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Two Pinoys in New York win Pamana ng Pilipino awards

November 28, 2012 4:30pm
Two Filipinos in New York, from the fields of science and the humanities, are among the recipients of this year’s prestigious Presidential Awards for Filipino Individuals and Organizations Overseas.
According to the Philippine Consulate General in New York in a statement, Dr. Francisca A. Tolete-Velcek and Jorge Ortoll were chosen by the Commission on Filipinos Overseas for the awards which will be conferred on December 5 at Malacanang Palace.
The Presidential Awards for Filipino Individuals and Organizations Overseas are given to Filipinos overseas “who by their exceptional achievements or humanitarian efforts, have given form and substance to Filipino excellence and the time-honored values of pakikipag-kapwa, pagtutulungan, and pagkakaisa.”
Velcek specializes in pediatric surgery, and was the first female pediatric surgeon admitted at St. Clare’s Hospital in New York City, according to the statement.

Velcek was consistently voted as one of the top surgeons in New York and one of the best doctors in northeast US.
In 2011, Velcek was honored as one of the 39 outstanding alumni of the University of the Philippines, where she finished her bachelor’s and medical degrees.
Meanwhile, Ortoll is the current executive director of the Ma-Yi Theater Company, which the embassy statement noted is one of the leading Asian-American theater companies in the US.
He is further described in the statement as “a tireless advocate of promoting new artistic voices in theaters, particularly from the Asian-American community.”
There are four categories in the Presidential Awards for Filipino Individuals and Organizations Overseas, one of which is  the Pamana ng Pilipino Award.

The other three are the Kaanib ng Bayan Award, the Banaag Award, and the Lingkod sa Kapwa Pilipino (LINKAPIL) Award.
The Pamana ng Pilipino award, according to the Commission on Filipinos Overseas, are awarded to overseas Filipinos “who, in exemplifying the talent and industry of the Filipino, have brought the country honor and recognition through excellence and distinction in the pursuit of their work or profession.”
Since the start of the Presidential Awards in 1991, around 338 Filipino individuals and organizations from 44 countries have been conferred the honor. - Gian C. Geronimo, VVP, GMA News
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