AN IGOROTA nurse from Benguet and now based in Vienna, Austria is one of the awardees of the first Dangal ng Pasuguan award conferred by the Philippine Embassy in Vienna.

A daughter of a miner from Tadian, Mountain Province and born and raised in Lepanto, Mankayan, Benguet, Marjorie Guidangen-Akistoy received her recognition recently along with 15 other exemplary Filipino and Filipino-Austrian Frontliners who have shown the time-honored Filipino values of selflessness, compassion, and hard work in fulfilling their roles as medical workers, grocery clerks, cooks, and airport staff, among others, amid the fight against the Covid-19 pandemic.

No less than PH Embassy in Vienna Ambassador Maria Cleofe Natividad lead the ceremony and lauded the 16 awardees whom she called as modern-day heroes and deserved to be given recognition.

Akistoy has been working for 17 years now as a nurse in a government hospital called the Kaiser Franz Josef Spital but now known as the Favoriten Clinic, the first Covid hospital in the city.

But prior to that, she also worked as a nursing assistant in a nursing home while doing her nostrification as a registered nurse.

Proud to be called Igorot, Akistoy is also active in groups promoting the rich culture and tradition of Cordillera in Austria and organizations helping the needy community especially her kababayans in her home country who are severely affected by the pandemic.

She is the president of the Association of Filipina in Austria-Member of EU Woman Network Babaylan, Treasurer of Global Save Life Foundation (GSLF), one of the Advisers of Igorot Austria, and Secretary of the COE of Igorot Global Organization.

She is dedicating her award to all frontliners around the globe and to her husband Alan and two children who live with her in Vienna.

"I want to give back all the glory to the Almighty God who has enabled me to be where I am now. God is pleased when we acknowledge His name, it opens up the way for more blessings. We triumph over the enemy with the word of our testimony," she added.

The Dangal ng Pasuguan award is an honor that symbolizes the gratitude of the Philippines and Austria to Filipinos and Filipino-Austrians who have enriched and helped address the challenges of their adopted communities.

The event also featured messages from Mayor Michael Ludwig (as read by his representative, Mag. Marcus Schober, a member of the Vienna Parliament) and the Austrian Ambassador to the Philippines H.E. Bita Rasoulian who delivered her message from Manila.

Akistoy shared that the Embassy Chorale serenading the honorees and guests with their rendition of the popular OPM hit Tuloy Pa Rin was another highlight of the ceremony attended by at least 80 individuals from both federal and local government including ranking officials from the Ministry of European and International Affairs, the private sector, media, and members of the Filipino community in Austria.

May this effort of the Philippine Embassy in Vienna recognizing the sacrifices of the Filipino frontliners continue and be emulated by others.

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