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Priest, newspaper vendor lead this year’s mayoral awardees

Mayor Awards. One of the highlights of the Naga City Charter Anniversay Celebration.

NAGA CITY --- Celebrating the city’s 71st year as a charter city, Mayor John G. Bongat, now on his final term as Naga’s chief executive, conferred last Monday, June 17, the prestigious annual Mayoral Awards and recognitions to a host of outstanding Nagueños and Nagueñas who have brought honor, pride and glory to their beloved city through their exemplary achievements in their chosen fields of endeavor and service to the community and humanity.

Prof. Tito Valiente, chair of this year’s Mayoral Awards Committee. In his video message (because he was in Manila for the 42 Gawad Urian of the Manunuri ng Pelikulang Pilipino where is one of its leading members) he said: “Our Mayoral Awardees, for all their accomplishments share one thins – truth in living a life and sincerity in expressing the best things they could offer [our] city.”

He added that the things we do for our communities are all a matter of how much we give and how less to intervene.

This year’s top awardee is Rome-based Fr. Alvin Artemio Paras, OFM, who received through his brother the Juan Q. Miranda Medallion, the highest mayoral award named after the Father of the City Charter of Naga.

Fr. Paras, born and raised in Naga was and remains a registered nurde who taught at the Camarines Sur Community College of Midwifery (now City College of Naga) before becoming a priest and named the Secretary of the Franciscan Province of San Pedro Bautista in the Philippines and then Sceretary Treasurers of the East Asian Conference of the Order of Friars Minore. Presently, he is the Vice Secretary General of the Order of Friars Minore in Rome, all this time maintaining his connection to Naga City through church and other volunteer activities.

Leon Aureus Awards

For the Leon SA. Aureus Award, the second highest award, these year’s awardees include a sidewalk vendor selling newspapers for nearly 50 years now and sending her children through college, a hardworking school administrator of the city’s 76 Educare Centers, and a popular funeral parlor as one of the few longest existing local business institutions in the city.

Salvacion S. Fernandez is a familiar figure at the newsstand at the corner of Evangelista and General Luna Street, a once favorite watering hole of prominent local media personalities from both print and radio. Her humble occupation, raising seven children, proves that poverty is no excuse to put education and the future of the children in the sidelines.

Madam Elsie Maria M. Romano is currently the head of the city’s pioneering Early Childhood Care and Development Office that supervises the city’s 76 EduCare Centers, SEED Montessori Schools and EduCare Teachers-On-Foot in the city’s 27 barangays. She was recipient of “Bravo Woman of the Year” in the Field of Education in 2015.

Funeraria Imperial, which started as a furniture shop, has been in the funeral service since 1926, now celebrating its 93 years of service covering almost a century and four generations of the Imperials of Naga and providing the services necessary for the final part of the rite of passage of Naga citizens.

Jesse Robredo Youth Award

This year’s recipient of the Robredo Youth Award is Karaw Craft Ventures, which started as a school projects turned into a social enterprise. Despite garnering local and international acclaim for innovativeness, this company of young entrepreneurs never forgets to honor their roots by providing economic stability while uplifting the morale of out-of-school youths, the unemployed, and the marginalized by initiating programs and income-generating projects for them.

Lt. Delfin Rosales Award

The recipient for this relatively new award is a former barangay tanod, now an SK Councilor. Jerome P. Villamante’s intensive training on Basic Life Support (BLS) program aided him to save the life of a one-year-old child through CPR and Rescue Breathing that allowed the child to be brought to the hospital alive. The above awardees received medallions and cash incentives.

Special Mayoral Citations

Mayor Bongat, assisted by incoming Mayor Nelson Legacion and City Councilors Greg Abonal, Elmer Baldemoro and Salvador del Castillo and Councilor-elect Joe Perez, also conferred Special Mayoral Citations and plaques to exemplary Nagueños: Dr. Lucio Tan who used to grow as a young man in Naga became one of the nation’s richest entrepreneurs and business leaders and financed various school buildings, hospitals and chirches, as well as shelters for the homeless; Gloria Jimenez Carino, an educator for 37 years and piano teacher and pianist for every church occasion and trainer of the children’s choir; Angeline Bernadette Pancho, who became one of the city yourh councilors despite her visual impairment even as she continually involves herself in various competitions among PWDs representing the city and her sector; LYRR Deca Homes for providing low-cost community to the Naga LGU employees;

Naga City District Jail Arts and Crafts for carrying on a program, “Lampara nin Paglaom” meant to uplift the living conditions and productivity of Persons Deprived of Liberty (PDL), or those behind bars; Philip O. Oliva, who as an executive manager of CBD Plaza Hotel, has proven that disability cannot hinder a person from reaching greater heights; and actor-swimming athlete Ernest Lorenzo Dee who takes pride in his roots and continues to uphold the good image of the city through his remarkable performances in the entertainment industry.

Mayoral Recognitions were also given to sixty-three more young Nagueños, including the Naga Central School 1 Children’s Rondalla for their outstanding achievements as medal winners in various national and international competitions in sports, academics, and arts and music.

The Mayoral Awards 2019 Committee is chaired by Professor Tito G. Valiente, with the following as members: Danilo Ludovice (vice chair); J. Antoniop Amparado; Jose V. Barrameda, Jr,; City Youth Mayor Jan Carlo Bagasbas; Roy San Ramon; Ferdinand Sia; Nicolas Beda Priela, Florencio Mongoso, and; Allen Reondanga.

The Special Committee on Mayoral Commendation is composed of Florencio Mongoso, Jr., Allen Reondanga, and Ernani Suron.

Johann de la Rosa, Eric Salvino and Jobert Narvadez composed the Search Committee. The Secretariat is headed by Zayda Fe Rifareal.

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