REDWOOD SHORES, California: ABS-CBN The Filipino Channel (TFC) senior reporter Henni Espinosa and Bay Area correspondent Rommel Conclara of TFC’s Balitang America won top honors at the 2015 Plaridel Awards of the Philippine American Press Club (PAPC) held on October 9 at the Fort McKinley Restaurant in South San Francisco.
ABS-CBN TFC received the 2015 Torch Bearer award for its 20 years of continuous broadcasting and community building in America. The other recipient of this year’s Torch Bearer Award is Foreign Affairs Secretary Albert del Rosario, for steadfastly leading the Philippines in its fight against China aggression over the West Philippine Sea.
The Torch Bearer Award is given to journalists and community leaders “For bearing the torch of the Filipino ideal and keeping it aflame through the winds of change and the passage of time in their work as journalists and community leaders, and for selflessly dedicating unmeasured time and boundless energy towards their mission.”
Espinosa topped the TV Personality Profile category for her work entitled, Pinoy Mortician, besting Balitang America colleagues, East Coast correspondent Don Tagala of New York (“Meet the FilAm Navy Capt Commanding a Major Warship Upgrade Project),” and ABS-CBN North America News Bureau Chief Paul Henson and Associate Producer Troy Espera who both executive produced Legacy: The Pacquiao-Mayweather Ultimate Showdown.
Conclara won for his work, “Grandson and Grandma Create Memories through Art” in the TV Community Reporting category, also over Balitang America, ABS-CBN North America News Bureau Chief Paul Henson and Associate Producer Troy Espera (executive producers, “Balitang America Yearend Special”) and other nominees: Rick Delos Reyes of Power ng Pinoy (Power ng Pinoy Returns to Hollywood); Giselle Toengi of KSCI-LA18’s Kababayan Today (“Road to Merrie Finale”); and Rachell Ocampo, et. al. of Makilala TV (“Episode 16: Trans Awareness – Dealing with Ignorance and Bigotry”).
Though the Plaridel Awards, PAPC aims “to acknowledge and celebrate the contribution of outstanding writers and publishers in the Filipino American community, as they chronicle the lives and times of our kababayan, promote our ethnicity, champion our causes and provide a venue for our people to voice out their concerns, and ideas for the betterment of our society and the community at large.”
Award categories covered articles on print and online, broadcast segments on television and radio, and photojournalism.
This year’s Plaridel Awards was presided by PAPC President Esther “Boots” Misa Chavez, Inquirer.net’s Vice President for Marketing and Sales and Regional Director for North America. Consul General Henry Bensurto Jr. of the Philippine Consulate General in San Francisco also graced the event and gave his remarks.