WHAT YOU WOULD LIKE TO KNOW?
By: Jennifer Stein-New York News Flash
The Gawad Amerika started in 1996 as a civic organization called the “Gawad Amerika Foundation” (GAF). It was founded by its Chairman of the Board and civic leader, Charles Simbulan who has a strong and dynamic vision of helping and cultivating the talents of young Filipino-American achievers who lack the necessary resources to follow their dreams. The foundation also provides help to many struggling Filipino-American families with socio-economic opportunities that enable them to live with dignity and decent lives. The Gawad Amerika’s commitment and dedication to its vision continue to reach out to more young achievers and families in need for years without any media coverage. Today, there are about 125 students who are recipients of the Gawad Amerika’s financial support. About 58 individuals and families were given shelter and provided jobs. As the foundation continues to grow, a lot of business and civic leaders, entrepreneurs and even some political figures in the Filipino-American communities started to recognize its efforts in reaching out to those in need. They began to offer support to the foundation and together, they use their resources and dedicate their time and resources to aggressively and passionately help deserving individuals to make their dreams a reality.
In the years to come, the Gawad Amerika started to honor the achievements of these young achievers and exemplary citizens who make a difference in their lives and in their communities. Along the way, more and more individuals who excel in their respective chosen careers and have done remarkable achievements in their communities were given recognition which became a yearly tradition of the Gawad Amerika Foundation which was later known as the Gawad Amerika Awards.
In September 2002, one year after the historic 9/11 attacks, the Gawad Amerika Awards Night (GAAN) held its 1st formal event in which the first half of the program was dedicated to honor the victims and fallen heroes especially in the Filipino-American communities. In the years that follow, the Gawad Amerika started to invite and recognize respectable individuals from different industries whose achievements have inspired our young generation to follow their dreams and to excel in their chosen career. Most notably of these are people from the film, television and entertainment industry, young entrepreneurs and those who serve the public in politics.
Today, Gawad Amerika is the only Filipino-American independent award giving body that recognizes the achievements of Filipino-American in their respective career. The Gawad Amerika is known and respected both in the Philippines and in the United States for its dedication and commitment to Filipino-American communities.
The Gawad Amerika Objectives:
• To recognize exceptional works of ordinary Filipino-Americans who inspire
young achievers to excel in their chosen careers.
• To promote unity among Filipino-American communities in the United States.
• To showcase remarkable achievements of Filipino-American entrepreneurs, business owners and civic leaders and ordinary individuals with extra-ordinary talents to motivate others in achieving their goals.
The Gawad Amerika Awards Committee:
The Gawad Amerika is composed of the Chairman of the Board and the Gawad Amerika Panel who serves as the Screening Committee and the Board of Judges.
Its Chairman of the Board, Mr. Charles Simbulan is a young achiever himself. He was an entrepreneur for garments industry at the age of 17 and a full-fledged Certified Public Accountant and MBA in our hometown. He held a position of a Vice President in the Aerospace industry which specialized in defense products and Drones, e.g.; F16 and many others. He is currently a President and CEO for the Healthcare industry. He is also a business owner and a civic leader. The Gawad Amerika Panels were composed of various business owners, media person, publishers, students, respectable young entrepreneurs and civic leaders mostly in the Filipino-American communities and many others including Cinemax Entertainment, “A” Celebrities Talent International, Prime Media Post, Media Touch Productions and Fil-Am U.S based publications such as Asian Panorama Newsmagazine, LA Newsweek, US Asia Post, Teen Girl Magazine and Abante News NY Flash.
Nominations and Voting Procedures:
Any individuals (must be at least 25% of Filipino heritage) who excels in his or her chosen career, has done remarkable achievements in the Filipino-American communities and has a continued commitments and dedication in making a difference in the lives of others can be nominated by any civic leaders, business owners, publishers, and those in the politics. Nominations should be accompanied by the individual’s personal profile, academic/school achievements, a short essay or recognition in community involvements and career credentials. All nominations must be submitted during the first half of the year in order to qualify.
Screening and Judging Committee:
The Gawad Foundation Committee selects nominees who best qualify for its annual recognition through verification and interview process. Screening of personal data, academic and school profile, career achievements and community involvements are all being screened thoroughly by the Gawad Amerika Panel after which, the interview process will follow. Final candidates will be forwarded to the Chairman of the Board for final selection.
Gawad Amerika Recipients:
Aside from ordinary individuals who make a difference in their lives and in their communities recognized by the Gawad Amerika, notable people awarded in the past include: Icon Boxer Manny Pacquiao, Senator Jinggoy Estrada VP President J. Binay, Senator Lito Lapid, LA’s singing sweetheart, Cheryl Marie, actor Diether Ocampo and actress Kristine Hermosa, Judy Santos, Sunshine Dizon, multi-talented singers, Christian Bautista and Sarah Geronimo and host Ryan Agoncillo…to name a few.
The 2013 Gawad Amerika Awards Night:
The 2013 Gawad Amerika Awards was recently held on Saturday, November 9th at the Celebrity Centre in Hollywood, California starting at 7PM. Atty. Cherylmarie Simbulan together with Atty. Hayden Beach hosted the awards night. The event will be graced by award winning director Rev. F. Pars Jr. and Hollywood Shoestring Producer, H.B. Barrum.
This year’s honorees are Former VP Nolie De Castro who will accept the Lifetime Achievement Award, Entertainment Icon German Moreno bagged “The Lakandula Award”, Atty. P. Acosta Outstanding achievement award, Actor Romeo Vasquez for Man of the Century and many others…
To find out more information about the Gawad Amerika, please log on to www.gawadamerika.com or call the organization customer service at (818) 224-9390.
The 2014 Gawad Amerika Awards Night:
The 2014 Gawad Amerika Awards Night is being scheduled on Saturday, November 12th at the Celebrity Centre in Hollywood, California, Nomination will start on January 1, 2014 thru April 30, then followed by verification/selection process.