100 Outstanding Filipino Americans in the USA was held on July 28, 2012. Darna Umayam (second from the right) organized the fundraising event.

Most Outstanding Filipino-Americans event was a fundraising project spearheaded by Ms. Darna Umayam for Philippine Children’s Charities Inc. in cooperation with Press Photographers  Philippines-USA, Inc.

Tony Olaes, Director of Gawad Kalinga , USA was last Saturday’s, July 28th recipient of One Million Pesos. Gawad Kalinga aka GK is a foundation with a vision of a slum-free Philippines. GK started in Dumaguete City initially volunteered by Singles for Christ dedicated to rescue and rehabilitate communities by housing construction for the benefit of homeless families. Backed by heads of our country since Pres. Corazon Aquino until today, this project is still ongoing till helplessness and homelessness is fought and finally won. The Philippine project has now become a global model in development and is adopted by other developing countries to alleviate poverty.

Tony Olaes, Creative Director and President of ODM Arts, in his acceptance speech at the event announced also that he  will send his personal check and donation of One Million Pesos on behalf of the project and the other 99 honorees to the children of Bantay Bata 163. In his latest communications Olaes said that it was shocking that Bantay Bata rejected the funds and for him  to in turn send one right back to them. He said he chose to do that because he felt it was the right thing to do for the children who were meant to be served – there was no either or. At the end, everyone won except for the perpetrators. The GK Family were overwhelmed by the donation and make sure the funds will go to the most deserving of our people. He congratulated Umayam for an amazing event on behalf of the tens and thousands of volunteers and beneficiaries of Gawad Kalinga worldwide. Olaes extended their congratulatory message by saying “maraming maraming salamat Tita, you are a hero to all of us!”

PPP-USA officers and members would like to extend their congratulations to Ms. Darna Umayam, all 100 Fil-Am awardees and all those who have been involved to make this event happen. Being a part of a trustworthy and reliable charity project was the most exciting, overwhelming experience a person could ever be proud of in his lifetime.

In her message last Saturday, Umayam thanked the more than 950 who attended the event, performers from NUEVO School of Contemporary Dance who performed excerpts from  Chicago and Burlesque, singers Anthony Paul, Nicole Villalon, Sheila Ferrari Dorothy Rae Gonzales and Antoinette Taus with their rendition of Broadway hit songs, the local and mainstream media who covered the event, sponsors, Temple Hospital, Philippine Airlines, Dole Company, Majestic Vacations, 5 Linx, 24-7 Remit Card, Law office of Atty. Carmel Hehr, Axianta, Cerritos Reference Laboratory, Cez Catering, Fiesta Fast Food, Noypitz, Cherry Salon, Colina Salon, Conejo Pain, Cook for Less, Dermskin, ES Cosmetics, First Nations Funding, Gaspar Insurance, Lilac, Johnny Air,  Law Office of Atty. Ed Allan Lindain, LVI, Maharajah USA, Mighty Dove Group, Nuevo School of Contemporary Dance, O Skin Care, Red Mobile, Reyes Law Group, RSG Fine Jewelry, St. Vincent Medical Center, State Farm Insurance, Twins Quality Healthcare GMA 7, Fil Am TV, UNAC-UHCP and Zuehls Legaspi.  In her closing message, Umayam said that everyone who attended the event were all “outstanding.” From the awardees, ranking from Hollywood to grassroots to community leaders who made a name for their track records, Doctors, Architects, Engineers, Nurses, Young achievers, Ministry, Labor Leaders, Business Entrepreneurs, etc. and to the people who bought tickets and for those who were just there to support. The audience applauded Umayam when she extended her congratulations to everyone by saying “let’s all be proud of ourselves because we were able to give houses to our poor homeless fellow Filipinos in our beloved country the Philippines.” She was so thankful that her dream of raising TWO MILLION PESOS for this event was granted that night.