Jon Jon Briones Joins List of TOFA's '100 Most Influential Fil-Ams'

Stage and TV star Jon Jon Briones has been selected as one of the 100 honorees at The Outstanding Filipino Americans (TOFA) National Awards' 10th anniversary.

By: Oct. 27, 2020

Jon Jon Briones Joins List of TOFA's '100 Most Influential Fil-Ams' New York - In celebration of Filipino American (Fil-Am) History Month, 100 movers and shakers of Filipino descent will be feted in a digital ceremony through The Outstanding Filipino Americans (TOFA) Awards, a national award-giving body. The TOFA Awards, which have been customarily held annually at Carnegie Hall, also turn 10 this month. To mark this milestone, the TOFA Awards are honoring their list of "100 Most Influential Fil-Am Individuals and Organizations" or #TOFA100 on Saturday, October 31, 2020, at 9 p.m. EST (Sunday, at 9 a.m. PST) via YouTube and Facebook.

Jon Jon Briones, who was once a lesser-known company member in "Miss Saigon," has slowly built an impressive acting career, which spans from the West End and Broadway stages to the "Ryan Murphy Universe" on television (TV). His latest role brings to life Dr. Richard Hanover, a psychotherapist with a traumatic past, in "Ratched," inspired by Ken Kesey's novel, "One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest," and developed by TV maven Ryan Murphy.

In "Ratched," Briones' Dr. Hanover is Filipino, which is seldom the case for actors of color, especially Filipinos, to originate a role based on their race. In an interview with ETOnline, Briones said, "Not a lot of Filipinos get to have an opportunity to be one of the leads in a show...I was thinking I need to do this right because opportunities for other actors of color, especially Filipinos, depends on my success."

The Fil-Am community lauds Briones' success not only in "Ratched," which quickly became Murphy's first bonafide hit for streaming giant Netflix (Business Insider) but also for his more than 25-year history with "Miss Saigon" and his conquests on mainstream TV, such as in "The Assassination of Gianni Versace," "American Horror Story," and "The Mentalist," among others.

In the TOFA Awards' virtual ceremony on Saturday, Briones joins fellow Filipinos and stage and screen luminaries Darren Criss, Lea Salonga, and Bobby Lopez, previous TOFA Award recipients.

"Briones is a superb actor whose success shines a spotlight on the diligence and determination of Filipinos in America," said TOFA Awards board member Miles Dela Cruz in a statement.

"TOFA is proud to share this precious moment with the actor, together with the Fil-Am community," she added.

Other honorees include Jhett Tolentino, Cecile Licad, Monique Lhuillier, Geena Rocero, Georgina Pazcougin, Noel Izon, Sthanlee Mirador, Melissa Dela Cruz, Philippine Nurses Association of America, Raquel Bono, Erwin Valencia, Brian Bulatao, Erik Spoelstra, Filipino American National Historical Society, Ryan Letada, Sherwin Reyes, Jose Antonio Vargas, Kalayaan Mendoza, Antonio Taguba, Search to Involve Pilipino Americans, Steven Raga, Ken Mendoza, Roger Santos, Rene Ciria Cruz, Odette Alcazaren-Keeley, Cesar Delos Santos III, TOFA Performing Artists, and Live Stream Shows, among others.

To be hosted by Boy Abunda, the TOFA Awards' 10th-anniversary special is written, executive produced, and directed by Elton Lugay, alongside board members Miles Dela Cruz, Erwin Pajarillo, and Rasmin Diaz.

#TOFA100 also features performances from Bobby Lopez, Cecile Licad, Gary Valenciano, Lani Misalucha, Martin Nievera, TOFA Performing Artists, and with special participation by Bailey BailRok Munoz, 2019 Winner, "So You Think You Can Dance," and Raymond R.S. Francisco, CEO, Frontrow Philippines.

Photo Credit: Walter McBride, Saeed Adyani, Netflix