MANILA -- Fashion designer Monique Lhuillier and Filipino-African Latin soul musician Joe Bataan are among this year’s recipients of the third annual The Outstanding Filipino Americans in New York (TOFA-NY) Awards later this month.
The Filipino American Legal Defense and Education Fund, a national organization that primarily provides pro bono legal services and the Foundation for Filipino Artists Inc., which co-produced the New York stage debut of Felipe Padilla De Leon and Guillermo Tolentino’s opera “Noli Me Tangere” are the others winners of the TOFA-NY Awards, whose ceremonies are slated on October 26 during the Filipino-American History Month in October.
The awards, which are organized by founder and New York-based journalist Elton Lugay, “recognize and celebrate the achievements of individuals and organizations that have raised the profile of the emerging leaders in the Filipino-American community in the New York Tri-State area.”
Past winners include Broadway actress Lea Salonga; Philippine American Chamber of Commerce; The Filipino Reporter, one of the oldest newspapers serving the Filipino-American community; The Association of Fil-Am Teachers in America; and Ma-Yi Theatre Company, an advocate for new works by Asian-American playwrights.
Philippine Consul General to New York Mario L. De Leon, Jr., US District Judge for the Southern District of New York Lorna Schofield, and former chairman of the Hollywood Foreign Press Association Ruben Nepales will keynote the event at Weill Recital Hall in Carnegie Hall, the official venue of the TOFA-NY Awards ceremonies for the past three years.
Voted on Facebook as most outstanding in their respective fields, Sibyl Santiago (arts and culture), Jaena Valles (business and entrepreneurship), Maya Rowencak (community service and advocacy), Jen Furer (courage of conviction), Marietta Geraldino (education, research, and technology), Christine Sienicki (entertainment), Guenevere Rodriguez (fashion and style), Aris Tuazon (food and restaurants), Menchu Sanchez (health care), Irma Bajar (LGBT advocacy), Katherine Creag (media and publishing), Atty. Rio Guerrero (public service and politics) and Esperanza Garcia (youth and sports).
“For three years now, and using primarily social media, the organizers and the volunteers of TOFA-NY have been dedicated and tireless in their efforts to search and give recognition to our community’s achievers. I extend my appreciation to them,” De Leon said.
Besides Lugay, health care expert Sally Nunez, award-winning journalist Cristina DC Pastor, marketer Grace Labaguis, and public relations consultant and Broadway news editor Oliver Oliveros also make up this year’s TOFA-NY board of directors.
Bataan is also set to perform along with Jared Martin, Christine Joyce Lam, John Pio, Kirby Asunto, PCSNJ Youth Group and Lani Misalucha.