Toronto’s Fil-Canadian Center lauds top students, achievers

Maelynn Bucao receives her plaque from MP Zahid and her cash award from Dodong and Precy Tumulak. INQUIRER/Marisa Roque

TORONTO, Ontario — Fourteen Filipino Canadian scholars garnered top spots in the 12th Annual Outstanding Student Awards of Filipino Center Toronto (FCT).

Renamed as “Rosalinda C. Javier Outstanding Student Awards” in honor of the late community leader, former teacher, and first president of FCT, the awards singled out the best among a field of high achievers of Filipino ancestry in a qualifying process that started back in April of 2018.

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Dr. Marissa Largo with her plaque, Fanny Calucag, the donor of the cash award, and MP Mendicino carrying Lorena Bennell, Dr. Largo’s daughter. INQUIRER/Marisa Roque

At the end, three post-secondary honorees, seven high school honorees, and three elementary school honorees received plaques of recognition from the FCT and cash rewards from sponsors Dodong and Precy Tumulak, Bayani and Daisy Bernabe, and Ben and Fanny Calucag at the ceremony held October 28 at the new Filipino Center Toronto building at 4395 Sheppard Avenue East. Other donors include Barry Reese, Roman Chu, Karl Vander Sluys, Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce Progress branch through Helen Chua, and LBC Door to Door Cargo.

The post-secondary awardees:

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  1.  Dr. Marissa Largo–author, academic, researcher, art exhibitor and advocate for social justice education, gender and diaspora studies. Among Dr. Largo’s other accomplishments is being a recipient of the Bombardier Graduate Scholarship Exhibition Assistance Grants; the Award for Best Article (Graduate), Ontario Institute for Studies in Education (OISE) Academic Excellence; and the University of Toronto Travel Grant.
  1.  Mary Ann Gaytano-Santos — occasional teacher with the Toronto Catholic District School Board with a Diploma in Early Childhood Education from George Brown College (2018), a BA from the University of the Philippines (1998), and is an Ontario Certified Teacher with the Ontario College of Teachers, Ontario, Canada. She is a volunteer reading intervention teacher and PRO of Philippine Teachers Association.
  1. Charles Brian Serapio — graduated from York University with a Bachelor of Science with Honors, major in biology, minor in psychology, first class with distinction, was on the Dean’s honor roll, and holds a membership to the Golden Key International Honor Society.

Charles Brian Serapio shows off his plaque handed to him by Marco Mendicino, MP for the riding of Eglinton-Lawrence and Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada.  Fanny Calucag is waiting to give him his cash award. INQUIRER/Marisa Roque

The high school honorees are Elyka Anne Ampioco (Birchmount Collegiate Institute, Toronto 2018); Jasmine Bouckley (All Saints Catholic Secondary School, Durham 2018); Krista Elisha Chavez (St. Mary Catholic Academy, Toronto 2018); Hannah Jessica Clemente (Mary Ward Catholic Secondary School, Toronto 2018); Alphonso Ralph Manalo (Mary Ward Catholic Secondary School, Toronto); Katelynn Santos Quiachon (Father Leo J. Austin Catholic Secondary School, Durham 2018); and Nikki Brianne Samonte (Cardinal Carter Academy for the Arts, Toronto 2018).

Alfonso Ralph Manalo clutches his plaque from MP Levitt and accepts the cash award from the Bernabes. INQUIRER/Marisa Roque

The four elementary school honorees are Jacob Bouckley (St. John Paul II Catholic School, Durham); Maelynn Magnolia H. Bucao (St. Isaac Jogues Catholic School, Toronto); Dannuel Matthew Santos (St. Margaret Catholic School, Toronto); and Kyla Marie Supat (St. Anselm Catholic School, Toronto).

Mary Ann San Juan gives a plaque of recognition to Aida D’Orazio, a longtime FCT volunteer and supporter, acknowledging her for her original idea of the Outstanding Student Award. INQUIRER/Marisa Roque

The competition, which started in 2005, sought to “select and recognize exemplary elementary, high school, and post secondary students from public, Catholic, and other government-supported educational institutions in Ontario,” according to Tony San Juan, chairman of the RCJ-OSA committee and former president of Philippine Teachers Association.

The Honorable Shaun Chen, member of Parliament for Scarborough North, gave the keynote speech praising the Filipino Canadian community, like other hardworking members of the Canadian mosaic, for their patience, tenacity, and the high value they place on education.

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TAGS: 12th Annual Outstanding Student Awards of Filipino Center Toronto (FCT), academic achievement, Filipino Center Toronto, Marisa Roque, top Fil-Canadian scholars, top Fil-Canadian students
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