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Oct 31 19, 12:37 am

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The Filipino Times Awards: The essence of excellence

by | EDITOR’S CHOICE, Feature, TOP STORIES

Oct. 31, 19 | 12:37 am

What does The Filipino Times Awards look for?

This has been the question of many individual nominees for the upcoming The Filipino Times Awards set to take place this coming November 8. As the award-giving body thrusts towards its fifth year, it has received over 600 nominations for the individual category from which 47 individuals were hailed as finalists across 16 categories for this year’s event.

The Filipino Times sat down with four of the past winners: 2016 The Filipino Times Awards Advertising and Marketing Professional of the Year Roxane Negrillo, 2018 The Filipino Times Awards Advertising Professional of the Year Nicholo Jallores, 2018 The Filipino Times Awards Marketing Professional of the Year Joseph Alcantara and 2016 The Filipino Times Healthcare Professional of the Year Dan Lester Dabon to look deeper into the makings of the most prestigious award-giving body for Filipinos in the Middle East.

Invested in Filipinos

The Filipino Times Awards sets itself apart from other award-giving bodies as one of, if not, the only platform where Filipinos rise up and get recognized for their achievements. “It felt really good kasi finally we have our own award-giving body that’s very credible and it recognizes the achievement of Filipinos. It started this new Filipino trend of ‘We can also excel’ in different industries. People started recognizing and they were auditing their own skills,” said Negrillo.

With the reach of The Filipino Times across different markets in the country, the award-giving body gets noticed by over 200 nationalities as well. “Hindi lang siya pang Pilipino, na re-recognize din siya ng ibang lahi. Nakikita nila na there is a platform that recognizes Filipinos sa buong industriya kung saan nag e-excel yung mga Pilipino katulad natin, pasok na pasok siya which I think makes The Filipino Times Awards really special, credible and really inspiring for the entire nation,” said Alcantara.

Joseph Alcantara

In addition, Jallores affirms that The Filipino Times brings forth the narrative for Filipinos to be well represented here in the country: “I’d venture as far as to say that there is no other private institution in the UAE who is as invested in the Filipino community as The Filipino Times. Not only are they the most active voice when it comes to uniting all of us as a community, they’re also our biggest avenue for representation.”

Rigorous Screening Process

The three awardees have also recalled that winning their respective awards wasn’t a walk in the park as they too had responded to all of the questions and fulfilled the necessary requirements to be in the running to win the awards as finalists.

Alcantara reminisces that the long list of requirements and questionnaires were akin to applying for residency visas but at the same time affirmed that all of the documents were to vet for each nominee: “Ganoon siya ka-legit and ka-credible because hindi lang siya yung magpapacute ka lang and it’s not just random questions that you will randomly answer. It really looks into your accomplishments, your background, to who you are in the past, your digital footprint for example. And basang-basa ka if you’re just there for the sake of being nominated or getting the award and there’s no purpose.”

Jallores said that he realized it’s best to be authentic as the jury will surely look through each and every detail of the responses and made sure to fulfill promises that he has since put on paper. “Ang ginawa ko na lang, magpakatotoo na lang tayo. Sagutin ko na lang ng totoo, let’s just be authentic. Let’s make sure na whatever it is that I promised in this set of questionnaires, I would be able to fulfill. At the end of the day, the people who are vetting this know what’s up. They are smart and they would know if you’re just doing this to trump up your own achievements and not necessarily because you could do something with the award.”

Roxane Negrillo

Negrillo shares that responding to the questionnaire is necessarily a reflection of your own integrity: “Yung integrity mo as a nominee, you have to make sure that what you’re saying there is really correct and you can really, sincerely be proud of yourself.” As part of the jury for three years now she furthers that they carefully read through every single detail that each finalist submits. “Hindi biro talaga. We go through every single thing, pati background information, pati vetting. We talk amongst ourselves – that’s why yung credibility ng award is napakahalaga kasi kapag ikaw yung naawardan, ang daming judges na galing sa iba’t ibang industries.”

Beacon of credibility

New to this year’s The Filipino Times Awards experience is the live presentation of each finalist to share their experiences in front of selected jury members. “The 5th year of The Filipino Times Awards, of course we have to continue raising the bar. Hindi lahat na ca-capture in writing. So nakakatulong yung mag face-to-face, yung sincerity, other things na na-miss out sa form, importante yun. Yung human element na for example, that nominee was able to move me. Ano yung impact nya personally sa amin as judges,” said Negrillo who sits among this year’s panel of judges.

Nicholo Jallores

Despite the rigorous process to vie for the awards, Alcantara believes that each step that each nominee goes through is important in order to establish themselves as worthy candidates to be hailed in their respective categories: “I think the TFT Team is not making it hard for the sake of making it hard. But it really stamps that legitimacy and credibility that once you’re nominated, once you win for example, it’s really a stamp that would legitimize your title and your accomplishments here in the UAE.”

Exemplary Excellence

The theme of this year’s The Filipino Times Awards is ‘I am Exemplary Filipino’ which echoes the can-do attitude of Filipinos that make them shine as beacons of inspiration. “I think that being exemplary is about having self-awareness to know that what you’re doing may be of impact and influence to others, but at the same time staying true to your commitment, your convictions and capacity as a human being,” said Jallores.

Meantime, Dabon said this year’s cream of the crop redefines success as something that isn’t personal – but as something that each finalist shares with their communities: “They are all equally good and doing great in their respective fields – the common denominator that I found was that they are exemplary, in the sense that they redefine the meaning of success by showing that it is not just about themselves but about seeing other people succeed,” he said.

Alcantara added that excellence as an exemplary Filipino should go beyond doing well at work and being an OFW – as Filipinos should think of ways to give a chance for others to grow: “I think we all need to be working on ourselves to be better as a whole – not just sa trabaho, sa pagiging OFW, but kung paano tayo magiging mabuting tao na magpo-provide ng impact para sa iba.”

 

Dan Lester Dabon

Unyielding Filipino Resilience and Humility

Negrillo believes if there’s one value that all winners should have is the virtue of humility as she recalls seeing mixed emotions from last year’s winners. “Doon sa stage, when we were awarding people, makikita mo talaga yung humility tsaka yung, ‘Can you pinch me, is this happening right now?” shares Negrillo.

Dabon likewise adds that candidates who win the awards will have that extra edge to open new paths to help fellow Filipinos. “Winning the award will serve as a trigger for them to discover their deeper purpose that is not just for themselves professionally and personally, but for the community because it’s all about giving back,” said Dabon.

Alcantara added that the event hosted other nationalities who networked with their Filipino counterparts during the fun-filled evening. Negrillo added that the spirit of humility was hanged thick in the air: “Makikita mo talaga na full of joy, full of accomplishment pero nandun yung humility. Hindi siya pataasan, hindi siya payabangan. Nanduon yung humility and celebrating the success of each other which makes it a combination of fun, celebration of each other’s successes, talents, and inspiration as well.”

 

A Night to Remember

Jallores stresses that the real value of winning The Filipino Times Awards lies not in basking in the moment and the physical trophy, it is what you do after winning it that matters: “Start thinking about how you are going to pay this award forward. I’ve said this before and I’ll say it again – if all you do is to let that award sit on your shelf to prop up your ego, you didn’t really win an award – you just won a trophy. The true measure of success as a TFT Award winner is how you use this award to elevate, inspire, and empower others.”

Alcantara shares that even those who would not win have made it far as finalists and should look upon the experience as a big opportunity to be better. “Take it as a learning experience – being able to be part of 600 people na nag try maging nominated and na shortlist ka, it’s a huge feat! Don’t think that you’re not good, don’t think that you’re accomplishments are not enough. Every one of us is a work in progress so take it as a challenge to better your craft.”

Negrillo reveals that the secret to the feeling of fulfillment during the prestigious evening is that which genuinely comes from the heart. “Yung fulfillment dapat galing sa puso, galing sa paghihirap talaga yung being able to really aspire to be someone. Continue reaching for your dreams. And don’t be afraid to ask for guidance. Marami tayong mga kababayan who can always help you, guide you and mentor you.”

Dabon said he hopes finalists who wouldn’t get the chance to be part of this year’s batch of awardees would continue improving themselves as their time will surely come. “Know your value because when you know your truest value, you will know how to sell yourself — it’s about marketing and presenting themselves,” he said.

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THE FILIPINO TIMES is the biggest and most trusted Filipino newspaper in the UAE.

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With more than 2,500 strategic distribution spots, TFT is available where the Filipinos are - at Smart Bus Shelters, Metro Stations, restaurants, supermarkets, schools, airport lounges, Emirates and Etihad Philippine-bound flights, churches, Filipino community events and many more.

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THE FILIPINO TIMES is the biggest and most trusted Filipino newspaper in the UAE.

It has a print run of 60,000 copies and 250,000 readership per week; bolstered by 1 million visitors to its website every month. It also has an e-newsletter sent to its 250,000 subscribers every day.

The Filipino Times is FREE and has the widest targeted circulation across the 7 emirates of the UAE.

With more than 2,500 strategic distribution spots, TFT is available where the Filipinos are - at Smart Bus Shelters, Metro Stations, restaurants, supermarkets, schools, airport lounges, Emirates and Etihad Philippine-bound flights, churches, Filipino community events and many more.

THE FILIPINO TIMES. We are where the Filipinos are.

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