Jul 052016
National Federation of Filipino American Associations (Photo courtesy of NaFFAA Facebook page)

National Federation of Filipino American Associations (Photo courtesy of NaFFAA Facebook page)

Washington, D.C. Now in its second year, the Alex Esclamado Memorial Award for Community Service will be a main highlight at NaFFAA’s 2016 National Empowerment Conference in King of Prussia, Pennsylvania on August 4-6.

The awards are open to all Filipino and Filipino American organizations and associations in the United States, including those that are not members of NaFFAA. No entry fee is required of the nominee-organization. However, awardees are expected to be present to receive the Alex Esclamado Memorial Loving Cup at the awards ceremony.

Four awards will be given: One award for a Youth Organization (Youth Category) and Three awards for any organization engaged in the following areas: Youth Affairs, Education, Senior Citizens, Women, Health,  Immigration & Human Rights, Entrepreneurship, Arts & Culture, Aid to the Philippines, Civic Involvement.

Deadline for submission of nominations is July 20. More information is available at naffaa.org or NaFFAA Facebook.

“These awards are intended to encourage and inspire community workers, volunteers and leaders to continue their selfless endeavors in the service of their respective communities – whether  Filipino or mainstream American,” says NaFFAA National Chair JT Mallonga. “Most of all, they are meant to give proper honor and recognition to those who have demonstrated outstanding dedication and commitment and have provided significant and meaningful benefits to their intended recipients.”

2014 Awardees

The Council for Filipino American Organizations of Central Florida, the West Bay Pilipino Multi-Service, Inc., Philippine American Chamber of Commerce of Texas, and the Pilipino American Unity for Progress, Inc. were named winners of the award in 2014.

The Council for Filipino American Organizations of Central Florida was recognized for its outstanding community service in state socio-civic affairs and aid to the Philippines. Its mission includes providing relief aid to calamity victims, awarding scholarships to deserving students, and fostering trade and commerce between the Philippines and the State of Florida, to name a few. The group has also advanced FilAm visibility in the community, as well as helped build the Bataan-Corregidor Monument in Kissimmee to honor Filipino WW II veterans and the Jose Rizal bust at the International plaza at Lake Eola in downtown Orlando together with the former mayor of Orlando, Glenda Hood.

The West Bay Pilipino Multi-Service, Inc. was, meanwhile, recognized for exhibiting outstanding community service in health, education and youth development. Founded in 1968 by local hero Ed dela Cruz and other social activists, West Bay has helped thousands of individuals through employment placement assistance, food distribution to the elderly, youth programs, community health projects, advocacy initiatives, and case management. It has particularly excelled in aiding SOMA youth through its After-School Program using a holistic approach to ensure the social, emotional, academic, and physical wellness of our youth participants.

Another recipient is the Philippine American Chamber of Commerce of Texas owing to its outstanding community service in trade development and aid to the Philippines. Voted as the most outstanding FilAm Chamber of Commerce for three years in a row, some its most significant achievements include raising close to $1 million in donations for calamity victims in the Philippines and adopting an island in Northern Cebu for reconstruction and rehabilitation as well as NGOs in the Philippines. Among them are the Tahanang Walang Hagdan, Boys Reformatory School, and the Golden Acres Sanctuary for Abandoned Seniors.

Rounding out the list of awardees is the Pilipino American Unity for Progress, Inc. (UNIPRO), which won for its outstanding community service in youth leadership and development. UNIPRO’s projects involve internship fairs, workshops and forums on various topics such as community engagement, reconnecting with one’s Filipino roots and education.

Greg Macabenta, chairman of the selection committee, relates that the winners were chosen based on their “commitment to the Filipino people both in the United States and in the Philippines, a desire to empower our people and to claim our rightful place not only in the United States but all over the world, and lastly, integrity” which are all truly apparent in the man who inspired this award.

GMA International Sponsorship

Conceived by NaFFAA and GMA International to honor the memory of the late Alex Esclamado, NaFFAA Founding Chairman and lifelong advocate of Filipino American unity and empowerment, the awards were first conferred in August 2014 at the 11th National Empowerment Conference in San Diego, CA.

GMA International is the international arm of GMA Network, the leading television network in the Philippines, which has been telecasting in the US and worldwide through GMA Pinoy TV, GMA Life TV and GMA News International. GMA has been a consistent supporter and partner of NaFFAA in many public service and FilAm community undertakings.

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