Fil-Am community journalists shine at 4th Plaridel Awards

WATCH: Fourth Plaridel Excellence in Filipino American Journalism Awards
SOUTH SAN FRANCISCO–Young writers triumphed at the well-attended Fourth Plaridel Excellence in Filipino American Journalism Awards night October 8 at the Fort McKinley Restaurant here.

Asian Journal, whose main office is in Los Angeles, was the biggest winner, whose journalists ran away with six awards out of 15. Two of its reporters, Agnes Constante and Allyson Escobar, won multiple awards each.

Next came with four awards.

Esther Misa Chavez, president of the Philippine American Press Club, USA, whose crown project is the Plaridel Awards, said, “This year we saw the whole range of journalists, from the most seasoned to aspiring young college writers, submit their entries without hesitation –each confident that his or her story is worth of The Plaridel.”

Asian Journal’s Plaridel winners (from left) Christina Oriel, Agnes Constante, Allyson Escobar

“Their stories delve equally on current critical issues, personal drama, sports, Pinoy food, commentary, international reporting – the whole gamut of topics that journalists write about in the pursuit of their career as storytellers, or of giving voice to the voiceless. We applaud them all and thank them for giving the Plaridel Awards credibility,” Chavez said.

Keynote speaker of the evening was Brian Flores, anchor of the Morning News at KTVU, Fox 2. A third generation journalist, he was assigned to the BayArea newsroom in 2012.’s Plaridel awardees Lisa Suguitan Melnick, Myles Garcia

The 2015 Plaridel Awardees are:

Best International Reporting – Dr. Jorge Emanuel, Positively Filipino “My Battle with Ebola”

Best Entertainment Story – Lisa Suguitan Melnick, Positively Filipino, “Maseg, an artistic Tempest”

Best Sports Story – Myles Garcia, Positively Filipino, “Before Elorde, Before Pacquiao…there was Luis Logan”

Best Food Story – Allyson Escobar, Asian Journal, “Cooking Hawaiian Style: The art of Island cuisine”

Best Youth Voice – Allyson Escobar, Asian Journal, Passion Planner: Creating your life journey in a notebook”

Best News Story – Allyson Escobar, Asian Journal, “Maj. Gen Taguba Shares “Unfiltered” version of Abu Graib investigation”

Plaridel winners Henni Espinosa (third from left) and Rommel Conclara (extreme right), both of Balitang America, with guests. PHOTO BY RICHARD LAO

Best Personal Essay – Lotis Key, Positively Filipino, “Feeding my Filipino”

Best Feature Story – Agnes Constante, Asian Journal, Lovelyn Mawquex Prueher, The First FilAm Teacher of the Year for California”

Best Profile Writing – Agnes Constante, “Carlene Bonnivier, Retracing her Filipino Roots and enriching cultural identity.”

Best In-Depth Story – Cecile Ochoa,, “DACA, Confessions of a formerly undocumented youth”

Best Commentary – Emil Guillermo,, “Are you Charlie Hebdo? Or just Charlie Adobo?”

Best Tourism Feature Story – Christina Oriel, Asian Journal, Huma Island: An Island hideaway in the Tropical Paradise of Busuanga”

Best TV Community Reporting – Rommel Conclara, Balitang America/TFC, “Grandson and Grandma Create Memories through art”

Guests at Plaridel awards night in Fort McKinley Restaurant awaiting the announcement of winners. PHOTO BY RICHARD LAO

Best TV Personality Profile – Henni Espinosa, Balitang America/TFC, “Pinoy Mortician”

The Robert Henry Memorial Award for Radio – Allan Alvarez, KPHI 96.7 FM

A round trip California-Manila economy ticket donated by Philippine Airlines was raffled to the winners of The Plaridel, and the lucky Manila bound winner is Myles Garcia, who confessed he hasn’t been home in 11 years.

Christina Oriel, who won the Best Tourism Feature Story, won a two-day stay at the Hotel Centro in the island of Palawan, courtesy of Mango Tours. Sponsors of the Plaridel this year were PG&E, Philippine Air Lines,, Department of Tourism, San Francisco, Ramar Foods,, Mango Tours, Mariluz Floral Design and friends.

For more information about the Plaridel and the Philippine American Press Club, USA, visit

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