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Hawaii Filipinos Win Presidential Awards

University of Hawaiʻi
Posted: Jan 2, 2003

Benjamin J. Cayetano, former governor of Hawaii, Belinda A. Aquino, director of the University of Hawaii Center for Philippine Studies, and the Filipino Community (FilCom) Center were among the recipients of the prestigious Presidential Awards for Filipino Individuals and Organizations Overseas for 2002. A total of 24 individuals and 10 foreign organizations were presented with awards by Philippine President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo in Malacaņan Palace on December 12 for excellence or distinction in their profession and for contributions to Philippine development overseas.

Cayetano and Aquino received the Pamana ng Pilipino (Philippine Heritage) Award, given to individuals for excellence or distinction in their work. Cayetano served two terms as governor of Hawaii, the first governor of Filipino ancestry to be elected in America. He retired recently after 28 years of public service.

Aquino, professor of Political Science and Asian Studies at the University of Hawaii at Manoa, as well as director of the Center for Philippine Studies, has also served for 28 years. She is an internationally recognized authority on contemporary Philippine society and politics.

The Filipino Community Center in Honolulu won one of the Banaag Awards, which are given to individuals or organizations for advancing the cause of Filipino communities overseas or supporting specific communities or sectors in the Philippines. Eddie Flores, Jr. and Roland Casamina, both officers of FilCom, received the award on behalf of the Center.

The Presidential Awards are administered by the Commission on Filipinos Overseas and the Department of Foreign Affairs in Manila. This year 169 nominations submitted by Philippine embassies and consulates worldwide were received.

For further information, contact Marissa C. Garcia at (808) 956-6086 or email

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