Golden Balangay Awards presents Outstanding Pinoys

2018 Awardees. From left, Mike Cruz (Excellence Award in Sports & Fitness), Mel Galeon for Fv Foods (PCCT Business Excellence), Paulina Corpuz (Pinoy of the Year), Jane Manalang Paguio (Entrepreneur of the Year), Ma. Eleanor Mescallado-Kalash (Excellence Award in Arts & Culture), Rosemer Albovias Enverga for the late Senator Tobias Jun Enverga (Posthumous Lifetime Achievement Award), Ethel Tungohan (Educator of the Year), Ruth Dunn for the late Pet Cleto (Posthumous Lifetime Achievement Award), Loizza Adriene Aquino (iKM Young Leader of the Year), Alberto Rodil (Gluckstein Community Service), and, brother and mother of Joshua Diamante (WFG Young Entrepreneur of the Year). Photo: Ramon Talusan.

Toronto, Ontario

Winnipeg will host Gala next year

By Ysh Cabana


The winners for the nationwide search to honor outstanding Filipino Canadians were presented Saturday September 8, 2018 at the BMO Institute for Learning, Toronto.


Loizza Aquino, 18, received the Young Leader of the Year award for her advocacy on mental health. Philippines-native Aquino, 18, is a U of T Scarborough student who started Peace of Mind to end the stigma of mental health issues for teens and advocate for more resources.

Loizza Aquino. (Photo: Canadian Immigrant Magazine)

“This is a tribute to young women, to youth, the people of colour, and to immigrants, especially Filipinos to show and inspire the different minorities that make up who I am. That it should not hinder success, but instigate and inspire,” writes Aquino in her social media post.


The annual Golden Balangay Awards (GBA) was created four years ago and began the first awards-giving ceremonies in 2017. Recipients hail from different Canadian cities and were recognized under 19 categories that includes education, arts, music, business, career and community service among others.


The Award takes it name from the “balangay” or wooden watercraft excavated in Southeast Asia and believed to be used by early migrants who reached the modern-day Philippines. GBA aims to celebrate and recognize the achievements and significant contributions of Filipinos across Canada.


Here is the full list of winners:


Educational Excellence (Post Secondary Education)

Marissa Bumanlag, University of Windsor


Educator of the Year

Ethel Tungohan, York University


Entrepreneur of the Year

Jane Manalang Paguiao, Estacio Filipino Food, Ajax ON


Young Entrepreneur of the Year

Josh Diamante, Throne Barbershop, Toronto, ON


Business Excellence Award

Mel Galeon, FV Foods


Excellence in Sports and Fitness

Michael Roland Cruz, Crossover Sports Canada


Excellence in Music and Entertainment

Thea Cruz, pop & rnb singer from Montreal


Excellence in Media

Judianne Jayme of Mabuhay TV and Culture Card, Winnipeg


Excellence in Arts and Culture

Ma. Eleanor Mescallado-Kalash, artistic director and choreographer


Most Influential Community Organization

Philippine Independence Day Council (PIDC) Toronto


Young Leader of the Year

Loizza Aquino, mental health advocate


Manggagawang Pilipino of the Year

Janeth Valenciano, registered nurse


Community Service Award

Alberto Rodil, immigrant seniors settlement worker


Pinoy of the Year

Paulina Corpuz


Former Senator Tobias “Jun Enverga, who died at age 61 on November 16 while on a parliamentary trip to Colombia, was also posthumously awarded the GBA Lifetime Achievement Award for his work in the Canadian Senate. He was the first Filipino descent to be appointed to the position as representative of the province of Ontario.


Ruth Dunn also received the GBA Lifetime Achievement Award on behalf of her sister Pet Cleto, 72, who was a human rights activist, woman rights advocate, journalist, editor, writer, organizer and long-time community broadcaster. Tita Pet passed away on January 11 due to complications related to multiple organ failure.


A highlight of the event was the symbolic turnover of “sagwan” by founders Ronnie Dela Gana and Jovito Favila to delegates from Winnipeg where the gala will be travelling next year.


Filipino TV  broadcast the awards night ceremonies on Friday September 14.

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