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After two years of discussion to bring to the Philippine Consulate the Annual Plaridel Awards of the Philippine American Press Club, USA (PAPC), the Philippine Center hosted at the Kalayaan Hall the fifth installment of the annual Plaridel Awards and the 28th Anniversary of the PAPC on 07 October 2016.

The event honors all journalists, publishers, reporters, correspondents, producers and photographers who submitted print/online, and broadcast work for the scrutiny of a panel of judges who decided on best investigative/in-depth story, best international reporting, best news story, beast profile writing, best community reporting in television, among others.

Esther Misa Chavez, President of the PAPC, recalled how the Awards grew from seven (7) to 16 categories, and how submissions increased from 30 to 86 in its five years of existence.

Consul General Henry S. Bensurto, Jr., along with SOMA Pilipinas, were awarded the 2016 PAPC Torch Bearer Award for “bearing the torch of the Filipino Ideal aflame through the winds of change and the passage of time in his/her work as journalist and/or community leader; For selflessly dedicating unmeasured time and boundless energy towards projects and activities that enable the Filipino-American press/community to thrive.” The Torch Bearer Award was established in 2010 to honor outstanding Filipinos who have displayed visionary leadership that serve to inspire their peers, the community and the country.

Consul General Bensurto thanked the PAPC for supporting the Philippine Government’s decision to bring to the Permanent Court of Arbitration features disputed in the South China Sea, and for keeping Filipino-Americans informed on developments that impact Filipino citizens.  He added that the victory emphasized principles that the Philippines stood for, which are respect for the rule of law, and the use of reason in determining right.

Ms. Bernadette Sy of the Bayanihan Center accepted the Torch Bearer Award on behalf of SOMA Pilipinas. It may be recalled that in April 2016, a legislation that carves out a portion of South of Market as SOMA Pilipinas, a cultural district that emphasizes the contributions of the Filipino-American Community to San Francisco and the Bay Area.

The event was livestreamed so that Filipino-Americans in the East Coast were able to view the Awards.  END