LIN-AY sang Silay 2012 is Riah Angelica Celestial De Ocampo. For relatives, classmates and friends, she is “Lyka”. She has metamorphosed from a cute toddler to a full-grown lady. She is now 24 years old.
When she was still a student at Dona Montserrat Lopez Memorial High School, she used to be our contestant in the tour guiding competition representing Silay. She took up B.S. Tourism Management at La Consolacion College and graduated Magna Cum Laude.
She was a grantee of the Global Undergraduate Exchange Program 2014-2015 sponsored by the US Department of State, administered by World Learning Center and Fulbright Commission of the Philippines. Her host institution was Grand Valley State University, Michigan USA.
Lyka was also the champion of International Tour Guiding competition during the Union of Filipino Tourism Educator’s Cup 2013 in Manila. She was Lin-ay sang Silay in 2012 and Lin-ay sang Negros 2nd Runner-up in 2013. She was Masskara Queen 1st runner-up in 2014.
As a youth leader, she was once a Girl Mayor of Silay and a champion of ABS-CBN Province-wide News Casting Competition in 2011. She was a finalist in the NOPSSCEA Most Outstanding Student Award in 2013.
She is now a cabin crew (flight attendant) of the Philippine Airlines for domestic and international flights. She already saw the world and met people who are business prime movers. If she is in Silay, she would always take time to meet me in our favorite coffee shop or have seafood lunch in Balaring.
Lyka is always the Lyka I know... soft spoken, humble but dynamic in her thoughts and decision making. She loves to hear from me the tourism-cultural program of Silay, the leadership of our public officials, and the governance that they are espousing. She loves to ponder on philosophical thoughts that bring leaders to greater heights.
Recently, she asked me, “Tito Ver how can I help the children of hacienda workers to be more aware ... and probably just like me, they will develop the interest of finishing an education that will fulfill their dream to attain a good life?” I told her that we can start with simple activities first. It was her idea to start “Storytelling for Enjoyment and Enlightenment”. Her idea supports DepEd program, “Sulong Edukalidad”.
I love her proposal because this will positively cater to the credo, “No Filipino Child Left Behind”. Our date for the event is December 30 (Rizal Day) at 2 o’clock in the afternoon. We have identified 30-40 pupils who are children of hacienda workers (Grade I to Grade VI). In our storytelling sessions, Lyka will be joined in by Councilor Ryan Gamboa of Silay, chairman of SP Committee on Tourism and a former program host of ABS-CBN Bacolod, and of course... by yours truly.
After feeding the mind, feeding the stomach follows. Lyka will be helped by Mommy Grace to distribute food and some goodies for the children of the cane fields. Teacher friends from Dona Montserrat Lopez Memorial High school will be there to help also...Roselyn Pacete, Rina Rose Perez, Jezsamine Oyanan, Mercy Cobrado and Ana Marie Pastoral, among others. The venue will be facilitated by the officers and members of the ‘Asosasyon sang mga Mangunguma sa Adela (AMA) under President Eduardo Margarito.
Hacienda Adela Folklore Village was a “Pearl Awardee” (Award of Excellence) from the Department of Tourism and the Association of Tourism Officers of the Philippines (ATOP).