19 Fil-Cans receive Balangay awards

Community News & Features Sep 28, 2018 at 3:55 pm
From left: Ronnie dela Gana (GBA founder), Mike Cruz (Excellence Award in Sports & Fitness), Mel Galeon for FV Foods (PCCT Business Excellence), Paulina Corpuz (Pinoy of the Year), Jane Manalang Paguio (Entrepreneur of the Year), Ma. Eleanor Mescallado-Kalash (Excellence Award in Arts & Culture), Rosemer Albovias Enverga for the late Senator Tobias Enverga Jr. (Posthumous Lifetime Achievement Award), Ethel Tungohan (Educator of the Year), Ruth Dunn for the late Pet Cleto (Posthumous Lifetime Achievement Award), Loizza Adriene Aquino (Young Leader of the Year), Alberto Rodil (Gluckstein Community Service), and brother and mother of Joshua Diamante (WFG Young Entrepreneur of the Year) and Jovito Favila (GBA founder).

From left: Ronnie dela Gana (GBA founder), Mike Cruz (Excellence Award in Sports & Fitness), Mel Galeon for FV Foods (PCCT Business Excellence), Paulina Corpuz (Pinoy of the Year), Jane Manalang Paguio (Entrepreneur of the Year), Ma. Eleanor Mescallado-Kalash (Excellence Award in Arts & Culture), Rosemer Albovias Enverga for the late Senator Tobias Enverga Jr. (Posthumous Lifetime Achievement Award), Ethel Tungohan (Educator of the Year), Ruth Dunn for the late Pet Cleto (Posthumous Lifetime Achievement Award), Loizza Adriene Aquino (Young Leader of the Year), Alberto Rodil (Gluckstein Community Service), and brother and mother of Joshua Diamante (WFG Young Entrepreneur of the Year) and Jovito Favila (GBA founder).

By Ysh Cabana
The Philippine Reporter

The winners for the nationwide search to honor outstanding Filipino Canadians were presented Saturday September 8, 2018 at the BMO Institute for Learning, Toronto.

Loizza Aquino, 18, received the Young Leader of the Year award for her advocacy on mental health. Philippines-native Aquino, 18, is a University of Toronto Scarborough student who started Peace of Mind to end the stigma of mental health issues for teens and advocate for more resources.

“This is a tribute to young women, to youth, the people of colour, and to immigrants, especially Filipinos to show and inspire the different minorities that make up who I am. That it should not hinder success, but instigate and inspire,” writes Aquino in her social media post.

The annual Golden Balangay Awards (GBA) was created four years ago and began the first awards-giving ceremonies in 2017. Recipients hail from different Canadian cities and were recognized under 19 categories that include education, arts, music, business, career and community service among others.

The Award takes it name from the “balangay” or wooden watercraft excavated in Southeast Asia and believed to be used by early migrants who reached the modern-day Philippines. GBA aims to celebrate and recognize the achievements and significant contributions of Filipinos across Canada.

Here is the full list of winners:

• Educational Excellence (Post Secondary Education): Marissa Bumanlag, University of Windsor

• Educator of the Year: Ethel Tungohan, York University

• Entrepreneur of the Year: Jane Manalang Paguiao, Estacio Filipino Food, Ajax ON

• Young Entrepreneur of the Year: Josh Diamante, Throne Barbershop, Toronto, ON

• Business Excellence Award: Mel Galeon, FV Foods

• Excellence in Sports and Fitness: Michael Roland Cruz, Crossover Sports Canada

• Excellence in Music and Entertainment: Thea Cruz, Pop/R&B singer from Montreal

• Excellence in Media: Judianne Jayme of Mabuhay TV and Culture Card, Winnipeg

• Excellence in Arts and Culture: Ma. Eleanor Mescallado-Kalash, artistic director and choreographer

• Most Influential Community Organization: Philippine Independence Day Council (PIDC) Toronto

• Young Leader of the Year: Loizza Aquino, mental health advocate

• Manggagawang Pilipino of the Year: Janeth Valenciano, registered nurse

• Community Service Award: Alberto Rodil, immigrant seniors settlement worker

• Pinoy of the Year: Paulina Corpuz

Former Senator Tobias Enverga Jr., who died at age 61 on November 16 last year while on a parliamentary trip to Colombia, was posthumously awarded the GBA Lifetime Achievement Award for his work in the Canadian Senate. He was the first Senator of Filipino descent to be appointed to the position as representative of the province of Ontario.

Ruth Dunn also received the GBA Lifetime Achievement Award on behalf of her sister Pet Cleto, 72, who was a human rights activist, woman rights advocate, journalist, editor, writer, organizer and long-time community broadcaster. Cleto passed away on January 11 due to complications related to multiple organ failure.

A highlight of the event was the symbolic turnover of “sagwan” by founders Ronnie Dela Gana and Jovito Favila to delegates from Winnipeg where the gala will be held next year.
Filipino TV held broadcasted the awards night ceremonies on Friday, September 14.