The Gawad Geny Lopez Jr. Bayaning Pilipino Awards 2017 announced the finalists for South Korea. This is the first time that the award-giving body is recognizing Filipino heroes based in the country. This award is organized by ABS-CBN and Ugat Foundation.
Fr. Nilo Tanalega of UGAT Foundation, Chit Guerrero of ABS-CBN and Marinella Mirasol-Eden organized the awarding held on June 5, 2016 at the Jesuit Apostolic Center located in the campus of Sogang University in Mapo-gu, Seoul. Star Magic talent Jessy Mendiola hosted the event while “Tawag ng Tanghalan” Grand Champion Noven Bellesa entertained the audience with his cover of popular ballads.
Four Filipinos in South Korea were hailed as heroes in the ceremony. They are Katherine Corteza, Alice Lipata-Cho, Gennie Kim and Rene Medrano. One of them will be hailed as the winner at a later date.
Katherine Corteza is the head of the Itaewon Global Village Center in Seoul. Before that, she worked for the Korea Migrant Center assisting troubled foreign workers. She also helped in translating guidelines and brochures on living in Korea from the vernacular to Tagalog. Aside from her work at the Itaewon Global Village Center, she is also a member of “The 601 Habit”.
Alice Lipata-Cho is a mom to two Filipino-Korean boys. Since becoming a widow, she bravely raised her kids while sharing her free time to the Daegu Filipino Community. She is working as an English teacher at a private academy. Her boys accompanied her to the ceremony.
Gennie Kim is a professional marriage and EPS counselor for Dasan Call Center. She is also a radio DJ for the Multicultural Broadcasting Network of Woongjin Foundation. As part of multiple Filipino communities, she advises and helps organize events. Her experience as a factory worker has encouraged her to help the foreign workers in Korea.
Rene Mederano is the only man among the finalists. He is the head of Bucheon Filipino Migrants’ Community. Aside from helping troubled members of the community, he also leads them in handling their finances by conducting lectures.
The winner of the Gawad Geny Lopez Jr. Bayaning Pilipino Awards 2017 South Korea will be announced at a ceremony in Manila. All the finalists deserve to win ~ they are all heroes in the eyes of the people they made a difference to.
P.S. Thanks to Sherlyn Kim for lending me her phone ~