The Filipino Reporter, the oldest and one of the most popular and most trusted Filipino publications in the Tri-State area, celebrated its 40th anniversary via a grand gala last November 10 at the Astoria World Manor in Queens.
During the celebration, the publication awarded community leaders with the Ruby Prize in honor of their contributions in shaping the Filipino-American community.
Among the awardees this year is GMA International East Coast representative Grace Hufano-Labaguis, who helps oversee the operations of GMA Network’s international unit in the area. Labaguis has been a consultant for GMA International since 2009 and has been playing a key role in bringing GMA International closer to the Filipino community through trade shows, fiestas, and expos nationwide.
She has been instrumental in the unprecedented success of various Filipino-American community events for GMA Pinoy TV which included the Phil-American Friendship Committee (PAFCOM) Parade in NJ, Philippine Independence Day Committee, Inc. (PIDCI) Parade in NY, Philippine American Friendship Day Parade in VA Beach, Asian Festival in Reston, VA., PhilFest in Tampa, Florida, Skokie Festival of Cultures in Chicago, IL, and several GMA International celebrity presscons and road shows. Grace has also line-produced GMA Pinoy TV Dance Show Down, a hip-hop dance competition held at Marist High School in Bayonne, NJ in 2009.
Meanwhile, Filipino Reporter publisher Bert Pelayo brought inspiration to the audience as he walked them through the important milestones of his publication over the last 40 years. “The Reporter is an enduring proof of the critical role played by the print media in the evolution of the Filipino American community,” he said in his speech.
Community champion Ms. Loida Nicolas-Lewis was also the Guest Speaker at the occasion.
Broadway stars Adam Jacobs and Eli Ewoldt entertained everyone present with their well-applauded numbers from “Phantom of the Opera” and “King and I.” The program was hosted by ABC 7 news anchor Nina Pineda, Lito Pernia of Friends Indeed with Jocelyn Bernal Ochoa.