr. to Mrs. Teresita Paynor. CONTRIBUTED PHOTO/ GARY DE GUZMAN

Writer and educator Oscar Penaranda urged the celebrants to use their profession in protecting freedom of the press, “the only industry specifically mentioned in the founding documents” of the United States.


Misa-Chavez, who also’s vice president for sales in North America, also presented this year’s Torchbearer award to two respected personages.

Jose Antonio Vargas, who was on The Washington Post team that won the Pulitzer Prize for Breaking News Reporting in 2008 for its coverage of the Virginia Tech shootings, was also honored for his activism on behalf of undocumented immigrants like himself.

Outgoing San Francisco Consul General Marciano A. Paynor, Jr., was also hailed as a Torchbearer for instituting many improvements in consular services to the Filipino community.

Emcees radio DJ Freska Griarte and standup comedian Joey Guila kept the proceedings light and moving. Up and coming young crooner Mitch Franco and “balagtasan-kundiman” duo Mike Coroza and Vim Nadera sparked up brief intermissions.

Presenters including the Department of Tourism’s Rene de los Santos, Nascar driver Don Pastor, West Bay Multi-Services’ Rudy Asercion, PG&E’s Roger Ballesteros, Bob Fan of Western Union, Jun Ilagan of Lucky Chances Casino and Julie Adams of New York Life handed the awards to the following winners:

Commentary: Winner was Randy Gener of The Filam for the piece “A Song for My Mother”; Honorable Mention: Dy Calica-LaPutt, Asian Journal, “The fight continues for Filipino vets.”

Investigative-In-Depth Reporting: Winners were Joseph Lariosa for Philippines Today for the piece “FilAms lead thousands of DREAMERS”, and Harvey Barkin,, “Calif. city puts off naming school for FilAm heroes”; Honorable Mention: Emil Guillermo, Philippine News, “Ronald Ebens, the man who killed Vincent Chin, apologizes 30 years later.”


International Reporting: Winner was Rodel Rodis of for “Philippines: a Jewish refuge from the Holocaust”; Honorable Mention, Arnold Pedrigal, Manila Mail, “Project PEARLS and the children of Ulingan.”

Entertainment: Winner was Lotis Key of Positively Filipino for “Going Home”; Honorable Mention, Carlos Zialcita, Positively Filipino, “Joe Bataan, Ordinary Guy with an Extraordinary Heart.”

Sports Feature: Winner was Emil Guillermo of for “In Major League baseball, Tim Lincecum is still the Filipinos’ champ”; Honorable Mention, Ted Laguatan,, “Did drugs nearly kill Pacquiao?”

Food: Winner was Elizabeth Ann Quirino, Positively Filipino, “A Hundred Mangoes in a Bottle”; Honorable Mention, Dennis Clemente for, “Jollibee in Queens, Max’s in Jersey City.”

Youth Voice: Winner was Lawrence Ochoa, The FilAm LA, “A Teen-ager Attends His First Kalayaan”; Honorable Mention: Alex Drechsler,, “New travel deal hopes to attract voluntourists.”

Tourism Feature: Winner was Francis Calpotura, Positively Filipino, “It’s More Meaningful, and Yes, Fun in the Philippines.”

TV Community Reporting: Winner was TFC/Balitang America-ABS-CBN International, “Casting Call; the Story of Sam Milby”; Honorable Mention, Adobo Nation-ABS-CBN International, “Seven-Mile House.”

Radio Broadcast: Winner, Robert Henry, “EastWest Radio Show.”

Photo Journalism: Winner, Sidney Snoeck, Power ng Pinoy, “Project PEARLS: Ulingan Children.”

The judges included veteran journalists Rene Ciria-Cruz, Gemma Nemenzo, Benjamin Pimentel, Odette Keeley, award-winning photojournalist Rick Rocamora, Wennie Conedy, Oscar Penaranda and Peggy Peralta.

PAPC’s member publications are Philippine News, the Eye, Filipino Monitor, Philippine Examiner, Philippine Chronicle, Filipinas Magazine, Filipino Guardian, ABS-CBN, Asian Journal, Philippines Today, Fil-Am Star, Filipino American Radio Network, Filipino Gazette, GMA Pinoy TV, Manila Mail, INQUIRER. Net, Philippine Headlines, Positively Filipino, Power ng Pinoy and San Francisco Post.

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TAGS: Awards, ceremony, Esther Misa Chavez, Features, gala, honors, journalism, Oscar Penaranda, Phil-Am Press Club awards, Philippine American Press Club, Plaridel Awards, profession
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