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Premiere salon chain owner and Palawan’s hair and makeup guru Edgardo “Bong” Villanueva recently received his most prized trophy from Gawad Amerika.
He was cited as the most outstanding Filipino in the field of beauty and wellness in an awarding ceremony last November 23, 2019 at Celebrity Centre International Pavillion in Hollywood, California, USA.
Popularly known as Bong, he said that he was honored in getting the award despite the absence of a monetary prize.
He was first notified of the nomination last April, through a nomination by his friend, Celene Cortez, a former Octoarts artist that Villanueva previously worked with.
At first, he didn’t take it seriously thinking it was a hoax, but last October, he was thrilled when he got a message that he won the award, and was given travel assistance to fly to the USA.
“Nag-background check talaga sila, nakita nila yung natutulong ko sa community, at saka yung narating ng salon ko sa Palawan,” Bong said, pertaining to the reason why he got the award.
Villanueva said that he was pitted with celebrity hair and make-up stylist Fanny Serrano, as they are the closest in the said category. However, the organizers decided to elevate Serrano’s award to achievers’ status.
Villanueva believes that he was empowered to do more good after receiving the award. He promised to continue his advocacy in making lives beautiful to all Palaweños.
“Yung makilala ka dun, naisip ko na dapat lalo ako mag-pursige. Nakita ko yung ibang awardee na talaga namang deserving sila,” Villanueva said in closing.
The 18th Gawad Amerika is a program of Gawad Amerika Foundation that started in 1996 by Charles Simbulan. According to their website, Gawad Amerika aims to help many struggling Filipino-American families with socio-economic opportunities that enable them to live with dignity and decent lives.
Other awardees included Atty. Persida Acosta from the Public Attorney’s Office, Actress Kris Bernal, and Broadcaster Korina Sanchez.