MANILA, PHILIPPINES – Nobel Peace Prize laureate Maria Ressa and Olympic gold medalist Hidilyn Diaz will be the honored guests at the virtual launch of the 2022 Search for The Outstanding Women in the Nation’s Service (TOWNS) at 10 a.m. on Wednesday, Oct. 27.
Both women stand as exemplary models for all women who are not only outstanding in their fields, but also contribute to the welfare and development of the nation. Ressa was most recently honored as the first Filipino recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize while Diaz set a record when she won the first Olympics gold medal ever for a Filipino (for weightlifting) at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.
Ressa and Diaz are also previous TOWNS awardees. Ressa was honored in 2007 for her pioneering work in investigative journalism which years later led to the founding of on-line news service Rappler. Today, she is recognized for her courageous stand in the face of pressure from authorities, having been charged with cybercrime, tax evasion, as well as for allegedly violating the law governing foreign ownership of media entities. Ressa shares the Peace Prize honors with Russian publisher Dmitry Muratov.
Diaz, on the other hand, was honored by TOWNS in 2016 for her winning of a silver medal in the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, as well as for her personal efforts to train young people in athletics. Recently, Diaz was the face of TOWNS Bagong Botante campaign encouraging young Filipinos to register and vote.
Magsaysay awardee Lilia de Lima, who chairs the current TOWNS Search, said that the yearlong search is especially relevant since “we are undergoing the worst of times, and in times like these, we need beacons of inspiration.” The Search, she added, is for “women who are outstanding in their field of expertise, possessed of pioneering spirit and passionately committed to use their talent and energies to uplift the well-being of our people and our nation.”
A total of 178 women have so far been honored by TOWNS, the awards administered by the TOWNS Foundation. Broadcaster and environmental advocate Ces Drilon is the current president of the Foundation. The 2022 TOWNS Search is supported by The San Miguel Corporation.
Nomination forms may be downloaded from the TOWNS Facebook page and website: www.townsfoundatoin.org.ph or by email to firstname.lastname@example.org, To watch on FB live go to: https://www.facebook.com/townsfoundationinc.