29 Outstanding Overseas Filipinos and Foreign Organizations Chosen for the 2012 Presidential Awards

Twenty-two Filipinos, five Filipino organizations, and two foreign nationals from 14 countries were honored during the Awarding Ceremonies for the 2012 Presidential Awards.

Manila (I-Newswire) December 7, 2012 - In time for the celebration of the Month of Overseas Filipinos, President Benigno S. Aquino III honored 29 distinguished and outstanding overseas Filipinos and foreign-based organizations during the Awarding Ceremonies for the 2012 Presidential Awards for Filipino Individuals and Organizations Overseas on December 5, 2012 at the Malacaıan Palace.

Composed of 22 Filipinos, five Filipino organizations, and two foreign nationals from 14 countries, this year's awardees are living testaments to the enduring spirit of bayanihan, perseverance, hard work, and exemplary service towards the advancement and improvement of the lives of Filipinos in the Philippines and abroad. The awardees were thoroughly screened from a total of 137 nominations from 26 countries by three different committees with representatives from the government, civil society, media, academe, religious and business sectors, and finally the President of the Philippines.

Lingkod sa Kapwa Pilipino Awardees

Lingkod sa Kapwa Pilipino awardees are Filipino individuals and organizations overseas honored for their exceptional or significant contribution to the progress and development in the Philippines.

Dr. Manuel A. Cacdac, a neuro-surgical doctor based in Boston, Massachusetts, treats disadvantaged children afflicted with hydrocephalus in the Philippines. Dr. Christopher M. Guerrero, a medical doctor based in Chicago, Illinois, addresses the health needs of his kababayans in Nueva Vizcaya. The Aguman Kapampangan UK is a charitable organization which aims to build the cultural awareness of second generation Filipinos in London, while maintaining philanthropic activities in Pampanga.

Kaanib ng Bayan Awardees

Kaanib ng Bayan awardees are foreign individuals or organizations honored for their exceptional and significant contribution to Philippine reconstruction, progress and development, or advancing the cause of overseas Filipino communities.

Dr. Gonen Haba, a specialist surgeon, has contributed to the well-being of overseas Filipinos in Israel. Dr. Christian Loehlein, an expert in reconstructive surgery, has treated Filipinos with harelip and cleft palate problems.

Banaag Awardees

Banaag awardees are Filipino individuals or associations overseas honoured for their contributions in advancing the cause of overseas Filipino communities or sectors.

Engr. Carlito E. Alpay advocated for the extension of Philippine professional licensure examinations in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. Atty. Imelda L. Argel, immigration lawyer and journalist, advocated for the mutual recognition of skills and qualifications of Filipino migrants in Australia. Tomas P. Avendaıo Sr., a member of the Multicultural Advisory Council of British Columbia extends support to newly-arrived migrants in Canada. Rafael S. Castaıos is instrumental in strengthening the ties that bind the Filipino communities throughout Alaska. The Filipiniana-Europa V.Z.W., a multicultural non-profit organization, promotes migrant women empowerment in Belgium through educational and cultural activities. The Filipino Community of Seattle is a non-profit organization in the State of Washington, committed to serving the needs of Filipino-Americans since the 1930s. The Filipino Digerati Association, a non-profit organization composed of IT professionals, enhances the skills of overseas Filipino workers in the UAE. Luzviminda S. Micabalo promotes Philippine culture and heritage appreciation in the Filipino-American community of New York and Nevada. Al Perez Jr., Commissioner of San Francisco Entertainment Commission, promotes Philippine culture to overseas Filipino community in San Francisco. Lt. Eric Michael B. Quema of San Francisco Police Department, protects the Filipino American community, and provides training services to the Philippine National Police. Robert Santos is a civil rights leader whose work in urban housing and community development helped many immigrants in the US. Ma. Luzviminda Tsai initiated projects that advance the interests and welfare of fellow Filipino migrants in Taiwan. The Stichting Bayanihan is a self-help women's organization which aims to advance the participation, integration and emancipation of Filipinas through empowerment in The Netherlands.

Pamana ng Pilipino Awardees

The Pamana ng Pilipino awardees are Filipino individuals overseas who have brought the country honor and recognition through excellence and distinction in the pursuit of their work or profession.

Engr. Mary Jane A. Al-Mahdi is the CEO of the Geoscience Testing Laboratory, the biggest independent testing laboratory operating in the Middle East. Dr. Delia R. Amaya is a retired professor of the University of Campinas and an esteemed food technology expert in Brazil. Dr. Samuel Bernal, a cancer specialist and lawyer, is the pioneer of stem cell research in the Philippines. Dr. Antonio Fernando III is a psychiatry professor and an expert in the field of sleep medicine in New Zealand. Almira Astudillo Gilles is an award-winning writer and editor in the US. Dianne Monique Lhuillier is one of the leading bridal couturier and fashion designers in the US. Allan "Apl.de.Ap" Pineda is from the famous Black Eyed Peas Group, who never forgets his cultural roots, and a supporter of youth education program in the Philippines. Dr. Ruth Elynia S. Mabanglo, professor at the University of Hawaii, is a strong advocate of Filipino language and culture in the US. Jorge Z. Ortoll is the Executive Director of Ma-Yi, a premier Asian-American theater company in New York which has nurtured Filipino-American artists over the years. Eric C. Spoelstra is the first Filipino-American head coach to win the US National Basketball Association championship for the Miami Heat team. Dr. Francisca Tolete-Velcek is a multi-awarded and notable pediatric doctor and academician in the US.

In conferring the Awards, the President will be assisted by Foreign Affairs Secretary Albert del Rosario and Commission on Filipinos Overseas Chairperson, Secretary Imelda M. Nicolas.

Institutionalized in 1991 through Executive Order No. 498 signed by President Corazon C. Aquino, the Presidential Awards for Filipino Individuals and Organizations Overseas is a biennial search for overseas-based individuals and organizations which have dedicated their work in the service, advancement and improvement of lives of Filipinos world-wide, or who have excelled in their field or profession. Since its inception, the awards have been conferred to 338 Filipinos and foreign-based organizations from 44 countries.

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December 7, 2012

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