Twenty-seven individuals and organizations are going to be recognized on January 31, 2015 for their outstanding achievements and contributions to the Filipino community. They will receive the prestigious Maharlika Awards in a dinner gala to be held at the Hilton Metrotown Vancouver. The Maharlika Awards is given out by the Filipino Canadian Cultural Heritage Society, a non-profit dedicated to celebrating Filipino culture, heritage, values and traditions.
The January 31 event marks the fifth year of the Maharlika Awards.
The Leadership award will be given to Lorie Corcuera, Celyna Sia Sherts, Dominga Passmore, Irma Rodriguez, Eric Inigo, Francisco “jojo” Quimpo, Maria Lee Jetko, and Angela Berto.
Awards for Community Service will be received by Cosme Malapitan, Richard Magtibay Abarquez, Anita Aytona, Dominica Bagunu, Rufino Olivar, Amado Mercado, Gloria Samosa, Megin Alavarez, Maria Nieves Greaves, and Aurelio Borge.
The Arts and Culture award will be handed to Ed Araquel, Eufrosina “Seny” Narciso, Kathara Pilipino Indigenous Arts Collective Society, and the Zambales Dance Group composed of Merlina Fayusal, Rebecca delos Reyes, Clorenda Herdman, Angelina Balaong, and Carmelita Claudio.
To be awarded for Business Excellence are Beatriz Cabilin, Mike Gonzalez, and Bienvenido Cruz.
To be received the Outstanding Filipino Association award is the Bayanihan Cultural and Housing Society. Brigida Revilla Natavio will receive a Lifetime Achievement award.
The awardees were chosen after thorough deliberations of nominations received from the community. The selection was made through an independent panel chaired by Romeo Mercado, with members Laila Pires, Perla de Peralta, Salvacion Dayao, and Mike Calingo.
The nominations and selections committee is separate from the award-giving body, the Filipino Canadian Cultural Heritage Society. The Filipino Canadian Cultural Heritage Society is led by ReyFort Media Group chair Rey Fortaleza. The FCCHS board includes Socorro Laurel, who is the board secretary.
Referring to the Filipino Canadian Cultural Heritage Society, Mercado said: ̏Its mandate is to recognize Filipino Canadians in their field of achievements and excellence through the Maharlika Award. Its aspiration has been acknowledged by various levels of government as well as its goal of uplifting the visibility of the Filipino community.̏