CONGRATULATIONS to the "Magic 5" newly- elected members of the Board of Trustees (BOT) of the Blessed Association of Retired Persons (BARP) Foundation Inc., who took their oath of office last August 16. In accordance with BARP codal provisions on governance Prof. Federico A. Balanag the founding charter member of the elderly and retirees association remain as the CEO and President of the aggrupation with a membership roster of at least 15,000 culled from the city, major municipalities from Benguet, Mt. Province, La Union, Pangasinan and some affiliates from overseas.

Post your reaction to the Manila hostage crisis

The new chairman of the BOT is Jose Taguba, formerly held by past City Mayor Jaime Bugnosen. The new set of officers are Benigno V. Andam, Executive Vice President; Monroe Taclawan, Vice President for Internal Affairs; Bial A. Palaez, VP for Membership and Education; Monehita Domaslog, VP for Chapters; Tolentino 0. Opiniano, VP for Finance; Julita A. Palasi, Treasurer; Cresteta R. Antonio, Auditor; Dr. Juanita D. Ibis, PRO; Dr. Placido Abuan and Dr. Juliet P. Bagano, Business Managers and Frank L. Daytec, Marshal. The BOT on recommendation of Pres. Balanag approved the reappointment of Jacqueline P. Gingino as Board Secretary and yours truly as the liaison officer, an added function to my present designation as Special Events Chairman of BARP, a position I held for nearly a decade.

Incidentally, the newly elected trustees were Taclawan, Dr. Buan, Mrs. Antonio, Opiniano and Engr. Andam. There are at least 15 BARPers in the Board of Trustees whose tenure is three years. Election for the five new members is held every year.

Yesterday morning, over a hundred Senior Citizens from the Baguio Elderly Assembly (BEA) composed of elderly volunteers from BARP Foundation, FBASECA, PGREA, VFP CAR-Baguio Distirct, USAFIP NT, WWII Veterans and from the Philippine Retirees Authority Foreign Community joined the citywide cleanliness and beautification drive, a special environmental activity in preparation for the 101st Baguio Charter Day Celebration set on September 1. Our group swang into action at about 8:30 a.m. at the Rose Garden at Burnham Park which is one of the on-going projects of BEA by virtue of a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) inked two years ago by BEA members associations and the City Government through the CEPMO. Indeed, it was a joyful service experience for the participants. BEA at this time is preparing a weekend regular "educational-cultural palabas at the park," hopefully to start after the rainy season. The other community oriented projects of the BEA includes its "Lolos at Lolas Laban sa Droga Campaign, Green is Life (backyard planting of fruit-bearing trees) and its Annual Octoberbest monthlong sked," in observance of the Elderly Filipino Month pursuant to the BEA Covenant of Unity Declaration inked on Oct. 4, 2003, Presidential Proclamation No. 470 by President Fidel' V. Ramos in 1994 and Resolution No. 054, Series 2003 by the Sangguniang Panlunsod ng Baguio.

At this point in time, we would like to thank the 101st Baguio Charter Day Committee headed by City Administrator Atty. Carlos Canilao and his co-chairman Councilor Elmer Datuin for inviting the city's elderly groups to actively join the celebration. We are grateful for their invitation and support.

Our Lolos and Lolas Sept. 1 offering highlights with the following activities.

1. The search for the 101st Baguio Charter Day Babies.

2. The candle lights, prayer and floral rites honoring the late Justice George Malcolm at Malcolm Square scheduled at 7.00 o'clock in the morning.

3. Our attendance in the Charter Day Program at the Baguio Convention Center at 8 a.m. and the Grand Parade which will follow after the special event.

The Senior Citizens will gather once again at the Baguio Convention Center at 1 p.m. for their "Lolos and Lolas Got Talent Get-together Gems spiced with prizes and surprises for all.

The elderly activities are jointly spearheaded by the Baguio Elderly Assembly, Office for Senior Citizens (OSCA) in partnership with the City Social Welfare and Development Office (CSWDO) and with the invaluable understanding and support of the City Government.

May I pause for a moment to say "maraming salamat po" to Tiong San Bazaar general manager Elena Yao and Engr. Victor Calimlim of the Baguio Market Multi Purpose Cooperative for supporting the Justice George Malcolm ceremonials. The same appreciation goes to the National Institute and Information Technology ethnic dance troupe.