THE heirs of Don Fernando and Doña Angela Gonzaga received the Bacolod Halandumon Award.
The Gonzaga family donated the 50,000-square meter lot to the City Government for the construction of Bacolod Government Center in 2006.
Bacolod City Mayor Evelio Leonardia, along with other city officials and hundreds of government employees, celebrated the 10th anniversary of the Bacolod Government Center with a mass officiated by Fr. Rocelo Villarosa at the BGC’s Lobby yesterday.
“Bacolod Halandumon Award” is an award given by the City Mayor recognizing those who had rendered extraordinary generosity and contribution to the city.
Halandumon is vernacular for something memorable, of value and is forever kept in one’s heart and mind.
Leonardia said the City of Bacolod recognizes and conveys its deep gratitude to the heirs of Don Fernando and Doña Angela Gonzaga for their altruism and deep regard to the city by donating a much-valued property.
“What used to be a 5-hectare prime sugarcane field along the Circumferential Road of the city has now been transformed into the imposing Bacolod City Government Center. On June 13, 2006, the said prime lot was donated by the heirs of Don Fernando and Doña Angela Gonzaga,” he said.
He added since its groundbreaking on December 28, 2006 to its completion on August 8, 2008, the building has been iconic for Bacolod City and has become a “must-see” and most photographed landmark of Bacolod.
Leonardia noted it has changed the landscape of the area by causing the creation of a new growth center.
The “Bacolod Halandumon Award” was received by the Gonzaga family led by Ma. Regina Piccio, Jose Cuenca Jr. and Ma. Josefina Ledesma.
For her part, Piccio said they are congratulating Leonardia for giving Bacolod the magnificent structure.
Piccio recalled that after donating the lot, the City Government faced several charges and their business was also affected because they were included in the cases.
“As what mayor said, we have all these growing pains and 10 years after, we see this beautiful structure and we are proud of Bacolod Government Center. We donated it to the city because we are from Bacolod and we want to do our share in making Bacolod grow,” Piccio said.
In the previous years, graft charges were filed before the Office of the Ombudsman against Leonardia and other city officials for the construction of the BGC, however, the Ombudsman dismissed the criminal complaint against them.
Leonardia said the Ombudsman ruled that after evaluating the evidence, they find nothing anomalous in the construction of the BGC.
“Since we had this government center, the big players or investors are all here now, things have changed,” he said.
Leonardia noted that it was also the time that Bacolod City was chosen by the Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry as the Most Business Friendly City in the country.
The mayor said he believes that because of the BGC, the growth of Bacolod accelerated.
“Bacolod is one of the fastest-growing cities in the country. I hope that those in the future who will take over will take good care of my baby and this is actually our baby,” he said.