Designer Michael Cinco will be the toast of TOFA 2022

Designer Michael Cinco will be the toast of TOFA 2022

/ 11:23 AM August 12, 2022
TOFA headliners in September awards night, from left: Michael Cinco, Katrina Velarde, Boy Abunda, and Parangal Dance Co. CONTRIBUTED

TOFA headliners on Sept. 16 awards night, from left: Michael Cinco, Katrina Velarde, Boy Abunda, and Parangal Dance Co. CONTRIBUTED

NEW YORK — Dubai-based fashion designer Michael Cinco will be the very first recipient of the newly launched TOFA Global Awards international category this year.

Since its launch in 2010, The Outstanding Filipinos in America (TOFA) Awards, the premier Filipino community event, has honored more than 200 distinguished Fil-Ams nominated by the community.


In a historic collaboration, TOFA will be co-staging Cinco’s first New York Fashion Week (NYFW) exhibition at the Angel Orensanz Foundation on Sept. 9.

“Michael Cinco’s star shines brightly in the global fashion arena, and it is high time for the Filipino American community to recognize his excellence and creativity,” said Elton Lugay, TOFA Awards founder and executive producer.


“TOFA is honored to co-produce his NYFW event as the highlight of our 12th annual awards, showcasing the exquisite craftsmanship of one of the best fashion designers of our time, who is proud to be a Filipino and embraces our culture and traditions wholeheartedly,” Lugay added.

One of Cinco’s earliest triumphs was winning the Breakthrough Designer Award from the WGSN Global Fashion Awards in 2011, shortly after receiving the People’s Choice Award at the Dubai Fashion Awards 2010.

Since then, Cinco has conquered the fashion runways of Milan, Paris and Dubai but hasn’t made it to NYFW, until now. Cinco’s soaring popularity among Hollywood A-listers, beauty queens and brides all around the world makes his NYFW debut one for the books.

“I can’t wait to express my passion in New York City, which is always in my heart. This is where I felt for the first time that all my impalpable dreams could come true. Thank you, TOFA, for selecting me as the very first recipient of your TOFA Global Awards,” Cinco said.

Meanwhile, the 12th Annual TOFA Awards will be held at The Town Hall on Sept. 16, a national historic landmark located in the heart of New York City.

With its 1,479 seating capacity, the venue allows TOFA to reach a broader mainstream audience in its efforts to raise the profile of the Fil-Am community.

Over the years, TOFA has gained distinction for its community service and top-quality productions, including winning the Bronze Telly Award and Silver Anthem Awards last year alone.


This year, TOFA promises to make every Filipino proud with its grand total of 30 awardees. Joining Michael Cinco as an inaugural recipient of the TOFA Global Award is GMA Pinoy TV, whose “Stronger Together” campaign brings Filipinos together in camaraderie amidst today’s challenges such as the Covid-19 pandemic and anti-Asian hate.

More than 20 honorees have been selected for the 12th Annual TOFA Awards, including social media sensation Bretman Rock, Zumba Master Class trainer Deekee Gaerlan, Covid-19 warriors Dr. Alicia Almendral and Georgio Dano, and UERM Medical Foundation founder Dr. Emilio Quines Jr. as TOFA 12’s Heritage awardee.

Another highlight of this year’s festivities is the launch of TOFA’s Presidential Awards, which will be given to 10 individuals who have excelled in serving the community in their respective professions, earning the nod of the Office of Presidential Volunteer Service Awards for a citation signed by no less than President Joe Biden.

“TOFA is evolving alongside the Fil-Am community, and we are excited to transition from a NYC event to a platform for outstanding Filipinos anywhere in the world,” Lugay said.

Dr. Boy Abunda, “Asia’s King of Talk,” once again helms the 12th Annual TOFA Awards. He is more than excited to meet this year’s  awardees, noting the organization’s momentum in truly raising the profile of Filipinos not only in America but all around the world.

“I recognize TOFA Awards as the best award-giving body in America because it truly reflects the diversifying character of the Filipino American community and the many ways Filipinos assimilate anywhere in the world. This is key to our resilience as a people,” Abunda said.

Filipina singer and actress Katrina Velarde, better known as “Asia’s Vocal Supreme,” headlines TOFA’s 12th Annual Awards. Velarde will share the stage with San Francisco’s Parangal Dance Company and the TOFA Performing Artists, all volunteers who share not only their talent, but also countless rehearsal and service hours,

The 12th Annual TOFA Awards is presented by Financial Rescue in cooperation with NYC PRIDE, Art Hearts Fashion, LX2 Entertainment, Resilient Care Physical Therapy, Dr. Dely Go, Ia’s Threads, Milestone Events, Vynz-Muzyk, and media partners NYC Mayor’s Office of Media and Entertainment, GMA Pinoy TV, and

Tickets are still available on for $62 (balcony), $82 (orchestra wing).

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TAGS: Filipino American achievement awards
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