The maiden launch of the Alex Esclamado Memorial Award for Community Service in the Filipino-American community successfully culminated during the 11th NaFFAA National Empowerment Conference on August 9, 2014 at the Town & Country Resort and Convention Center in San Diego, California.
The award was presented by the National Federation of Filipino American Associations (NaFFAA) and GMA International, the global arm of Filipino broadcast giant GMA Network, and was borne out of their shared vision to honor the memory of Alex Esclamado, NaFFAA founding chairman and the moving spirit of the FilAm community in its struggle for unity and empowerment.
The award recipients in the open category were Council for Filipino American Organizations of Central Florida, West Bay Pilipino Multi-Service, Inc. and Philippine American Chamber of Commerce of Texas. Pilipino American Unity for Progress, Inc. won in the youth category. The four organizations emerged among a diverse roster of nominees for having rendered outstanding community service in their respective fields.
GMA International is proud to have partnered with NaFFAA and looks forward to continuing this tradition in the years to come. “We are grateful to NaFFAA for providing us with this golden opportunity to join them in honoring the contributions of Filipino-American organizations to the Filipino and mainstream American communities as well as to the Philippines,” said GMA Vice President and Head of International Operations, Joseph Francia. He stood as GMA International’s representative together with Josh Andowitt, GMA Marketing Consultant and Greg Macabenta, former NaFFAA national chairman and head of the Awards Committee.
Gloria Caoile, founding NaFFAA national vice-chair and board member, and Rodel Rodis, NaFFAA co-founder, legal counsel and board member, acted as emcees of the awards ceremony. Loida Nicolas-Lewis, chair of the Panel of Jurors and NaFFAA national chair emeritus; Lourdes Esclamado, widow of Alex Esclamado; and Joseph Francia presented the loving cups which were especially designed by GMA.
NaFFAA members and awardees only have positive words for GMA International for sponsoring the awards and honoring Alex Esclamado and the FilAm community organizations. “Thanks to GMA International for their support of the Fil-Am community in the US. [They] are making a huge difference and we look forward to our partnership with them,” shared Brendan Flores, NaFFAA national treasurer. Likewise, Loida Nicolas-Lewis expressed her gratitude to GMA International particularly Joseph Francia and Greg Macabenta “for the brilliant execution of the GMA-sponsored Alex Esclamado Community Awards.”
The program was highlighted by a short message by Francia as well as special video greeting by GMA News Pillar and multi-awarded broadcast journalist Jessica Soho.
Specials features on the features will also air on GMA Pinoy TV, the flagship international channel of GMA Network, this September. For more details and program information, visit the GMA International websitewww.gmanetwork.com/international, Facebook pages www.facebook.com/GMAPinoyTV,www.facebook.com/gmalifetv, and, www.facebook.com/gmanewsinternational, and Twitter pages @GMAPinoyTV and @GMA_LifeTV.