TOFA 2021 live ceremony at Carnegie Hall

The Outstanding Filipinos in America Awards (TOFA), held annually in New York during the Filipino American History Month celebration in October, will be held in person with a live ceremony at Carnegie Hall’s Weill Hall, home of the TOFA Awards since 2011.

The 11th annual TOFA Awards is happening on 7 October 2021.

This year’s Awards theme is “A Salute to the Heroes of Coronavirus.”

“To this year’s TOFA awardees, I extend my most heartfelt congratulations. I hope you do realize the specialness of being recognized for being everything that you are, as well as for all you have done. We are all bonded by a shared history, even though we each come from very different fields of endeavor,” said former TOFA awardee and Tony winner Lea Salonga.

TOFA was founded in 2010 by Elton Lugay.

The event is held annually to showcase cultural diversity across fields such as theater, culinary, fashion design, gender equality, politics and healthcare and to give recognition to

Filipino-Americans that have raised the profile across America.

“I am so grateful to TOFA for its vital work to unify and pay tribute to the Filipino American community,” said Hillary Rodham Clinton.

Last year’s 10th anniversary event featured 100 most influential Filipino Americans.

Notable TOFA awardees include Oscar winner Bobby Lopez; Pulitzer Prize winner Jose Antonio Vargas; fashion designers Monique Lhuillier and Josie Natori; New York City Commission on Human Rights chair Carmelyn Malalis; transgender activist Geena Rocero; multi-awarded seasoned journalist Sheila Coronel; Ambassador Mario de Leon;White House executive chef Cristeta Comerford; Jessica Cox, the world’s first licensed armless pilot and many more.

Since 2009, the United States has officially recognized October as Filipino American History Month.

“TOFA is the most reputable Filipino award-giving body in the US. It honors Filipino achievers and that’s what we need these days — we need heroes, we need people to inspire us,” Boy Abunda said.

Recognizing our fellow Filipinos in what they’ve accomplished and contributed in our society shows how we value them.

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