WASHINGTON, D.C. – Filipino-American armless pilot Jessica Cox and international entertainer Apl.de.Ap were recognized by the Philippine Embassy for donating their time and resources in helping in the recovery efforts in areas devastated by typhoon Yolanda.
Cox received a plaque of achievement for her excellence in motivational speaking and her advocacy for the disabled.
She has partnered with Handicap International to help those who were disabled during Typhoon Yolanda’s devastation.
"They (Handicap International) are really the ones who should be honored and all that they have gone through and the fact that they are resilient and they inspire me,” Cox said.
Allan Pineda Lindo, more popularly known as Apl.de.Ap of the group Black Eyed Peas, was presented with a plaque of achievement for his contributions in raising the profile of Filipinos and the Philippines in the US.
His philanthropic work in the Eastern Visayas in the aftermath of Typhoon Yolanda was also recognized.
Apl is scheduled to conduct music and arts camp for children in the affected areas.
"It gives me a great deal of motivation to keep doing what I’m doing--to give the youth of the Philippines a chance to compete against the world through education, music and technology. So very honored to be here and for the recognition," he said
The event took place as the embassy also marked the Philippines' 116th Anniversary of the Declaration of Philippine Independence.
Philippine Ambassador to the US Jose Cuisia Jr. proposed a toast during Philippine Independence Day reception at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts.
"To the happiness and prosperity of the people of the Philippines and the people of the United States and enduring alliance and friendship between our two countries. The spirit of peace, independence, freedom and democracy. Mabuhay. Cheers,” he said.
Cuisia said President Obama’s recent visit and show of support for the Philippines is a manifestation of this long standing friendship.
"We will always remember President Obama’s reiterations of the US’ iron clad commitment in a statement that — and I quote — ‘Allies never stand alone,’" Cuisia told a crowd at the reception.
US Assistant Secretary of State for East Asian and Pacific Affairs Daniel Russel said that the oldest security alliance in Asia is now even stronger with the recently signed Defense Cooperation Agreement.
“The bottom line is, as President Obama said: Friends are there for each other and the Philippines has many friends,” Russel said.