SAN FRANCISCO (JGL) – Asian Journal, a bi-weekly out in Los Angeles, California, won six of the 15 Plaridel awards for excellence in Filipino American journalism last Oct. 8, in San Francisco, California, when three of its staff matched the awards collected last year by Positively Filipino, an online newsmagazine based in San Francisco.
Allyson Escobar of Asian Journal won a rare trifecta by bagging awards for Best Food Story, Best Youth Voice and Best News Story for “Cooking Hawaiian Style: The Art of Island Cuisine,” “Passion Planner: Creating your life journey in a notebook” and “Maj. Gen. Taguba Shares “Unfiltered” version of Abu Ghraib investigation,” respectively.
Escobar’s colleague in the Asian Journal, Agnes Constante, swept the two other awards for Best Feature Story and Best Profile Writing with her entries, “Lovelyn Marquez Prueher, The First Fil Am Teacher of the Year for California” and “Carlene Bonnivier, Retracing her Filipino Roots and Enriching Cultural Identity,” respectively.
And Asian Journal’s Christina Oriel, “Huma Island: An Island Hideaway in the Tropical Paradise of Busuanga,” won the trophy for Best Tourism Feature Story.
Four writers from Positively Filipino shared four other awards. They were Dr. Jorge Emmanuel for Best International Reporting for “My Battle with Ebola”; Lisa Saguitan Melnick for Best Entertainment Story for “Maseg, an artistic Tempest”; Myles Garcia for Best Sports Story for “Before Elorde, Before Pacquiao, … there was Luis Logan”; and Lotis Key for Best Personal Essay for “Feeding my Filipino.”
Inquirer.net’s correspondents took home two awards, namely for Best In-Depth Story for Cecile C. Ochoa for her “DACA, Confessions of a formerly undocumented youth,” and for Best Commentary for Emil “Amok” Guillermo for his “Are you Charlie Hebdo? Or just Charlie Adobo?”
Rommel Conclara and Henni Espinosa, both of Balitang America/TFC, won awards for Best TV Community Reporting and Best TV Personality Profile for their productions “Grandson and Grandma Create Memories through art” and “Pinoy Mortician,” respectively.
Bringing up the rear but not the least was Allan Alvarez who won The Robert Henry Memorial Award for Radio for his radio broadcast in KPHI 96.7 FM.
The winners were also given incentives to join a raffle contest that included a California-Manila economy round-trip ticket prize courtesy of Philippine Air Lines. Myles Garcia who won the Best Sports story won the round-trip ticket prize. Christina Oriel, winner of Best Tourism Story, drew the winning raffle for a two-day stay at Hotel Centro in the island of Palawan, courtesy of Mango Tours. Other sponsors of the Plaridel Awards this year’s fourth edition were PG & E, WesternUnion.com, Department of Tourism in San Francisco, Ramar Foods, Inquirer.net, Mariluz Floral Design and friends.
Esther Misa Chavez, president of the Philippine American Press Club, USA, whose crown-jewel project is the Plaridel Awards, said that this year, “We’ve seen the whole range of journalists, from the most seasoned to aspiring young college writers submit their entries without hesitation, shoulder to shoulder – each confident that his or her story are worth of The Plaridel.
“Their stories delve equally on current critical issues, personal drama, sports, Pinoy food, commentary, international reporting – the whole gamut of topics that journalists write about in the pursuit of their career as story tellers or of giving voice to the voiceless. We applaud them all and thank them for giving the Plaridel Awards credence.”
Keynote speaker of the evening was Brian Flores, anchor of the Morning News at KTVU, Fox 2, a third-generation journalist. He was assigned to the Bay Area newsroom in 2012.
The next Plaridel Awards is scheduled for Oct. 6, 2016. Entries for submission must have been published between June 1, 2015 and June 1, 2016. PAPC will be accepting entries starting June 15, 2016 and ending July 30, 2016. There will be no deadline extensions.
There were 78 entries that vied for this year’s Plaridel Awards, a tribute to Marcelo H. Del Pilar, a Filipino patriot, journalist and publisher, who brought his craft and zeal as an expat in Europe in late 1800’s. As a pseudonym, Plaridel, is also Del Pilar’s ananym of his last name.
Del Pilar was a prolific writer who kept his expat community abreast with the goings on in their homeland. In him, PAPC has found a hero – a person to emulate and an inspiration to Filipino writers and publishers everywhere who continue their journalistic aspirations outside the Philippines.
Philippines Today editor in Chief Alfredo Gabot, a veteran journalist, author and educator in the Philippines and the United States and a former president of the National Press Club in the Philippines, who was one of the founders of the PAPC, lauded the PAPC officers and this year’s winners of the Plaridel Awards.