Filipino community service leaders honored in Toronto at awards gala

by Christine Santos, ABS-CBN News

TORONTO — A number of Filipino community leaders in Toronto were nominated at the first Men of Honour Awards.  The event recognized outstanding male champions in the community.

100 men proudly marched at the Men of Honour awards gala in the York Region.  This is the first of its kind event that honors men who enhance the well-being of communities.

5 Fil-Canadians were nominated and 1 took home the award for Leadership in Advocacy.

Alex Chiu was the former councilor of Markham City for 33 years and was instrumental in its growth and development.

“Now that I’m retired and I get this…at least I have something that I can keep it for my memory.  Just hoping they would remember what I have done, forget about me.  Whatever they do, I hope they always have the community in mind,” said Chiu.

Fellow nominees Scott Dion Brown, Paul Go, Hans Ngo, and Steve Pagao say they were grateful for the recognition and shared their aspirations for the community.

“Know for yourself why you’re doing what you’re doing. You get rejections so you kind of accept that that’s going to be part of it and you just don’t let it get you down…you just got to find a way to get back on the horse and keep going again,” said Brown.

“They should give back to the community as a token of their appreciation for having been able to come over to the country for a better opportunity,” said Pagao.

From the red carpet parade to the full-course meal, the community champions were treated like kings at the evening’s festivity.

“It has never happened, I don’t think so, in any place in the GTA (Greater Toronto Area), who have put a show like this,” said Rosanna Penilla-Bharucha, Founder – Men of Honour. “This is a beautiful display of the men who have contributed to the community…the unsung heroes. This is a way of saying thank you.”

“There’s a lot of negativity about men…We have many men who also are very good in the community that they serve.”

Out of 100 men who were nominated, 40 received awards.  Win or lose, these men will always remember the event and how they were recognized for their contribution in the community.

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