Gawad Geny Lopez Jr., Bayaning Pilipino Awards, the search for modern day heroes, makes a final call for nominations after its launch in South Korea and Qatar in the last quarter of 2016. Deadline for nominations is set on February 15, 2017.
Inspired by a story of an overseas Filipino (OF) who died saving her ward in Hong Kong, the search for unsung heroes was launched by ABS-CBN Chairman Emeritus Eugenio “Geny” Lopez Jr. or Kapitan as he is widely known, in 1995. It has since then been brought to other parts of the world to honor Filipinos who make a difference in their communities.
Bayaning Pilipino, in the words of Fr. Nilo Tanalega, SJ, UGAT Foundation executive director, was launched to give recognition to people behind heroic acts often unheard of. “Bayaning Pilipino is our own way of recognizing ordinary people whose body of work usually remain unpublicized but should definitely be made known,” Fr. Tanalega emphasizes.
Bayaning Pilipino Awards now embodies Kapitan’s vision and hopes to foster Filipino values amidst changing and challenging times.
Recognizing the growing number of Filipinos in East Asia and the Middle East, ABS-CBN and TFC together with Ugat Foundation took the search to South Korea and Qatar in November of last year. This is to pay tribute to Filipinos who help their fellowmen in hard times even when faced with adversity themselves.
Qatar is home to over 200,000 Filipinos (204,550 based on the latest Philippine Overseas Employment Administration and Commission on Filipinos Overseas Latest Stock Estimates of Filipinos Overseas and 379,432 according to the Department of Foreign Affairs Overseas Voting Secretariat [DFA OVS]) where some of our kababayans are faced with issues such as contract violations according to the Overseas Workers’ Welfare and Administration (OWWA). Despite these challenges, the Filipinos in the region continue to inspire their kababayans.
According to ABS-CBN Special Projects Consultant and Project Head for Bayaning Pilipino Chit Guerrero: “Because of the growing population of Filipinos in Middle East and East Asia and the richness of the stories we heard from Filipino communities, we have extended the search to these parts of the world. What is impressive is how they are able to help others, even if they have their own matters to attend to.”
The mounting of Bayaning Pilipino Awards in Qatar is also a milestone for TFC because it coincides with the network’s celebration of two decades in the region and this award validates the team’s continued mission of service.
In South Korea, as the population of Filipinos in continues to grow with over 50,000 Pinoys in the country, (59,839 according the latest Stock Estimate of Filipinos Overseas and 54,977 in 2015 according to DFA OVS), they are confronted with more pressing issues, such as discrimination and other concerns. However, our kababayans remain unfazed as their passion to help triumphs over these challenges. This is what Bayaning Pilipino wishes to honor.
Gawad Geny Lopez Jr. Bayaning Pilipino Awards aims to recognize these individuals who in their simple ways exemplify Filipino values:
· promote Filipino culture and heritage through a showcase of the Philippines’ best and a moving forward through education;
· encourage positivism and participation in the community
· focus their efforts to serve others, at times breaking norms or innovating; and
· transcend social barriers
Nominees should be 1. in active community service; 2. have successfully mounted and fulfilled a project; and 3. have made an impact in a community may it be in the Philippines or in the country they are currently in.
Regional winners will be awarded in their respective areas, while country winners will be flown to the Philippines to attend the awarding ceremony on June 12, 2017, Independence Day.
Aside from the honor bestowed through the Bayaning Pilipino medallion, winners will also receive the honor of being in the company of fellow heroes in their homeland.
As the 2014 Regional Winner Aksyon ng Ating Kabataan Inc. Director Daisydee Bautista aptly expressed at the time of her organization’s win: “It’s not about being different or standing out to separate yourselves from the others, but it’s a way to relate and to involve yourself with everyone so that you can have the opportunities to share these and your learnings.”
The search will culminate on February 15, 2017. If you know of any individual who has touched lives in the communities of Qatar and South Korea, let their story inspire others to do the same by nominating them in Gawad Geny Lopez Jr. Global Bayaning Pilipino awards.
Inspire the world with news about the good works of a youth or organization in your community by emailing ([email protected]), sending a private message/entry to Facebook page GAWAD GENY LOPEZ BAYANING PILIPINO AWARDS, or filling up the form at bayaningpilipinoawards.com