Veteran Journalist and Ambassadorial Bet for KSA Conferred As Filipino Media Icon of the 4th G.O.D. Awards
We Care for Humanity (WCH), a US based non-profit organization advocating Education, Health, Human Rights, Peace, Empowerment, Eradication of Poverty and Green Environment announces the awarding of Filipino Media Icon Award under its annual flagship event, the 4th Global Officials of Dignity (G.O.D.) Awards in Manila, Philippines. The recipient is none other than Dr. Abdul Hannan Tago, a distinguished Filipino who was one of the pillars in contriving the new history of the Philippines.
Tago is being honored for his humanitarian works and his 25 years of responsible and altruistic reporting for Arab News which brought numerous benefits to his fellow Filipinos abroad especially in the Middle-East.
The said awarding is slated on October 29, 2016 at Cherry Bloosom Hotel, Ermita Manila and will be attended by a few government officials, family and close friends. The VIP’s expected to come are Honorable Secretary Abdullah "Dabs" Mama-o, Presidential Adviser on OFWS Affairs and Muslim Concerns, Honorable Japar B. Dimaampao, Associate Justice of Court of Appeals and many more.
Princess Maria Amor Torres, founder and chairman of WCH and the G.O.D. Awards is expected to arrive to Manila on October 29 from her successful trips to Kenya and Egypt to personally award the long overdue recognition to Dr. Tago. “Dr. Tago uses the power of media to do good, like saving a man’s life from death row or help the people’s president gets elected. He is without a doubt deserving of the Filipino Media Icon Award", said the princess.
Here is one important testimony from a man whose life was saved partly because of Dr. Tago:
“A blessed day to everyone. I am Dondon Lanuza. Perhaps you can still remember my sad experience when I was imprisoned for 13 years in Dammam, Saudi Arabia. I cannot relate the whole story because it is a long one. During those times, I felt so hopeless that the only things that kept me sane were my strong faith in prayers and some kind-hearted persons around me. One of them was Dr. Abdul Hannan M. Tago, who played a vital role in my freedom. He spent so much time doing so many things to ensure my release – writing and sending volumes of letters, translating my parents’ letters to Arabic, travelling, even personally approaching Princes to help gather funds for the needed bloodmoney, among others. He was one of the first persons to know when I would be actually set free. To all of his help, I and my family will always be grateful. I personally experienced how he spent his time, money and effort to assist us in our times of need. He works with sincerity, compassion, perseverance and dedication. These are traits of a leader needed in our Philippine Embassy in Saudi Arabia. If given the chance to be our Ambassador, I know that our OFW’s will be in good hands for they have someone highly qualified and experienced to attend to their needs. I can personally attest to that. Thank you and God bless Dondon Lanuza ex-OFW on Deathrow.
More about Dr. Abdul Hannan Tago:
Dr. Abdul Hannan Tago is the first Filipino multilingual journalist, political analyst and a top-notch media consultant with deep insight into Arabic culture and Middle East affairs. He has been working in Saudi Arabia for the last 25 years plus 9 years study in Cairo Egypt.
He obtained his BA in Arabic literature, with a major in Mass Communications and Public Relations from Al-Azhar University (Egypt) and MA in Political Science from Arab League Institution - Cairo (Egypt).
On September 12, 2012, he was awarded the title, “Doctor of Humanity AUGP Ambassador of Goodwill of Peace, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia” with the approval of the AUGP Board of Directors, Founder and Chairman Most Rev. Dr. Madhu Krishan.
He is currently the Senior Vice-President for International Relations and Cooperation with the rank of Goodwill Ambassador to Saudi Arabia for SPMUDA International.
He is the Founder President of the Integrated Mindanao Economic Forum (IMEF) based in Riyadh. Abdul Hannan was also nominated as the Philippine Ambassador to Riyadh in 2010 for his role in cementing Saudi-Philippine relations.
He worked, from 1992-2016 with Arab News, the leading newspaper in the Middle East, as a senior staff writer. In this capacity, he was invited by many Saudi Arabia’s friendly countries in Middle East, Asia and Europe, as a member of the media team from the Arab and Gulf countries.
He was the lone Arabic-speaking Filipino journalist among the Arab media representatives. Hannan’s fluency in Arabic has provided him with a medium through he has won friends (including top Saudi businessmen) and influenced people like Saudi billionaire, Prince Alwaleed bin Talal, to cite an outstanding example of his high-voltage connection. Through his initiative, Prince Alwaleed International Foundation has donated $500,000.00 to various educational institutions in Mindanao for the misfortune and underprivileged students.
Furthermore, Abdul Hannan is the only Filipino journalist who can write in chaste Arabic. He was, in fact, a regular contributor to leading Arabic newspapers in the Middle East. His articles appear in leading publications like Al-Sharq Al-Awsat and Al-Eqtisadiah frequently, besides other Arabic newspapers. He appeared on Saudi TV both in Arabic Channel and the English service (Channel 2), where he dwelt on current issues in Saudi Arabia.
It is no mean achievement that Abdul Hannan has been selected as one of the guest speakers at the 2nd Annual Saudi Broadcasting Forum which was held in Riyadh on 29-30 September, 2012.
Abdul Hannan has 35 years’ experience under his belt in the Middle East, of which eight years were devoted to academic studies in Cairo, and 21 years in Saudi Arabia. He worked with Saudi government’s stocks regulator, Capital Market Authority (CMA), and the Saudi Stock Market in its Media and Investment Awareness Department for two years. He was tasked by the CMA to organize the joint CMA/Euromoney/SAMA and SAGIA Economic Forum on "Building the Future" held in Riyadh in 2006.
As a Filipino journalist, Abdul Hannan has also leveraged his media resources to champion the cause of his compatriots in distress. Accordingly, he coordinated with SPMUDA, an international NGO with presence in 193 countries, in mobilizing the support of print media and social networking sites for Dondon Lanuza's case, the OFW on death row based in Dammam Saudi Arabia has came to light again after publishing it in Arab News on August 31, that followed his personal letter in Arabic to HRH Prince Alwaleed bin Talal for possible assistance.
Lanuza was freed in September this year and now already in his hometown as a freeman. That move was followed with strong appeal by SPMUDA to the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques, King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz for his Majesty’s possible intervention.
Hannan highlighted the plight of 52-year-old Salmos, who had met with an electrical accident while at work in 2010, who lives alone with no family support in Jeddah or any job to sustain him during his crisis.
Thanks to Hannan’s initiative, Salmos’ plight caught the attention of Human Rights associations when his photo appeared on major social networks, including various channels in the Philippines.
Abdul Hannan has also been in the forefront of other initiatives requiring media intervention. In one such case, he highlighted the plight of 19 OFWs in the Al-Jouf Province (northern part of Saudi Arabia).
Milestones his career as a journalist
• Tasked to produce the historic visit of Chinese President, Xi Jinping, to Saudi Arabia on Jan 19-20 this year to produce an 11- page special supplement on his visit. It was a print media record unprecedented in terms of media coverage for such a high profile event at the international level.
• Most Influential Filipino in the Gulf and Media’s Filipino Custodians
• A Dubai-based magazine “Illustrado” has chosen him in its 2015 special issue among the top 100 Most Influential Filipinos in the Gulf with a title “Media’s Filipino Custodians” (http://www.illustradolife.com/most-influential-filipinos-in-the-gulf-abdul-hannan-tago-medias-filipino-custodians)
• Author of the ‘Arabic Future and its Importance for winning Arab hearts’, a book in Arabic language brought out by King Abdullah International Center for Arabic Language.
• Saudi media representative:
Thanks to his Arabic academic background and professional experience in a leading English daily in Saudi Arabia, he often represents not only his paper but also the Saudi media in high profile regional and international conferences on political and economic issues as well as on tourism.
Recently he was invited by the Kazakhstan government, making him the only media representative from Saudi Arabia to cover the country’s presidential election.
Peace and Humanity advocate:
Recently he was appointed as CEO of a Mindanao-based NGO for peace, “Bangsamoro International Solidarity Conference” (BISC).
He recently created a Riyadh-based Filipino Expatriates Council for Justice and Peace or Fil Expats Council.
The council serves as a consultative body of all peace-loving Filipinos in Saudi Arabia through their organizations which primary advocacy is the promotion of peace and order in Saudi Arabia considered to be Filipinos second home.
It also fosters solidarity with the Saudis, and promote Filipino Muslim-Christian brotherhood. A task force Counterpart or partner of the Philippine Embassy in disseminating relevant information affecting OFW’s especially during crisis management and other contingency measures.