Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
The Filipino community in Riyadh received from the Philippine Embassy its Press Release No. APV 82-2008 dated 09 November 2008. The press release announces the 2008 Presidential Awards for Filipino Individuals and Organization Overseas.
We are printing below the full text of the press release.
TWO RIYADH EXPATS BAG THE 2008 PRESIDENTIAL AWARDS FOR FILIPINO INDIVIDUALS AND ORGANIZATIONS OVERSEAS
The Embassy of the Philippines in Riyadh is proud to announce that two (2) Filipino expatriates in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, whom it nominated for the Commission on Filipinos Overseas (CFO) biennial search for the Year 2008 Presidential Awards for Filipino individuals and Organizations Overseas, have been chosen to be among the awardees.
In a facsimile message dated 05 November 2008, the CFO informed the Embassy that Messrs, Alexander Edades Asuncion and Joseph Ilag Magdalena were among the 31 successful awardees from a total of 122 nominations received by the CFO from 29 countries. They won the Banaag Award, an honor conferred on Filipino individuals or associations for their contributions which have significantly benefited a sector or community in the Philippines, or advanced the cause of overseas Filipino communities.
Mr. Asuncion has 30 years of overseas experience. He was conferred with numerous awards for his outstanding service to the Filipino expatriates in the Kingdom, notable of which were the Bagong Bayani Award, Filipino Hero of the New Millenium and the Hall of Fame of OFW Achievers. He is not a lawyer nor has legal background but he has comprehensive knowledge of Saudi Labor and Workmen Law, which he used to give valuable advice and support to compatriots who are engaged in labor disputes at no cost. He used to be a correspondent of Arab News, one of the leading daily newspapers in the Kingdom, wherein he imparted legal counseling and labor assistance and reached out to all OFWs in the Kingdom.
On the other hand, Mr. Magdalena's status and achievement as one of the successful entrepreneurs in the Kingdom is a kind of Cinderella story. He rose from the ranks of ordinary OFWs using his creativity, innate talent, perseverance and patience to reach higher echelon where he now belongs. He is the General Manager and investor of one of the biggest groceries called "Pinoy Supermarket", which is gradually building up branches in the Kingdom. With his position, he helped the government promote all kinds of Philippine products and has been a consistent supporter and benefactor of the programs and projects of Filipino community organizations, individuals and the Embassy. His generous financial contributions to the Filipino community through the years without asking for anything in return, earned him the respect and admiration of the Filipino expatriates as well as the Saudi nationals. Despite his accomplishments though, he remains simple, humble and within reach to people of all walks of life.
Messrs Asuncion and Magdalena will both be recognized during the awarding ceremonies tentatively scheduled on 09 December 2008 at the Malacanan Palace in Manila, Philippines.
The complete list of awardees is as follows:
1. Association of Philippine Physicians of America - New York
2. Enverga, Tobias Jr. - Toronto
3. Filipino Women's Association United Kingdom - London
4. Stichting Kapatiran - The Hague
KAANIB BAYAN AWARDEES
Catholic Medical Mission Board - New York
Children"s Chance CT - New York
Heetens Helpgood Center Philippines - The Hague
Ligier, Lauraence - Paris
Asuncion, Alexander - Riyadh
Berberabe, Patricia - New York
Carandang, Angeles - Chicago
Casambre, Sr. Mary Aida - Hongkong
Derpo, Esperanza - Abuja
Filipino Korean Spouses Association - Seoul
Garcia, Lamberto - New York
Ho, Eleanor - Taiwan
Magdalena, Joseph - Riyadh
Muzones, Santiago, Jr. - New York
Noblejas, Dr. Antonio - Wellington
Overs, Lilian - Toronto
Philippine Community of New South Wales - Sydney
Philippine Nurses Association of America - New York
United Filipino Council of Hawaii - Honolulu
PAMANA NG PILIPINO
Besa, Amelita & Dorotan, Romeo - New York
De Leon, Bayani - New York
Esguerra, Carlos - New York
Hizon, Federico - Singapore
Pelayo, Libertito - New York
Ramos, Dr. Teresita - Honolulu
Villarin, Engr. Nilo - Washington
We extend our heartfelt congratulations to the winners and non-winners as well. Please continue your noble endeavor. This list once again proves Ninoy Aquino when he said: "The Filipino is worth dying for".