Non-profit organizations honored as finalists for global Bayaning Pilipino Awards

DALY CITY, CA — In a night of celebration of the Annual Gawad Geny Lopez Jr. Bayaning Pilipino Awards — four organizations across North America were selected as this year’s finalists.

Two organizations were selected from the San Francisco Bay Area.

Out of San Jose, California — the Pilipino Association of Workers and Immigrants, or PAWIS, was nominated for protecting workers against abuse and exploitation.

PAWIS unites the community where Filipino workers and immigrants have become victims of wage theft.

“I think tonight really strengthens PAWIS’ resolve to continue to defend our communities and fight for social justice and human rights, and to tackle the issues that are not only being faced by our kababayans here in the US,” said PAWIS’ Michael Tayag, “but some of the issues in the Philippines like poverty and landlessness, that push migrants out to other countries in the first place.”

Out of San Francisco, Parangal Dance Company continues to showcase Filipino folk dance on stages all across the world.

Parangal also studies the culture by traveling to the Philippines, and immersing themselves with various tribes to get permission to learn their dances, and accurately perform them.

“We’ve learned from about 20 so far, and we make sure that they’re always part of the process,” said Eric Solano from Parangal. “And the work is always attributed to them. And hopefully we will be able to take their work to wherever we may be able to perform.”

Founded in San Diego, and with bases in the Philippines and Mexico — Building Lives for Better Future aims to help students who are in need of financial assistance.

While students receive school supplies — the organization holds medical screenings and food drives as well.

“This is somehow a calling, and at the same time this is our belief, that success is not measure to what you wear, what you have, or to your profession. But success is only measured to your own happiness,” said Jose Chan from Building Lives for Better Future. “We love what we’re doing. We’re very happy.”

From Alberta, Canada, the Filipino Women’s League — while only four years since its inception — has helped countless Filipinas who have recently immigrated to Canada.

The Filipino Women’s League provides a safe place where pinays can receive help 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

“It’s very nice feeling when someone is calling you at any time of the day asking for help and extending to anybody the best we could,” said FWL’s Jovelyn colorado-inocardo. “It’s a nice feeling that you can feel for somebody who needs help, and the organization is very willing to help them in any way.”
Among these finalist groups from North America, one group will be selected as the winner, and flown to the Philippines to attend the award ceremony on June 12, the country’s independence day.

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