Filipinos Got Two of the 2013 Asian Heritage Society Awards

By: Estela C. Matriano, Ed.D., Alliant International University, San Diego

San Diego, CA - Tony Olaes, Awardee for Entrepreneurship was the first of the two Filipino awardees at the Asian Heritage Society Gala Awards Night on Saturday, September 14th at the Marriott Hotel at the Marina in San Diego.  He was honored for two outstanding achievements.  They are (1) As a 27 year veteran of the apparel industry, he founded and has grown to Olaes Enterprises Inc. (commonly called as ODM) into a nationally recognized firm that designs, manufactures and ships imprinted apparel that communicate today's pop culture which made him a highly successful clothing designer; and (2) CEO and Chairman of the Board of Gawad Kalinga USA, a nation building movement that has been instrumental in providing homes for thousands of the poor in the villages in the Philippines.  Tony’s personal philosophy is based on two humanitarian words of caring and sharing embodied in one Filipino word that he is so passionate about: BAYANIHAN.

Council for Teaching Filipino Language and Culture (CTFLC), Awardee for Education was the second of the two Filipino awardees at the Asian Heritage Society Gala Awards Night.  There were three honorees to receive this award, Cristeta Dumaran, CTFLC Founder and First President, Sally Idos CTFLC Immediate Past President and Mary Rose Peralta CTFLC Current President.  Ms. Peralta spoke on behalf of CTFLC in receiving the award.  "We are humbled that the Filipino Language became the role model to the less commonly taught languages and CTFLC is committed to any organization and culture who desires to expand multiculturalism and diversity in America."  It was a moving and fitting tribute to the group of teachers on stage receiving due recognition and award.  It was a beautiful representation of our Filipino heritage and culture.  The teachers were ALL stars of the show and deserving of the award.  This is the first time that a group of teachers came forward to receive an award. In addition twelve other awards different categories were presented to other outstanding recipients including a special posthumous Diversity Pioneer award to Dennis Avery, Philanthropist and Special Recognition Award to Dr. Pradeep Khosla, UCSD President.  All in all it was impressive group of awardees each of whom each of whom stand out as awardee in their own right.

The Asian Heritage Society Awards Gala under the able leadership of Rosalynn Carmen, President and Len Novarro, Vice President celebrated its Tenth Anniversary in this 2013 Awards Night at the Marriott Hotel in the Marina in San Diego.  It is an important milestone every year when the Society honors men and women and organizations who have dedicated their lives for the betterment of humanity and community.  The main project of Asian Heritage Society is the BOOST-STEM education program that empowers young girls to face the increasingly shrinking world of global competition while guiding them toward careers in science, technology, and business.  This program is based at Alliant International University.  The 2013 Asian Heritage Awards Planning Committee: Gala Co-Chairs: Drs. Shu Chien and Lilly Cheng; Planning Committee Chair: Julio de Guzman; Committee Members: Dr. Estela Matriano; Carole Caparros; Rosanna Harrison; Gwen Coronado; De Le; Julia Cheng; Sarina Dahlan; Stephanie Cheng; Montana Quebedeaux; Tri Ngyuyen; Len Novarro; Rosalynn Carmen.