Nov. 19. 2010



New York tri-state recipient Kinding Sindaw.

 Two organizations and three individuals from the New York tri-state area are among the 24 recipients of this year’s Presidential Awards for Filipino Individuals and Organizations Overseas to be honored by President Benigno Aquino III in a special reception at Malacanan Palace in Manila on Dec. 14.

Seven Filipino organizations, one foreign group, three foreigners and 13 Filipinos from the United States, Hong Kong, South Korea, Israel, Jordan, Lebanon, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, Australia, Germany and Canada comprise the 2010 honorees.

Among the winners from New York are Kinding Sindaw, Bernard Randy Gener and Rafe Totengco.

Angelito David of New Jersey and the Philippine American Association of Connecticut (PAAC) complete the New York tri-state winners.

The biennial awards system was institutionalized through Executive Order 498 signed by former President Corazon C. Aquino in 1991.

It recognizes the achievements and significant contributions of Filipino individuals and organizations overseas to communities here and abroad.

It is also a part of the activities in celebration of the Month of Overseas Filipinos and International Migrants Day this December.

From 2003 to 2008, there were 314 individuals and organizations from 42 countries and territories who were conferred the award.




This year, the Commission on Filipinos Overseas, being the Awards Secretariat, has received 110 nominations from 23 countries.

The nominees underwent screening of three different committees with representatives from government agencies, media, academe, religious and business sectors.

The awardees will be honored by President Benigno S. Aquino III at the Malacañang Palace tentatively on Dec. 14, 2010.



Philippine American Association of Connecticut in action.

The following are the New York tri-state recipients:

• Rafe Totengco has achieved distinction in the United States and across the globe for his unique bags, shoes and accessories, many of them Philippine-made, that are in high demand at upscale stores and specialty boutiques worldwide. He also has select online shopping lines. His Rafe-brand has become one of New York’s well-loved accessories brands. He gave Pinoy design international spotlight using Pinoy labor and this gave him the 2002 Ten Outstanding Young Men (TOYM) Award and made him one of 50 Outstanding Asian Americans in Business by the New York-based Asian American Business Development Center.

• Randy Gener excelled in the field of American theater as award-winning cultural critic, writer, editor and reporter, even playwright and director. A distinguished drama critic of Asian-American theater in New York, he is presently the senior editor of the U.S. magazine American Theatre. He also writes for several online magazines on Broadway. In 2009, he won the prestigious George Jean Nathan Award for Dramatic Criticism for the 2007-08 theatrical year. He is a sought-after speaker on Philippine history and Fil-Am arts and culture in U.S. colleges and even abroad.

• Kinding Sindaw (Dance of Light) showcases the heritage and culture of Muslim Mindanao with performances all over the U.S. featuring stories through dance, music, storytelling and other  forms, using authentic Philippine tribal costumes, crafts and musical instruments. Its artistic stature and educational value have been recognized that it is now a resident repertory company at La Mama Theater. Founded in 1992 by Potri Ranka Manis, it has performed at the Lincoln Center, Kennedy Center, the United Nations, the American Museum of the Natural History, the Smithsonian Institute and other prestigious venues.

• Angelito David, a water-colorist, a musician, an art professor, art conservator and authenticator, has had a much-acclaimed career both in the Philippines and abroad. He has won many international awards and has had exhibits worldwide. A pioneer art conservator in the Philippines, he did crucial restoration jobs for the National Historical Commission and other institutions in the 1970s until he moved to the U.S. in the 90s and continued doing restoration jobs. He was a co-founder of the Society of Philippine American Artists and the Watercolor Society of the Philippines.

• Philippine American Association of Connecticut is one of the most recognized and visible Filipino-American associations in the region since 1945, promoting Filipino culture and heritage while continously contributing to development projects in the Philippines. Its long-running programs include Paaralang Pilipino, a summer workshop on Filipino language, culture and the arts; the Youth Dance Troupe, the PAAC Rondalla, the PAAC Chorale Ensemble, and Camp Mabuhay (a summer camp for Filipino kids adopted by American families). It has conducted medical missions in the Philippines, granted scholarships and contributed to the government’s Classroom Galing Sa Mamamayang Pilipino Abroad (CGMA), the Pediatric Pavilion of the Quezon Institute, the Teresita Jalandoni Hospital in Silay City, the Rizal Memorial Hospital, and calamity funds.