MANILA, Philippines – The historic Carnegie Hall in New York City is a symbol of world class performing arts and culture – a fitting venue for ceremonies in honor of this year’s most outstanding Filipino Americans.
The people behind The Outstanding Filipino American Awards (TOFA-NY) are journalists and entrepreneurs, with Elton Lugay as founding chair, co-founder Cristina DC Pastor (Nominations) and Oliver Oliveros (Publicity).
When one makes a mark in the biggest city in the world, there is not very much left to prove. The awards body honors community leaders in government, civil society, business, entertainment, food technology, media and more who have made it in New York.
The ceremony will take place on October 25, 2014 with Rappler the official media partner of the event. Rappler CEO and Executive Editor Maria Ressa will emcee the event.
A highlight of the show is the Heritage Awards which recognizes 5 individuals and organizations whose “skills, competence, professionalism, and talent helped elevate the profile of Filipino Americans throughout the Tri-State.” Awardees from previous years include Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Jose Antonio Vargas, fashion designer Monique Lhuillier, and performing artist Lea Salonga.
This year, TOFA is recognizing 5 more trailblazing individuals and organizations.
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.
(See the complete list of winners here)
Filipinos have made their mark, and in a very big way. It is something to celebrate and it is about time we do.
Like Martin Luther King Jr who fought for civil rights and equality for African Americans, Filipino Americans also had their own civil rights leaders who probably don’t ring a bell for most who haven’t taken the time to research names like labor leaders Larry Itliong and Philip Vera Cruz; or newspaper publisher and community advocate Alex Esclamado; or any of the manongs who came before us in the early 1900s.
This Filipino American history month, it is time to begin remembering those who came before us and celebrate those who continue to open doors and break glass ceilings for a community which – despite being in the United States for more than 100 years – is still greatly underrepresented in government, business, science and technology, and Hollywood.
To be an outstanding Filipino American isn’t just about your bloodline – it’s about being the best in who you are and what you do – and inspiring others to do the same. – Rappler.com
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