21 July  2022, Honolulu, Hawaii – A solemn and meaningful ceremony was held at the Philippine Consulate yesterday wherein Senator Bennette E. Misalucha was bestowed the  Gawad ng Pangulo Medallion and Plaque of Recognition as a recipient of the prestigious Presidential Awards for Filipino Individuals and Organizations Overseas (PAFIOO) Banaag category for 2021. The formal conferment ceremony of the Presidential Awards was held at the Manila Marriot Hotel last June 29. At that event, Senator Misalucha was represented by her brother, Mr. Benson Misalucha.

Senator Misalucha was one of only 26 recipients of the prestigious Presidential Banaag Award, which saw the submission of 117 nominations from 31 countries, according to the Commission on Overseas Filipinos. She was cited for her vast years of accomplishments in community work to advance the interests of the Filipino community while fulfilling civic duties. The State Senator joins an illustrious cast of recipients from Hawaii who have received the honor including Dr. Amy Agbayani, Dr. Belinda Aquino, former Governor Benjamin Cayetano, Mr. Eddie Flores Jr., and Mr. Roland Casamina.

In his remarks during the program, Consul General Fernandez highlighted the achievements and contributions of Senator Misalucha in her tireless pursuit of the interests of the Filipino community. He praised the Senator’s work ethic and active engagement with various sectors of the community. In particular, he cited the Senator’s role as Co-Convenor of the Filipino Legislative Caucus and leadership in advocating the interests of kababayans.

For her part, Senator Misalucha recalled her humble beginnings and the challenges she faced as an immigrant, which inspired her work. She attributed the recognition to all those who had contributed to empowering the community and recognized the contributions of Filipino community leaders in the areas of business, education, and culture, some of whom were present at the ceremony, including Dr. Amy Agbayani, Dr. Belinda Aquino, Mr. Rolando Casamina, and Mr. Eddie Flores Jr. Other notable persons in attendance were Senator Joy San Buenaventura, Senator Glenn Wakai, Representative Aaron Ling Johansson, and Honolulu City Councilmember Radiant Cordero.

The Presidential Awards for Filipino Individuals and Organizations Overseas is the highest honor given by the Philippine Government for the exemplary deeds of foreign-based individuals and organizations that contribute to nation-building and Philippine development, promote the welfare and well-being of Filipinos abroad, and bring honor to the country because of their achievements and excellence in their fields or professions.   END


Consul General Fernandez and Banaag Presidential Award recipient Senator Misalucha pose with guests during the ceremony. In her remarks, the Senator noted that the award should be shared with community leaders  who have likewise toiled  to advance the causes that have furthered the interests of Filipinos and Filipino-Americans in the State of Hawaii.