Recognising global success and world-class excellence, The Filipino Times Awards 2015 successfully gathered the who's who of UAE's Filipino community in a glitterati red-carpet event in honor of exemplary Filipinos and in recognition of top brands which Filipinos prefer.
More than 200 nominations had been submitted – 106 under the 16 brand categories and 97 under the 13 categories for the individual nominations. The winners of the 20 brand awards and 14 individual awards were facilitated at the glittering ceremony.
The role of Filipinos in nation-building across the globe has become more prominent over the years. More than 12 million Filipinos work and live across the world. Close to a million are based here in the UAE.
Last year, overseas Filipinos sent a record high Dh100 billion in remittances to the Philippines, accounting for about 8.5 per cent of the country’s GDP.
Among the recipients of the TFT awards was Ambassador Grace Relucio Princesa, who was bestowed the Lifetime Achievement Award. Her Excellency, a career diplomat of 36 years, is a staunch supporter of trade and industry based on the abaca fiber and an advocate of financial literacy through the Pinoy Wise (Worldwide Initiative for Savings Investment and Entrepreneurship) movement. Ambassador Princesa will be ending her six-year tour of duty on Oct. 24, 2015.
The much-coveted The Filipino Times' Rizal Award, which is named after the country’s national hero, was awarded to Dubai-based multi-awarded fashion designer Michael Cinco, the first Filipino designer to be featured on the Emmy-award winning reality show, America's Next Top Model. His creations have been worn by celebrities like Tyra Banks, Naomi Campbell, Sofia Vergara, Britney Spears, Lady Gaga, Chris Brown, Fergie, Paris Hilton, among others.
The awards was launched to likewise reward the excellence of the brands preferred by Filipinos. Winners for the brands category include Honda, Emirates NBD, Etisalat, Carrefour, Al Ansari Exchange, LBC, Cebu Pacific, Chowking, Fiesta Pinoy Restaurant, Boracay Night Club, Nike, Sun and Sand Sports, The Dubai Mall, Starbucks and Avon. TFT Company Awards were also awarded to Tapa King, Seafood in a Bucket, Wall Street and Jewel Corner.
Karen Remo, managing director of New Perspective Media and editor-in-chief of The Filipino Times, said: "Being the unifying voice of the Filipinos in the desert, The Filipino Times Awards aims to celebrate
Filipinos' ingenuity, global success and diversity. We also would like to recognize the excellence and performance of the brands preferred by the Filipinos."
"The purchasing power of the Filipino is stronger than it has ever been and the average income has significantly increased over the years. Coupled with the fact that the community represents the third largest in the UAE, there’s no wonder why it is a vital target market," Remo added.
Nominees in the individual category were deliberated by esteemed judges led by Consul General Paul Raymund Cortes; Mohammed Saleh Badri of Emirates Authority for Standardization & Metrology (ESMA); Eng. Mary Jane Alvero-Al Mahdi, CEO of Geoscience Testing Laboratory and Emirates Businesswoman Awardee; Ken Fortun, project consultant at MyGMA Pay TV Service; Juliet Solas, shift supervisor at Latifa Hospital and Dubai Government Excellence Programme awardee; Lou Parroco, HR director at Canadian Energy Equipment Manufacturing; and Karen Remo, The Filipino Times editor-in-chief.
The winners for the preferred brands, conducted via a public poll, were also announced. Public voting was conducted via filipinotimes.ae/tftawards between Aug 3 to 26, 2015.
#Preferred Car Brand: Honda
#Preferred Bank: Emirates NBD
#Preferred Telecom: Etisalat
#Preferred Electronic Retail Outlet: Carrefour
#Preferred Remittance Centre: Al Ansari Exchange
#Preferred Freight Forwarding Company: LBC
#Preferred Airline: Cebu Pacific
#Preferred Fast Food Restaurant: Chowking
#Preferred Casual Dining Restaurant: Fiesta Pinoy Restaurant
#Preferred Nightclub: Boracay Night Club
#Preferred Remittance Service Provider: LBC
#Preferred Sports Brand: Nike
#Preferred Sports Retail Brand: Sun and Sand Sports
#Preferred Shopping Mall: The Dubai Mall
#Preferred Coffee Shop: Starbucks
#Preferred Make-up Brand: Avon
TFT Company Awards
#Filipino Fast Food Restaurant of the Year: Tapa King
#Restaurant of the Year: Seafood in a Bucket
#Remittance Centre of the Year: Wall Street
#Jewellery Shop of the Year: Jewel Corner
#Educator of the Year: Hamilton Villapando
#Engineer of the Year: Victorino Abejero
#Entertainer of the Year: Tom Alvarado
#Entrepreneur of the Year: Jennette Maderazo Al Alami
#Fashion Designer of the Year: Michael Cinco & Furne One
#Filmmaker of the Year: Kamil Roxas
#Healthcare Professional of the Year: Jose Puno Villanueva, M.D.
#Hotel Professional of the Year: Vagelyn Federico
#Journalist of the Year: Rachel Salinel
#Legal Professional of the Year: Michael Barney Almazar
#Photographer of the Year: Mario Bejagan Cardenas
#Sportsperson of the Year: John Panuelos
#TFT Rizal Award: Michael Cinco
#Lifetime Achievement Award: H.E. Grace Relucio Princesa