ABS-CBN, in collaboration with UGAT Foundation based in Manila , through its worldwideat its studios in Redwood City , California , announced on primetime Sunday, April 26, the winners of the nationwide search for the Geny Lopez Bayaning Pilipino awards. The program was replete with songs and dances from invited artists and celebrities.
ABS CBN President Charo Santos flew from Manila to attend the festivities. Chief Operating Officer of ABS CBN Global Raffy Lopez was there too and related the history of the Award named after his father. The awards program was also in consonance with the 15th year anniversary of TFC.
Ms. Charo Santos commended the winners for the special place in their heart for the downtrodden in the Philippines . She likewise emphasized the role of the TFC in the providing entertainment and timely information to Filipinos all over the globe. Ms. Charo said she has been receiving countless letters of thanks from TFC users regarding its role to alleviate loneliness for the home country.
Raffy Lopez spoke about his father’s devotion to service to humanity, and the inculcation of the bayanihan spirit among Filipinos wherever they are. It is in such spirit that the Bayaning Pilipino concept was formulated by his father in 1995, in collaboration with the UGAT Foundation headed by Father Tanalega of the Ateneo de Manila University.
The Bayaning Pilipino Award was organized to give patriotism – and the spirit of bayanihan – a face, and to honor Filipinos residing in the United States who continue to remember their roots through selfless public service for their less-fortunate Filipino brothers and sisters.
From hundreds of organizations considered for the award, the sponsors selected five and declared them co-equal winners. The Geny Lopez Bayaning Pilipino Awardees for 2009 are:
- PBA Legends USA Foundation ( Washington State and throughout USA )
- Council of United Filipino Organizations of Tidewater ( Virginia Beach , VA )
- National Alliance to Nurture the Aged and the Youth – NANAY ( Florida )
- Philippine Nurses Association of Metropolitan DC, Inc ( Washington DC )
- Filipino Basketball Associaton of Metropolitan DC ( Oakton , VA )
The leaders of the winning organizations spoke and thanked the sponsors and their constituents. Everyone spoke in English except PBA Legends President Abe King, Jr. who chose to speak in the vernacular. His speech was poignant and sincere about service to the less-endowed among us, and the need to educate the talented but poor youth, and the imperative to be healthy through sports.
Abe emotionally delivered his piece, as follows:
Sa ngalan ng mga miyembro at supporters ng PBA Legends USA Foundation, taos puso po naming pinasasalamatan ang ABS CBN International at Ugat Foundation sa award na ito.
Ang GAWAD GENY LOPEZ JR BAYANING PILIPINO AWARD ay habang buhay naming pag papahalagahan at ipagmamalaki dahil sa di lamang ito simbolo ng pagkakaisa at pagtutulungan ng mga Pilipino, mandi’y ito rin ang tunay na larawan ng mga Pilipinong Makabayan, Makatao at Makadiyos.
Maraming salamat po sa mga sponsors ng PBA Legends USA Foundation, na naging inspirasyon at gabay ng aming paglago—ang Philippine Basketball Association, San Miguel Corporation, Ronna and Steve Schreiner, Rick Martin of Martin’s Purefoods, Dr. Rex de Asis at marami pang iba.
Umasa po kayong pag-iibayuhin namin ang paglulunsad ng mga proyektong kawanggawa, edukasyon, atletika at kalusugan, alang- alang sa ikadadakila at pag-usog ng Pilipino at sankatauhan.
Sa lahat ng aming kapamilya at kabalikat
marami pong salamat, mabuhay tayong lahat.
The Bayaning Pilipino Awards 2009 was conferred on the PBA Legends USA Foundation for its mission and programs sustained through peer effort in the bayanihan spirit — generally for the creative establishment of the Foundation itself, and specifically for the medical-dental-optometry mission conducted in Antipolo and Cuyapo, Nueva Ecija in October 2008. The sponsors considered the critical measurable impact of the medical missions to the poor citizens of the Philippines , and particularly noted the heartfelt concern demonstrated by former PBA basketball players.
The honorees in the USA will send representatives to the international Geny Lopez Bayaning Pilipino Awards Program to be held in Manila on June 5, 2009 to exalt the winners from other geographical regions of the world. The program is destined to be fabulous with the participation of top artists and entertainers.
The PBA Legends USA Foundation will be represented by Abe King, Jr., former Senator Sonny Jaworski, former Councilor Fortunato “Atoy” Co and other athletes on the June 5th awards program.