BAGUIO CITY – The city government through the office of the city social welfare and development office in partnership with the senior citizens organizations awarded a core of 12 most outstanding senior citizens during the closing program of the 2016 OCTOBERFEST celebration last October 29 at the Baguio Association of Retired Persons (BARP) Center auditorium along Bokawkan Road.
Baguio Elderly Assembly (BEA) president Nars Padilla, overall executive chair of the award and recognition committee and OCSWADO head Betty Fangasan said the awardees were chosen for their leadership excellence in their respective professions, unblemished faith and ardent devotion to God, loyalty to flag and country and to their fellowmen.
Sportswoman Rebecca “Bec” Watanabe, a bemedalled world tenpin bowling champion and veteran journalist Aurelio Galacgac led the roll of honorees who received the prestigious Gintong Tala Luminary Award for exemplary leadership and extraordinary services in the city’s community development efforts.
Watanabe won 11 golds, two silvers and three bronze medals during her stint as a member of the Philippine national tenpin bowling team. Her prolific medal tally included her master titles in the Asian FIQ, Southeast Asian Games and several inter-city international bowling tournaments held overseas.
Galacgac for his part climbed the ladder of success in the field of journalism as a working student and as staffer of the Philippine News Agency Baguio-Cordillera bureau which he later on headed for almost 20 years. He finished his law course at the University of the Cordilleras where is presently a law professor.
The roll of awardees included Rev. Edison Cabrito for religious and spiritual service; retired city engineer Leo Bernardez for government service, executive branch; former vice mayor and councilor Betty Lourdes Tabanda for government service, legislative department; and incumbent city prosecutor Elmer Manuel Sagsago for government service judicial department.
Also in the pool of achievers were Dr. Elma Donaal in the field of education; Dr. Romeo Abiog for medicine; Councilor Roberto Ortega for law enforcement as a former chief of the Baguio City Police Office; Michael Del Rosario as business and trade developer; Edgar Jularbal for tourism and special events and Editha Ibarra, president of the Federation of Baguio Senior Citizens Association for civic-social and fraternal services.
“As model citizens, the awardees contributed in distinct and commendable manners to the sustained vision, unwavering development, thrust growth and progress of the city in particular and the country in general,” Padilla said.
The Octoberfest celebration was jointly sponsored by the OCWADO, Office of the Senior Citizens Affairs (OSCA) and the BEA. BEA is composed of the Federation of Baguio Senior Citizen Associations (FBASECA), Veterans Federation of the Philippines, Blessed Association of Retired Persons Foundation Inc. (BARP) and the Philippine Government Retirees Association (PGRA).
The members of the awards committee were Philippine Information Agency Cordillera (PIA-CAR regional director Helen Tibaldo, DZRH correspondent Romeo Gonzales, ABS-CBN TV Patrol Northern Luzon anchor Dobie De Guzman, the Public Information Office of the City Mayor’s Office, BARP president Federico Balanag with Fangasan and OSCA head Isaias Barongan as advisers./Aileen P. Refuerzo