Achievers honored on PH Heritage Night at sold-out Madison Square Garden
WASHINGTON, DC – The National Federation of Filipino American Associations’ 2nd Annual Filipino American Heritage Night honored achievers at the sold-out Atlanta Hawks vs. New York Knicks Nov. 2 game in New York’s Madison Square Garden, which saw 19,812 attendees with a massive Filipino presence.
During the game, NaFFAA gave the following awards to business owners and organizations who “empowered the Filipino American community during the pandemic”:
National Small Business Award: Jordan Andino of Flip Sigi; Augee Francisco of Kabisera NYC and Philippine Fest; Dr. Alicia Almendral of Monarch Medical Aesthetics;Reagan John Rada of RJP Venture
New York Community Service Award: Sharmaine Anderson of Pinoys of New York.
Hometown Hero Award: Deirdre Levy & Joey Golja of Project Barkada
A pre-event panel discussed the topics of representation and Filipino American Heritage. On the panel were prominent Filipino Americans in the New York area: Steven Raga, Erwin Valencia, Rich Tu, Kassandra Mendoza, Jordan Andino and Patrice Cleary.
Erwin Valencia, the first Filipino to be on the medical staff for an NBA and MLB team, commented, “My advice to our Filipinos is to begin and end your days in gratitude… I started dreaming about who I am today when I was playing basketball on the courts in the Philippines. From the Philippines to the New York Knicks. I know you can accomplish it too, and I made it my personal mission to inspire our young Filipinos everywhere.”
NaFFAA New York State President Rachelle Ocampo said, “Selling out Madison Square Garden during the night when we celebrate Filipino American heritage proves to the world that we can make big things happen if we are united as a Filipino American community.”
NaFFAA National Chair Brendan Flores added, “Being able to share our Filipino heritage at the Madison Square Garden in New York, which is at the heart of the most famous city in the world, means so much to all Filipino Americans.”
The event’s partners and sponsors were Madison Square Garden, Verizon, Kollective Hustle, SoJanelle, TFC, Makilala TV, GMA, Jollibee, Puso Foundation, and regional community partners.