BalikBayani République | Tony Alabastro
Scripted in markers mounted on Bantayog nag Bagong Bayani (Modern Heroes’s Wall) by the main gate of the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) are names of all biennial Bagong Bayani Foundation Inc (BBFI) awardees from 1989 to 2018.
BBFI, a non-profit organization working with POEA and Overseas Workers Welfare Administration, has given over 1,500 awards.
On June 7, 2021, Bagong Bayani Awards recipients will be recognized for the country and others to emulate and be proud of.
March 31, 2021 is deadline for submission to Bagong Bayani Awards’ worldwide search for outstanding Overseas Filipino Workers (OFW).
On Valentine’s Day 2020, Filipino crew quarantined in Yokohama, Japan following a coronavirus outbreak danced on Diamond Princess cruise ship’s deck.
Until quarantine ended February 19, 2020, over 600 Filipino crew delivered food, water, medicine to passengers, and shared rooms, toilets and dining spaces to 3,711 people.
“They (crew) were servicing around 3,000 passengers of the cruise ship. They could have all the reason to take the rest because they were being quarantined – but instead, they continue serving,” says Labor Secretary Sylvester Bello III.
Bello says Labor Department is considering nominating the virus-hit cruise ship’s Filipino crew for 2020 Bagong Bayani Awards (BBA).
536 Filipinos among 1,045 crew members, and seven Filipino Diamond Princess passengers returned to Philippines February 25, 2020.
Left in Yokohama, 80 Filipino coronavirus-infected crew were repatriated March 31, 2020.
An 80-year-old cruise ship passenger who disembarked in Hongkong January 2020 had tested coronavirus-positive.
In the biggest COVID19 cases cluster outside China, Japan recorded over 700 infections and 14 deaths.
2018 Blas F. Ople para sa Natatanging Bagong Bayani Award and Bagong Bayani for Culture and the Arts Award recipient Ronaldo Enrique Molina of Sta. Ana, Manila is Saudi Arabia dentist and marketing specialist.
Molina’s efforts recognized Filipino talents under Filipino Pop Music Centre in eastern Saudi Arabia and America competitions, and raised live-saving funds for OFWs.
For exhibiting bravery and heroism, 28 Filipino crew members of Italian cruise ship Costa Concordia were conferred 2012 Bagong Bayani Award for Outstanding Employee.
When Costa Concordia’s captain abandoned ship, Filipino waiters, dishwashers, cooks and cleaners saving hundreds of injured and panic-stricken passengers during ship’s evacuation, amateur video showed.
The 13-public deck Concordia, among Italy’s biggest cruise ships in 2006 struck an underground rock off Tuscany, Italy.
Deviating from planned course, it ran aground, capsized and later sank, resulting in 32 deaths in January 2012.
“Those who helped us were cooks and stewardesses, all Filipinos,” a French tourist said. “They roped themselves to help us get down to the lifeboats.”
Filipino crew helped passengers into lifeboats they brought to shore, and made trips back and forth to ship during six-hour evacuation.
“Presence of mind and instinct to save life count much during unexpected and trying time,” says Capt. Leopoldo M. Gromio, 2014 BBA Outstanding Employee awardee.
Captain Gromio led rescuing nine wooden pleasure ship passengers in a rough seas sinking in Brazil January 2014.