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Aug 09th
Home Sections Entertainment Star-studded Cast to Grace People’s Ball in D.C. on June 26
Star-studded Cast to Grace People’s Ball in D.C. on June 26 PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Joseph G. Lariosa   
Monday, 21 June 2010 20:33



(Journal Group Link International)


Star-studded Cast to Grace People’s Ball in Washington, D.C. on June 26


C HICAGO (JGLi) – Gen. Antonio Taguba and Melissa Roxas lead the 19 awardees for recognition of their exemplary leadership and service on Saturday, June 26, at the Fifth People’s Ball sponsored by the Migrant Heritage Commission at the Marriott Wardman Park Hotel at the NW Washington, D.C. Mr. Taguba is the retired Filipino-American general best known for his scathing report on the abuses at Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq in 2004. Ms. Roxas is the Filipino-American volunteer for a community medical mission who was abducted and tortured in the Philippines last year.


The other awardees include posthumous awards for Dr. Josefina Magno and John Reed. Dr. Magno, a medical doctor by profession, was instrumental in the setting up of the hospice system in the US and in the Philippines. Mr. Reed, a public-relations expert, co-founded the world renowned Philippine Bayanihan Dance Troupe.


An annual event, which is something the growing Filipino immigrants look forward to every year, continues to live by the theme, "Bringing People Together to Foster a Culture of Unity and Service."


The Ball will be highlighted by the awards to 19 exemplary men and women who had generously volunteered their service and their time to the community, using their profession. It will also feature the lighting of glow sticks by the audience to symbolize the light of Philippine Diaspora since the early 1900s.


MHC Co-Executive director Arnedo S. Valera, Esq., said the lighting ceremony has always been a dramatic part of the evening that sets the mood for remembering the efforts of Filipino immigrants since the time of the plantation farm workers in Hawaii and California to the present-day professionals all over the US.


“This is the biggest Fil-Am Gala in the D.C area and the attendees cut across all sectors of our society, namely professionals, youth, students, service sectors, government officials and the business groups”, Grace Valera-Jaramillo, MHC’s co-executive director echoed.


F our of the rising young multi-awarded singers will be featured during the lighting ceremony, namely ten-year-old Kriskatlin Zabala, 12-year-old Maria Kirby Asunto (from New York/NJ), 16-year-old Iva Bautista Quint and 17-year-old Hannah Cabrera Johnson. The ceremony will have the special participation of the Hung Tao Choy Mei Leadership Institute, the winners/ finalists of the two Miss Teenage Philippines-USA Pageants, Miss Sunflower-USA, war veterans, selected youth and children and the MHC Envoys for Unity and Service.


Among the awardees, General Taguba returned to national headlines in June, 2008, when he accused the Bush administration of committing war crimes, in a preface to a report by Physicians for Human Rights on prisoner abuse and torture in American military prisons.


Ms. Roxas, an awardee for human rights, will likewise grace the event. She volunteered for a community medical mission in La Paz, Tarlac, where on May 19, 2009, she was forcibly abducted at gunpoint along with her two companions by members of the Philippine military.


Ms. Roxas has also filed complaints with the US State Department and the United Nations Special Reporter on Torture through the MHC legal resources program.


A nother awardee is Valerie Santos, the deputy mayor for Planning and Economic Development in Washington, DC.  Ms. Santos is responsible for implementing Mayor Adrian M. Font’s economic-development vision and managing a development pipeline worth more than thirteen-billion dollars of housing, retail, office, parks, and infrastructure and public-space projects throughout the District.


Other exceptional awardees include H.E. Ambassador Willy Gaga and Olegario Santos for public service, Dr. Abraham Bacarra, Dr. Bayani Manalo and RN Grace Capuno for Outstanding Migrant Awards in Health-Care Services; Most-Outstanding Migrant Business Entrepreneur Awards to Randy Ortanez, Edwin Erasga, and Julieta Caintic; Wuiping Yap and George Dungaree for Special-Recognition Awards for Promoting Asia-Pacific Cultures; and Gel Santos-Relos for hosting the 5th People's Ball. Corazon Macorol and Serge Doverte will also be awarded for their exemplary community service.


Another deserving awardee, Jason Garcia Ignacio, will do a special number followed by the dance presentations of “Rock and Roll Tinikling Fusion” and “Pangalay” of MHC’s Fil-Am Dance Ensemble.

The Annual Ball was initiated by
MHC five years ago to honor the immigrants of the Philippines to the US, which has now been documented during the last 104 years. The event is MHC’s tribute to the efforts of millions of migrants who came to the US in pursuit of a good life for their families. “Every year, our community becomes stronger and united because of the People’s Ball Celebration. This is MHC’s annual fund raising to support all its institutional programs,” Jesse Gatchalian, another MHC Co-Executive Director concluded.


About 1000 attendees from the mid-west part of the US are expected to attend the Ball. For details, please visit or contact Tel. Nos. 202-631-8856, 202-247-0117, and 703-273-1196 or email or the program manager Ms. Susan T. Pineda of the MHC Legal Resources Program at 703.273.1196. # # #


Editor’s Notes: To contact the author, please e-mail him at:  (


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Last Updated on Monday, 21 June 2010 20:36

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