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SUNDRY STROKES By Rosalinda L. Orosa
Saturday, December 16, 2006

Receiving the Outstanding Filipino (TOFIL) awards recently were Fr. Marciano "Rocky" G. Evangelista, SDB, Antonio P. Meloto Jr., Socorro G. Ramos and Ramon G. Orlina.

The Tuloy Foundation, Inc. in Makati’s Don Bosco Parish, which was established by Fr. Evangelista in 1993, has taken care of orphaned and abandoned children, making more than 5,000 of them productive citizens to date.

The Gawad Kalinga which Mr. Meloto founded has built homes for the poor in over 850 communities here and in four other countries, and has benefited some 200,000 people. Mr. Meloto aims to build 7,000 communities by 2010.

In passing, Mr. Meloto shares his award, in some measure, with among others a non-Filipino, the millionaire Englishman Dylan Wilkes who, after looking around for a beneficiary of his fortune, was so impressed by Mr. Meloto’s mission, he decided to join it. He poured his millions into Gawad Kalinga. He eventually married a daughter of Mr. Meloto, and is now living a simple life with his family in Quezon City. (I got the information on Mr. Wilkes from Jill Beckingham, wife of the UK ambassador.)

Mrs. Ramos and her late husband opened a small bookstore in 1942. It later became a one-stop shop. The National Bookstore has now 83 branches throughout the country, and has licensing agreements with US publishing houses which allow it to make their titles available to Filipino readers.

Mr. Orlina’s rare originality, enterprise, imagination and resourcefulness led him to experiment with left-over glass pieces from glass factories, transforming them into art. Now his glass sculptures are permanent acquisitions at the CCP Complex, the National Museum, the Singapore Museum and Guangzhou’s China Hotel.

What these four individuals have done to give meaning to the lives of thousands! What refreshing and pleasant news they make in the midst of the turbulent and depressing times caused by factious politics, widespread poverty and all-pervading corruption, suffocating pollution and perennially congested traffic!


Tofil Awardees

2006 TOFIL Awardees pose with TOFIL Organizers. From left: Rey Quipit, TOFIL Chairman; Dr. Adolfo Bellosillo, Chairman of the Board of Judges; TOFIL Awardees Fr. Rocky Evangelista, Antonio Meloto, Ramon Orlina, and Socorro Ramos; Vicente R. Ayllon, Insular Life Chairman and CEO; and Ver dela Cruz, JCI Senate President.

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