Development Bank of the Philippines chairman and former senator Alberto Romulo Saturday night urged the Ang Banwahanon Awardees “to be an inspiration to all of us and to the community” since they were chosen because of their track record.
“We honor the immense contribution of these Banwahanon awardees to the City of Bacolod – economic, culture and sports, social, moral and education development - because of their incomparable integrity, strength of character, and dedication and love for their community, the city of Bacolod and their fellow community members,“Romulo, who was guest of honor and speaker during Ang Banwahanon Awards Night 2017 at the Bacolod City Government Center, said.
The awardees were businessman Simplicio Palanca, retired Judge Franklin Demonteverde, Conchita “Titang” Varela Sicangco and Architect Armand Guevarra.
Romulo,an adopted son of Bacolod,said “We should also be inspired by the courage and valor of our soldiers in Marawi who have exhibited exemplary courage, patriotism and nationalism.”
He also lauded Bacolod City for being chosen as the top model city in the Philippines, which he said is a great achievement by the mayor.
Romuloalso said he was “speechless, stunned and overwhelmed” looking at the Bacolod City Government Center. The magnificent structure built by Mayor EvelioLeonardia has made him proud of his godson, he said.
“I was even impressed when I asked the good mayor and he said he spent less than P400 million (P394 million) on this. I had been secretary of the Department of Budget and Management and I know, compared to other structures all over the Philippines, P400 million is not a big amount; in fact, it is a small amount – in about 10,000 square meters or more,” Romulo said.
Meanwhile, Leonardia said they believe they have to recognize at the very least, citizens who went the extra mile to serve Bacolod City.
“I would like to reiterate my challenge that these awardees should continuously be our partners in the quest to make Bacolod one of the premier cities in the Philippines,” he said.
Demonteverde was cited as the founder and prime mover of the Negrense 200 Foundation Inc., a philanthropic, social, cultural, educational and environmental foundation that has helped countless poor but deserving students finish their education through its scholarships programs. During his term as president of the Integrated Bar of the Philippines-Negros Occidental Chapter (2001-2003), Demonteverde was mainly credited for starting a project that provides free legal aid to indigents through a Barangay Legal Outreach Program. These projects and his other outreach programs with the Freemasonry of Bacolod, has earned him the prestigious YMCA Centennial Leadership Award in Community Development in 2011 and the Most Outstanding Alumnus Award of the University of Negros Occidental-Recoletos in 2012.
Guevarra, or “Manding” as he is known in the paint industry, is the architect who organized the Negros Kabarkada Painters Association Inc., a people's organization of some 1,200 home, commercial and industrial painters of Bacolod City. He has provided them with free technical and vocational skills training and a values formation program in partnership with TESDA and some leading educational institutions in Bacolod City.
Guevarra is also cited for his “We Care, We Share Program,” “Ballk Eskwela Program,” “Tulong sa Brigada Eskwela” and his active partnership with GawadKalinga in providing shelter to homeless residents of Bacolod.
Palanca's greatest contribution to Bacolod City is the 250-hectare port and reclamation project that he started in 1961 that not only altered the western skyline but also transformed the economic landscape of Bacolod by creating countless jobs and generating millions of pesos in tax revenues, his citation states.
He was also cited for giving scholarship grants to poor but deserving students. Many of his scholars have graduated from premier schools in Bacolod and are now gainfully employed.
He also built the 7-storey Pilgrimage site, a landmark that reminds Bacoleños that once a saint had stepped on the soil of Bacolod.
Sicangco was cited for being an accomplished entrepreneur who founded the Bob's chain of restaurants, a philanthropist, and an active religious lay leader whose countless contributions to the Bacolod community will always serve as an inspiration to many Bacoleños.
Her greatest contribution is the preservation of Bacolod City's cultural heritage in culinary arts having handed down from her mother, Lola Goyang Yulo, the secret recipes of traditionally home cooked Ilonggo food.
She has also established an educational scholarship fund for poor but deserving students in the University of St. La Salle, St. Joseph High School, and Visayan Center for Hotel and Restaurant ServicesInc., the city citation states.*CGS
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