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20/11/2012: PH Ambassador Calls on Rizal Youth Awardees to Lead Purposeful Lives

20 November 2012

WASHINGTON, DC. – Ambassador Jose L. Cuisia, Jr. called on forty-three outstanding Filipino American students to use their talents and take part in activities that promote the interests of their communities and the Philippines.  This was among the challenges posed by the Ambassador in his remarks during the 2012 Dr. Jose Rizal Youth Awards held at the Philippine Embassy’s Romulo Hall last November 17.

Now in its 20th year, the joint project of the Embassy and the Philippine American Foundation for Charities (PAFC) saw a record number of applications submitted.  The Rizal Youth Award honors young Filipino Americans from D.C. and parts of Maryland and Virginia who have excelled academically and engaged in extracurricular activities including volunteer service.

“Rizal’s legacy serves as an inspiration for young people everywhere as they confront different challenges in today’s world,” Ambassador Cuisia said.

Providing the inspirational message was Anna Bantug-Herrera, Assistant Director of the Asia Foundation and a descendant of Dr. Rizal.  “What has made Jose Rizal worthy of becoming the Philippines’ national hero is not merely his intelligence, personality, literary acumen, or his pacifist ideals but rather it was his patriotism, optimism, undying love for his country and his belief in his countrymen which set him apart,” remarked Bantug-Herrera.

Three awardees were selected from the group to read their essays during the program.  Among them was Jo Justine Tablang-Jimenez, daughter of Dr. Danilo Jimenez and Dra. Marilou Tablang-Jimenez of Clarksburg, Maryland.  In her essay, Jo Justine urged the Filipino American youth to get politically involved and empowered by showing them the extent to which their families are affected by local and domestic policies, and by emphasizing the significance of the Filipino in US past and present.  Jo Justine graduated with honors at Oxford University in the United Kingdom, pursued her master’s degree at the London School of Economics, and recently graduated magna cum laude from Oxford Law School.

The awardees are:

  1. Aguda, Patrick
  2. Aranza, Aaron
  3. Argente, Katherine
  4. Argente, Kayla
  5. Atienza Jacinto, Sancho
  6. Bautista, Ailani Mae
  7. Buan, Eliza
  8. Capinguian, Erika Marie
  9. Chavez, Joane Marie
  10. Chwiki, Sarah
  11. Dela Torre, Jed Paolo
  12. Fernandez, Natalia
  13. Ferrer, Bernadette
  14. Filon, Jacob
  15. Filon, Luke
  16. Gonzaga, Janelle
  17. Gopiao, Joseph Brandon
  18. Gopiao, Timothy Robin
  19. Hammond, Nicole
  20. Honigford, Regina Verba
  21. Iriarte, Julian
  22. Iriarte, Madeline Ailyn
  23. Iriarte, Sabrina Marie
  24. Macasero, Alvin Jeffrey
  25. Manaloto, Marc Daniel
  26. Manaloto, Mavis Joy
  27. Mayuga, Christine Grace
  28. McHenry Chavez, Joseph
  29. Mendez, Theodore
  30. Quion, Alexander
  31. Quion, Katherine Michelle
  32. Ramada, Mark Andrew
  33. Ramada, Mary Anne Therese
  34. Ramada, Michael
  35. Sabatini, Charity
  36. Sambells, Carmela
  37. Sto.Romas Reyes, Ana Paulina
  38. Tablang-Jimenez, Jo Justine
  39. Tan Udquim, Alfred-Enberg
  40. Tan Udquim, Krizia-Ivana
  41. Tugado Marzan, Anjelica Misyel
  42. Van Kirk, Charmaine Amber
  43. Vertman, Benjamin

The awardees received a medal and certificate signed by Ambassador Cuisia; Mr. Ador Carreon, Chairman of PAFC; and Ms. Aylene Mafnas, President of PAFC and Chairperson of the Rizal Youth Awards Committee.  Members of this year’s Awards Committee included Carlos Alvano, Elvi Bangit, Emil Fernandez, Lucille Ferraren, and Presy Guevara.  (END)

20 November 2012

In a group photo, Ambassador Jose Cuisia (center) poses with the 2012 Rizal Youth Awardees and members of the Rizal Youth Awards Committee at the Romulo Hall of the Philippine Embassy on November 17, 2012.