FORMER senator Alberto Romulo, chairman of the board of the Development Bank of the Philippines, said he hopes the “Ang Banwahanon” awardees of Bacolod City will serve as an inspiration to the Bacoleños.
Romulo, guest of honor and speaker during the awarding rites held at the Bacolod Government Center Saturday night, lauded the awardees for being chosen based on their track records.
“We believe that they will carry this through the end that they will be outstanding Bacolodnons and deserving of the Banwahanon award,” Romulo said.
The awardees were lawyer Franklin Demonteverde, architect Armando Guevarra, lawyer Simplicio Palanca, and food entrepreneur Conchita Sicangco.
“We honor the immense contribution of these awardees to the City of Bacolod’s economic, culture and sports, social, moral, and education development, because of their incomparable integrity,” Romulo added.
He said that the awardees have a dedication and love for the community and Bacolod City.
Talking of inspiration, Romulo said, “we should be inspired by the courage and power of our soldiers in Marawi. They exhibited exemplary courage, patriotism, and nationalism.”
“They give their lives so that there will be freedom in this country,” he said, adding that heroes and brave people are both in the public and private sectors.
Ang Banwahanon is the highest award that the Bacolod City Government bestows on its citizens in recognition of their works and achievements which made a great impact to the community.
Demonteverde is the founder and prime mover of Negrense 200 Foundation, a philanthropic, social, cultural, educational and environmental foundation that has helped countless poor but deserving students finish their education through its scholarships program.
Guevarra, as he is known in the colorful world of the paint industry, is the architect in organizing the Negros Kabarkada Painters Association Inc., a people’s organization of some 1,200 home, commercial, and industrial painters of Bacolod City.
Palanca’s greatest contribution to the City of Bacolod is the 250-hectare port and reclamation project that he started in 1961 which not only altered the western skyline, but also transformed the economic landscape of Bacolod by creating countless jobs and generated millions of pesos in tax revenues.
Sicangco is an accomplished entrepreneur who founded the Bob’s Chain of Restaurants. Her greatest contribution is the preservation of Bacolod City’s cultural heritage in culinary arts having handed down from her mother, Lola Goyang Yulo’s generation, the secret recipes of traditionally homecooked Ilonggo food.
For his part, Mayor Evelio Leonardia said, “We believe that we have to recognize at the very least, our citizens who did an extra mile to serve our beloved city.”
“The more important thing that we should consider after one becomes a Banwahanon Awardee is, we also expect that they should live on to be the kind of citizens that they are,” he added.
Moreover, Romulo, who was named adopted son of Bacolod on April 4, 1990, said he was “stunned and overwhelmed” looking at the structure of the Bacolod Government Center.
“I have seen Bacolod evolve over the years,” he said. “I was even impressed when I asked the good mayor and he said he spent less than P400 million on this. I had been Secretary of Budget, 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 he was also impressed by the city’s accomplishments like its recent award as the “Philippine Top Model City.”
Published in the SunStar Bacolod newspaper on June 19, 2017.
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