The Awarding

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Wednesday, April 2, 2014


THE AFFAIR -- Last Friday last week, March 28, a grand affair took place at Ruperto Cruz' Grand Palazzo Royale with many prominent citizens in attendance, some to receive their awards and others due to their inclusion in the guest list prepared by the city government.

As if it was the Oscar's night of Hollywood minus the red carpet, the women of Angeles City can put to shame Angelina Jolie, Jenniffer Aniston and other silver screen beauties who came to the affair with their impeccable choices of fashionable clothing.

First in my list was my FB friend Chuck Gueco, followed not in any particular order by Atty. Erika Nepomuceno, wife of Councilor Bryan, VM Vicky Vega Cabigting, Raquel N. Villavicencio, FL Miniang Pamintuan, Leigh Jocson, Madame Ely Narciso and many more who were really dressed that evening.

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Perfect ambience to cap a month long celebration of the 50th foundation of a great city. 'I can only imagine the founding couple- Don Angel and Dona Rosalia- brimming with pride as they watch us from the heavens', Mayor Ed Pamintuan said in his speech.

HONOREES -- Each one is deserving. But I have my favorites. One of them is Bruce Mctavish from New Zealand who made Angeles City his home for the past fourty years. Married to Carmen Tayag daughter of another favorite, former Philippine National Bank Director Katoks Tayag. He refereed many international boxing matches.

Mention Katoks Tayag, Don Juan Nepomuceno is not far behind. Don Juan was Katoks' inspiration in his first book titled ' The Angeles Story'.

One is dead, the other one is still very much alive. Both came from modest families but both carved their respective niches in Philippine business. The late Rizalino 'Roy' Navarro and Reghis Romero of R-II builders and Global Port.

Efren 'Bata' Reyes, the pool magician and Allan Lindo Pineda aka Apl.de Ap are international celebrities and made not only Angelenos proud but all Filipinos.

Johnny Uy, Lucia 'Aling Lucing' and Virginia 'Iniang' Flores contributions are blessings to the history of Angeles.

OVERLOOKED? -- The mother and son team of Barbara Yap Angeles and son Emmanuel deserve their plaques, but equally deserving is the late Ricardo 'Apung Gundo' Flores, the first president and co-founder of Holy Angel Academy, now a university. Tens of thousands of Angeles youth were molded and tutored by Apung Gundo, an icon.

My friend Consul Elmer Cato is deserving of the award, and equally are former Ateneo law school dean and now a part of the Aquino government Cesar Villanueva and former Supreme Court Associate Justice Jose Melo.

Armando Baluyot of Bacolor very much deserves the award for journalism, and Lino Sanchez Sr. and Tomas P. San Pedro, two of Angeles' known journalists should have been awarded too. Their contributions may not have been known to the panel.

MORE NAMES -- The panel should have considered Cris Pineda, the flyweight champion from Angeles City who fought in the New York Madison Square Garden. Tony Esguerra who was synonymous to boxing. Held championship boxing matches in the city under his TOE Promotions and trained boxers like Arnel Arrozal, Fel Pedranza, Cecil Escobido who ranked in the lists of international boxing federations.

ALDERMEN -- Gathering dusts now in the files of the Angeles municipal board are the minutes which are quite interesting to read now are the privilege speeches, discussions, arguments, ordinances and resolutions of Councilors Nilo Tinio, Frank Villanueva, Basilio Sicangco, Arcadio De Guzman, Napoleon Velasquez, Geromin Nepomuceno and Trinidad Lazatin which definitely contributed immensely to the growth of Angeles.

DIAMOND YEAR -- The next milestone on the founding of Angeles will be its 75th year or the Diamond year. As it was said by Mayor Edpam,' there are certainly more than 50 outstanding Angelenos'.

He further said that ' in due time the committee should sit down again and look at the city's other distinguished citizens and fete them as well in proper occasion'.

To many 'due time' is 2039. 'Proper occasion' is Diamond Year. Am sure Mayor Edpam is among the awardees when that time come. And maybe, just maybe, another Pamintuan is the chief executive. Or again, maybe a Nepomuceno, a Lazatin, a Suller, an Indiongco, a Lacson, an Aguas, a Morales, a Rivera or a Lacson giving out the awards.

Published in the Sun.Star Pampanga newspaper on April 03, 2014.

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