Thank you, Silaynons!

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Tuesday, October 9, 2012


THIS could be our special way of extending our wholehearted gratitude to fellow Silaynons and Negrenses. In the past years, we were together. Now, we are still together and there is no reason why in the future we cannot still be together. Togetherness is what makes us successful.

The Department of Tourism (DOT) and the Association of Tourism Officers of the Philippines (Atop) had tough judges to scrutinize the entries of all towns, cities and provinces for the distinguished National Pearl Award (Atop-DOT Tourism Best Practices Awards in the Philippines).

We worked hard for Silay under the able leadership and inspiration of Mayor Jose Montelibano and Vice Mayor Mark Golez. Our hard work in the vineyard of tourism, our cooperation, our patience and our prayers paved the way for Silay as the first winner of the Pearl Award Most Outstanding Tourism- Oriented LGU of the Philippines in 2012 (City Category). The trophy was received by Gerle Hilado-Sulmaca, Roselyn Pacete, Cristine Mansinares and yours truly at Dakak, Dagupan City, Zamboanga del Norte.

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Six other trophies were garnered by Silay City. These trophies are for Most Outstanding Tourism Month Celebration, “Scenic Silay, Scintillating Silaynons, Sugary Tourism;” First Runner-Up, Most Outstanding Cultural Event, “Silay Christmas Village;” Finalist, Most Outstanding Festival, “Kansilay Festival and Silay Charter Day Celebration;” and yours truly received three trophies for outstanding performance.

We only harvest what we have planted. Mayor Jose Montelibano unleashed the winds of change that would lead Silay into the new millennium when he started in office in 2007. The Mayor considers Silay's social, cultural, economic, physical and environmental development. Tourism becomes a product of all these. The Montelibano-Golez administration focus is on the city's total development.

The Silaynons are always with us working and sharing within their means what could be good for Silay. Our laurels are just a part of Silaynons' struggle to bring out what is best. We have a long-term vision of a modern, progressive, world-class city with a caring, family-oriented, peace-loving, economically productive and environmentally responsible people who are proud of their cultural heritage, and enjoying a vibrant economy, a sustainable environment, and access to quality public service.

Politics is only a coincidence and a passing fancy. Reality will always be there forever. We are congratulating the Silaynons for making a stand on what could be good for them now and for their children in the future. We have the master plan serving as a blueprint for progress but we always need the will and the determination of the Silaynons to push that master plan.

We need the involvement of all Silaynons regardless of political affiliations, religious denominations, and social convictions. Let us cooperate, collaborate and put meaning to the crucial decisions we are making. There is no more turning back. We are here now. We can only move forward and upward. If our ancestors made Silay the Paris of Negros at the turn of the century and won the First Bloodless Revolution on November 5, 1898... there is no reason why we have to log behind now.

Our awards in tourism are manifestations that Silaynons are responsive to the needs of the changing time. We deserve what we got. Empower yourselves by trusting yourselves. Stir up your government to be proactive. Make yourselves the strong foundation for the future of Dakbanwang Silay!

Published in the Sun.Star Bacolod newspaper on October 09, 2012.

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