The first recipient of the Maharlika Award for this category is an excellent professional in the art of Dance. Born and raised in Negros Occidental
(Southern Philippines), she started her dancing career with the Bayanihan Philippine Dance Company, the national dance company of the Philippines. She traveled with the group nationally (participating in outreach programs for the various provinces of the Philippines). She was also an ambassador of goodwill, joined International trips with the Bayanihan (during its 8 month World Tour 1983-1984) and its short tours around Asia, Canada and the US.
Here in Canada, Tonette together with her husband Nes (who himself was
also a former Bayanihan performer) formed PhilCAS of BC - Philippine
Cultural Arts Society of British Columbia. The society will be
celebrating its 12th anniversary this year. Since the society’s
inception, our awardee has been its Executive Director and is also
acting as the society’s Performing Art’s Group’ Artistic and Dance
Tonette with the Rosario Strings Ensemble (a co-awardee) together with Rey Fortaleza, ConGen Ampeso, Senator Enverga, Tom Avendano, and Elena Agala.