DECEMBER 6, 2006 (STAR) By Aurea Calica - President Arroyo will honor tomorrow 48 outstanding Filipino and foreign individuals and organizations all over the world for their exceptional achievements or humanitarian efforts that give form and substance to Filipino excellence and the time-honored values of humanity, cooperation and unity.

Blind Filipino-American lawyer Olegario Cantos VII, who managed to become a top official in the White House despite his disability, is among the awardees, as earlier reported by The STAR.

Like Cantos, Filipino-Canadian Jeff Rustia will receive the Pamana ng Pilipino Award for being the first Filipino-Canadian to own and lead a successful and award-winning international television branding and design agency based in Toronto, Canada. Among his agency’s clients are Nickelodeon Global Networks and HBO.

Commission on Filipino Overseas chairman Dante Ang said a technical committee from academe, business and civic groups chose from a list of recommended awardees.

Ang said the Philippine consulates and embassies evaluated the nominees prior to the final selection of the technical committee.

The Presidential Awards for Filipino Individuals and Organizations Overseas is a biennial event that was institutionalized in December 1991 by virtue of Executive Order 498.

There are four categories of awards to be conferred on Filipinos and private organizations overseas.

The Lingkod sa Kapwa Pilipino (LINKAPIL) Award is conferred on Filipino associations or individuals for their exceptional or significant contribution to reconstruction, progress and development in the Philippines.

The Banaag Award is given to those whose contributions have significantly benefited a sector or community in the Philippines, or advanced the cause of overseas Filipino communities.

The Kaanib ng Bayan Award is accorded foreign individuals or organizations for their exceptional or significant contributions to Philippine reconstruction, progress and development, or have significantly benefited a sector or community in the Philippines, or advanced the cause of overseas Filipino communities.

The Pamana ng Pilipino Award is conferred on Filipinos overseas, who, in exemplifying the talent and industry of the Filipino, have brought the country honor and recognition through excellence and distinction in the pursuit of their work or profession.

For Lingkod sa Kapwa Pilipino Award, this year’s awardees include: Gloria Ysmael Adams (United States), Association Lending Assistance in Exigencies at Home (Germany), Dr. Stella Evangelista (US), Dr. Nicanor Reyes School of Medicine Alumni Foundation of the Far Eastern University (US), Society of Philippine Surgeons in America (US) and Honesto Tria (US).

Those who will receive the Kaanib ng Bayan Award are California Technological Care, Inc. (US), CORA - Filipino American Task Force/Advisory Board (US), Misao Hanazaki (Japan), Ma’Ma Children’s Center of Norway (Norway), Robert Sommer Martens (Germany), Operation Rainbow Australia Limited (Australia) and Social Welfare Corporation Raphael Clinic (South Korea).

The Banaag Award’s recipients are Bagong Kulturang Pinoy Inc. (US), Thelma Garcia Buchholdt (US), Lolita Farmer (Australia), Filipino American Medical Inc. (US), Filipino Association of Singapore (Singapore), Roman Ting Go (China), Iskwelahang Pilipino Inc. (US), Lahing Kayumanggi (United Kingdom), Vladimir James Manuel (US), Markham Federation of Filipino Canadians (Canada), Eduardo Navarra (US), Philippine American Group of Educators and Surgeons (US), Philippine Cultural Foundation Inc. (US), Edgardo Quinto (Switzerland), Loline Lualhati-Reed (UK), Justina Sales (Israel), Rosario Tigno (United Arab Emirates), Tuluyang Pinoy (Philippine Centre Zurich, Switzerland) and Veterans Equity Center (US).

The Pamana ng Pilipino Award will be conferred on Cantos, Adolovni Acosta, Editha Ardiente, Larry Asera, Mayor Ruth Asmundson, Zenaida Cunanan, Michael Dadap, Vellie Dietrich-Hall, Gregorio Macabenta, Consorcio Don Manuel, Enrique Ostrea Jr. and Emme Tomimbang-Burns (all from the US); Carmen Lamagna (Bangladesh); Rustia, Armando Baisas and Romulo Magsino (all from Canada).

Chief News Editor: Sol Jose Vanzi

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