Last December 6, five noble heroes were handed Dakilang Bayani Awards – the highest honor given by the Philippine Consulate – at the Barrio Fiesta Bayanihan Festival at Zabeel Park in Dubai.
The prestigious distinctions are the consulate’s way of recognizing the contribution of exceptional overseas Filipinos and are held during the community’s annual Christmas celebration, with the name of the festival ‘Bayanihan’ which roughly translates to ‘spirit of cooperation’ or ‘unity’ in Filipino.
Here Are the Five Filipino Expats Given the Highest Honor by the PH Consulate in Dubai
At the event, there were dancing and singing contests, as well as fashion shows and Filipino food stalls, plus live entertainment from singer Yeng Constantino, actor Sam Milby and actress Bela Padilla. However, the award-giving ceremony, held every year since 2016, was the highlight of the day’s festivities at Zabeel Park in Dubai, as shared in a report by the Gulf News.
The awardees were selected by a panel of eight judges including Philippine Consul General Paul Raymond Cortes. From a list of 47, the list was trimmed down to 21 from which five were handpicked.
The five Filipinos awarded with this distinction were:
Reynaldo Buenaflor Angulo, an office employee in Dubai, who has been living in the UAE for the past 30 years; Elena Cruz, the head of brand and CSR at Emirates NBD, who has lived in Dubai more than 20 years; Leo Barrameda, the manager of the International Collector Programme at Art Dubai, who has lived in the UAE for 11 years; Captain Conrado Ramos Quizon, an Air Force pilot, and Dubai resident of 11 years; and Marjorie Nazaret, the principal of Al Alfiah Filipino Private School, who has lived in Sharjah for 20 years.
Angulo shared that he got his award for helping patients at Rashid Hospital, as well as inmates of Dubai Central Jail, and also for his assistance in the repatriation of bodies back to the Philippines. His work among the Filipino community in the Satwa neighborhood was also recognized.
As for Cruz, she was recognized for leading a corporate volunteering project at Emirates NBD that has 4,000 members who have dedicated over 120,000 hours of community work winning this year’s UN Impact 2030 Global Innovation Award. Furthermore, she was also recognized for leading the bank’s financial literacy initiative and their work towards helping people of determination.
On the other hand, Barrameda, a director of the Philippine Business Council, was awarded for helping Filipino entrepreneurs and aspiring business owners in the UAE.
Together with his group, Barrameda adopted an indigenous community in North Cotabato, Philippines, and organized feeding programs and medical missions partnered with cargo companies to send supplies to out-of-school youth in the community. Together they have also provided assistance to more than 250 students in North Cotabato this year.
Similarly, Quizon was recognized for her work among the indigenous communities of Mindanao, providing school supplies while supporting a children’s cancer hospital in Davao.
And lastly, Nazaret was recognized for her work in the local education sector and for her efforts to improve the education system at home.
Here is the video shared by Gulf News via YouTube:
Congratulations to our Filipino awardees! You are all role models in your own right and have made us all proud. We wish you greater success in your chosen line of work and personal advocacies!