Thursday, October 11, 2012

ANNOUNCEMENT | Heritage Achievement Awards given out at LA City Hall

LOS ANGELES |  Two important Filipino American artists will join the country's first-ever recipients of the 2012 Heritage Achievement Awards.  These Fil Ams will receive national recognition in an unprecedented event that takes place October 12 at Los Angeles City Hall.

In the estimation of LAFACE, these Filipino Americans "helped shape the last 425 years of Fil-Ams in the United States" through their "major contributions."

LAFACE stands for the Los Angeles Filipino Association of City Employees. Headed by Cora Aragon Soriano, LAFACE is the only Filipino-American employee organization in the City of Los Angeles. The historic event is called 425 Years of Filipino-American History.

For the first time in Los Angeles City Hall, there will be a celebration of 425 years of heritage and culture of Filipino Americans in the United States. The day-long event consists of three parts: an official recognition from Los Angeles City Hall, a ribbon-cutting ceremony to unveil the historical exhibits of Filipino Americans in the USA; and a formal evening gala, by invitation only, which will gather together LA City Council members, Filipino local elected officials, LA City employees, Filipino community leaders, members of the Filipino community, and 2012 Fil-Am Heritage Achievement Awardees.

At the gala, LAFACE will hand out the first-ever 2012 Fil-Am Heritage Achievement Awards to "exceptional Filipino-Americans, organizations, and posthumous awardees" in a number of categories. At the end of this note, you will find LAFACE's announcement in Asian Journal and a complete list of its 2012 Heritage Achievement Awardees.

I would like to give special mention to two Filipino Americans. They are the late Gladys Celeste Mercader and Bernardo Bernardo.

Gladys Celeste-Mercader, a deceased Fil-Am musician, rehearsal pianist and performance soloist at American Ballet Theatre, will finally receive long-delayed national recognition in the USA. Her children will be coming to Los Angeles to pick up a posthumous 2012 Fil-Am Heritage Achievement Award in the category of Music/Entertainment.

Celeste-Mercader had worked with the world's most elite dancers: Rudolf Nureyev, Carla Fracci, Cynthia Gregory, Mikhail Baryshnikov, Gelsey Kirkland and Julio Bocca. She is also associated with the most notable choreographers of the 20th century among them, Jerome Robbins, Agnes DeMille, Eliot Feld, Mark Morris. Her career in the ballet world spanned over 40 years (ABT, Feld Ballet, Cleveland Ballet, Dance Theatre of Harlem and Ohio Ballet). With these companies she has performed piano concertos by Prokoviev, Shostakovich , Mendelsohn and piano solos by Debussy, Brahms and Strauss at New York's Metropolitan House as well as theatres throughout the United States as well as some famed International theaters, like the Paris Opera House and Teatro Colon in Buenos Aires, Argentina. To this day, her ballet-music recordings are being taught in ballet school all over the country.

Bernardo Bernardo is a performing artist par excellence. He is a mover and shaker in the Filipino American community in the United States. Most recently, he was awarded the L.A. Weekly Theater Award for Best Direction for the 2012 productions of The Romance of Magno Rubio and Ang Romansa in Magno Rubio. The two versions of the same play ran in repertory at Inside the Ford Theatre, from November 4 through December 11, 2011. Bernardo is a triple threat: a host, singer and stand-up comedian. He is an actor of stage, film and television. With his wicked sense of humor, piercing intelligence and seductive singing voice, he wows audiences in Seattle, Chicago, San Francisco, San Diego, Sacramento, Los Angeles, Juneau, Las Vegas and New York. He is a complete entertainer.

Although I have known about him for years through his film and television work, I first met Bernardo in Juneau, Alaska, when I wrote the cover story, "Alaska Is In the Heart," for the July/August 2005 edition of American Theatre magazine. He appeared in two Perseverance Theatre productions there: the musical THE LONG SEASON and the documentary play VOYAGE.

Congratulations to both the Mercader family and Bernardo Bernardo.

A Personal Note: In late September, I received a letter from LAFACE. It stated that I was nominated and selected to receive a 2012 Fil-Am Heritage Achievement Award in the disciplines of Arts/Literature and Media/Entertainment. 

I would like to publicly thank Cora Aragon Soriano and the LAFACE Selection Committee for including me in this historic "425 Years" event. Not the least of which because it happens during the Filipino American History month of October. What a gorgeous honor!  Maraming salamat po.


ANNOUNCEMENT by Cora Aragon Soriano

LOS ANGELES |  We are honored to announce that we are recognizing the following exceptional Filipino-Americans, organizations, and posthumous awardees, who by their outstanding achievements and contributions have made historical presence and exceptional contributions to the Filipino heritage, culture, humanitarian efforts, progress and development, and professional contributions in the United States of America (USA).

The celebration in Los Angeles City Hall has been rescheduled to Friday, October 12, 2012.

Formed in 1982, LAFACE currently represents over 2.500 Filipino City employees. In addition to fostering advancement of Filipinos and its members in the City, LAFACE’s objective is to promote the economic, educational, social, and cultural advancement of Filipinos in the community. According to the LAFACE website, "We believe this celebration is the perfect opportunity to celebrate 425 years of Filipino-American achievements, contributions, and historical presence in the United States."

2012 Fil-Am Heritage Achievement Awards
Eliseo Art Silva
Arts/Literature (LA/Philadelphia)

Randy Gener
Arts/Literature/Media (New York)

George Gange
Cultural Preservation – Rondalla (Daly City)

Jose Omila
Cultural Preservation – Filipino art/music/dance (Florida)

Dr. Fe Ludivico Aragon & Dr. Enrique Aragon
Education (City of Irwindale)

David Tupaz
Fashion & Style (Woodland Hills/Las Vegas)

Cora M Tellez
Health/Medicine (Oakland, CA)

Grace Mercado Ouano
Health/Philanthropist /Entrepreneur (La Canada)

Donald Plata
Historical Contributions (Washington, DC)

Francine Maigue
Humanitarian/Arts/Community Service (San Diego)

Cora Oriel
Media (print) – LA

Jannelle So
Media (TV) - LA

Dr.  Michael W. Cruz, MD
Medicine/Health, Public Service, US Military (Guam)

Bernardo Bernardo
Music/Entertainment (LA)

Lt. Colonel Shirley S. Raguindin, USAF
US Military (Maryland)

Posthumous Awards:
Helen Brown
Cultural Preservation (LA)

Remedios “Remy” V. Geaga
Community Service (LA)

Larry Itliong
Historical Contributions (Delano)

Agripino Mallado “Pinoy” Jaucian
Historical Contributions (Philadelphia)

Gladys Celeste Mercader
Music/Entertainment (New York)

Organizational Award:
Filipino Community, Inc., State of Alaska
Community Service (Alaska)

CONGRATULATIONS to all our awardees!

425 Years of Filipino-American History
at Los Angeles City Hall
Let us celebrate 425 years of heritage and culture of Filipino Americans and their achievements, contributions, and the historical presence of Filipinos in the United States.

(“On October 18, 1587, 33 years before the pilgrims arrived in New England and 20 years before the founding of Jamestown in Virginia, Filipinos were a part of the Spanish Unamuno’s Expedition that landed on the coast of California.”)

Councilmembers Eric Garcetti (CD 13, Jose Huizar (CD 14), and Richard Alarcon (CD7);  and The Los Angeles Filipino Association of City Employees (LAFACE), sponsored by TFC Filipino Channel, cordially invite everyone at our celebration of 425 Years of Filipino-American History at Los Angeles City Hall.

Mayor Jejomar Erwin S Binay Jr., Mayor of the City of Makati, Philippines, Sister City of the City of Los Angeles, will also be joining the celebration.

This event honors the many contributions of Filipino Americans to the United States and will include local dignitaries, community members, 2012 Fil-Am History Awardees, and an official recognition from the LA City Council.  The celebration is comprised of the following components:

Friday, October 12, 2012
Members of the Public are invited at the morning event

10:00 a.m.  Los Angeles City Council Proclamation, Filipino History Month in LA; Resolution to be presented to LA Consul General, Local Elected Officials and Filipino community,  at LA City  Council Chambers. 3rd floor, LA City Hall, 200 North Spring St., LA, CA  (use Main Street entrance)

11:00 am  Ribbon Cutting of Filipino Historical Art Exhibits in LA City Hall Bridge
(Filipino Art One-Month Exhibit:   October 2nd to 26th, 2012)

11:30 Light Reception at the LA City Hall Rotunda

RSVP/Parking To determine amount of food to order, please RSVP by emailing; for free parking, email Alex car info, i.e.: model, license, make, color
Suggested Attire:  Filipiniana/Barong or Business

Evening Event (by invitation only to 2012 Fil-Am Heritage Achievement Awardees)

6:00 pm GALA Event to honor Fil-Am History Achievement Awardees,
Tom Bradley Towers, LA City Hall (formal event – Filipiniana/Barong or Formal)

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