TOFA to honor Filipino ‘global trailblazers’
Los Angeles – The Outstanding Filipinos in America (TOFA) Awards will honor five Filipino trailblazers with global awards at its 13th annual event. The prestigious event will highlight significant contributions of Filipinos who have made a mark on the global stage.
Among the awardees is Leni Robredo, the 14th vice president of the Philippines, who has been a stalwart champion of social development. Rising through the ranks from congresswoman to vice-president and later, a presidential candidate, Robredo was instrumental in transforming the Office of the Vice President (OVP) into a formidable anti-poverty agency.
She has skillfully leveraged both government and private sector resources to improve the lives of the underprivileged. Continuing her noble efforts, Robredo founded the nonprofit Angat Pinas, a volunteer network of Filipino youth aimed at duplicating the success of OVP’s Angat Buhay program.
TOFA will also recognize May Parsons, a Filipina nurse serving in the UK’s National Health Service, who made headlines by administering the first Covid-19 vaccine in December 2020.
Parsons’ unwavering commitment to her profession led her to become one of University Hospital Coventry’s top peer vaccinators, administering an impressive 140 flu vaccine doses in a single day. Today, she serves as the associate chief nurse director for governance risk and compliance at Buckinghamshire Healthcare Trust.
Also on the roster of awardees are the producers of “Here Lies Love,” the groundbreaking Broadway musical depicting the life of former Philippine first lady Imelda Marcos. The production made history for its all-Filipino cast, setting a new standard for Filipino representation in America’s mainstream theater scene.
R’Bonney Gabriel, the first Filipino American to clinch both the Miss USA and Miss Universe titles, will also be honored. Gabriel has used her platform to promote cultural pride, making notable appearances during an official visit to Manila and at New York’s Philippine Independence Day celebration.
Lastly, the awards will recognize Chief Justice Alexander Gesmundo of the Philippines. Gesmundo has been instrumental in launching The Strategic Plan for Judicial Innovations, a blueprint for modernizing and enhancing transparency in the Philippine judiciary system.
Elton Lugay, founder and executive producer of TOFA Awards, says he is proud to honor these exceptional individuals, calling them “beacons of inspiration in challenging times.”
The TOFA Awards introduced their global awards category in the previous year, honoring Dubai-based fashion designer Michael Cinco and GMA Pinoy TV, a popular Filipino channel.
The 13th Annual TOFA Awards will take place in Los Angeles for the first time on Oct. 27 at the Zipper Hall, located across the famed Walt Disney Concert Hall.
The event, co-produced by Starlink Promotions, will be co-presented by the National Federation of Filipino American Associations, with its national chairman Brendan Flores serving as the TOFA board chair for the year.