NEW YORK — Governor Andrew Cuomo and NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio paid tribute to the “extraordinary imprint” made by Filipino Americans to the cosmopolitan culture of the Empire State.
In separate messages, New York’s top officials said they were proud to host The Outstanding Filipinos in America (TOFA) Awards, which has been held annually at the historic Carnegie Hall since its inception in 2010.
“The Empire State is privileged to host this wonderful event which brings together many remarkable individuals who have earned distinction through their impressive pursuits, including your special honorees,” Cuomo said in his message congratulating honorees of this year’s TOFA Awards.
“These stellar individuals inspire future leaders and have earned well-deserved praise from a grateful community,” he added.
Astounding talent from six states across America will gather together for the 7th Annual TOFA Awards. Many of them have pursued their passions at one time or another in the Big Apple, in fields as diverse as arts and culture, entertainment, fashion and style, community service and advocacy, business and entrepreneurship, media and publishing, as well as women empowerment. Aside from New York and New Jersey, this year’s honorees are from California; Las Vegas, Nevada; Washington, D.C.; and Tucson, Arizona.
“Established in 2010, The Outstanding Filipinos in America awards program showcases the extraordinary imprint people of Filipino descent have made on New York and the United States, and the many ways their contributions continue to enrich our great city and country,” said de Blasio on behalf of the City of New York.
“As you gather in fellowship to recognize talented individuals who have distinguished themselves in their fields, I applaud TOFA’s organizers and supporters for their efforts to unite and uplift our vital Filipino community and inspire the next generation to achieve their goals,” he added.
For his part, Cuomo noted the Fil-Am community’s significant addition to the quality of life not only in New York State but all across America. “They are tremendous sources of community pride, whose achievements have brought them a level of recognition that merits special acknowledgment, particularly during the observance of Filipino American History Month,” Cuomo said, referring to the community’s outstanding members.
The 7th TOFA Awards night is slated for October 28, 7:30 p.m. at the Weill Recital Hall of Carnegie Hall. The event will be keynoted by Philippine Consul General Theresa Dizon de Vega, community icon Loida Nicolas Lewis, immigration lawyer Nicolas Caraquel, Brendan Flores, the first millennial chairman of the National Federation of Filipino American Associations (NaFFAA), international TV personality Bev Lorente and Emmy award-winning TV journalist Katherine Creag of NBC’s Today Show and News 4 New York.
“Asia’s King of Talk” Dr. Boy Abunda will be on his third year as TOFA’s master of ceremonies.
Featured performers are Maestro Ryan Cayabyab, Sheryn Regis, Fe de los Reyes, Dr. Joseph Legaspi, Xtine Mercado, Rasmin Diaz, Toni Gado, Jerome Chan, Georgio Dano, Asia Guzman, Excelsa de Jesus, Artemio Tecson, Some Never Really Get, award-winning dancing duo Christian Sese and Mae Lozada and Jordan Segundo of ABC’s Good Morning Hawaii. He is the first singer of Filipino descent to be a finalist on the nationally acclaimed singing competition American Idol in 2003. The evening program will be directed by Maestro Bobby Ramiro.
Tickets cost $80 and $150, and are available at CarnegieCharge with telephone number (212) 247-7800.
Presented by Wells Fargo, in cooperation with INQUIRER.net and Mountaintop Productions, the 7th Annual TOFA Awards is sponsored by Las Vegas Gastroenterology, The Lewis College, 13 Degrees North, Ugly Kitchen, Filipino Reporter, VYNZ-NY Entertainment, The Filipino Express, Holsman Physical Therapy and Rehabilitation, ANCOP, Duran Consulting Services, Valles Vendiola LLP, Dr. Crispin Ayroso and Digital Media Ads of New York.