Bacolod Mayor Evelio Leonardia yesterday challenged previous and present Ang Banwahanon awardees to bond together to make Bacolod City progress further, during the awarding ceremony at the Bacolod City Government Center last night where three outstanding citizens of the city were honored.
Leonardia said he attributed the growth and progress of the city to the private sector. He said he has realized that Bacolod has reached its present point of development because of its outstanding citizens.
“We have always believed that making our city grow will always be through the collaborative, creative, and symbiotic relationship of the government with the private sector,” Leonardia said.
Honored were Pamela Torre Henares, Lucy Chua Ponce and Joel "Bagguer" Villaluz, Sr. at rites attended by former Ang Banwahanon awardees, businessmen and city officials of Bacolod led by Leonardia and Vice Mayor Jude Thaddeus Sayson.
Henares was recognized for her exemplary and selfless service to Bacolod City, notably in her advocacy in organic farming, promotion of sustainable agriculture and solid waste management practices that have significantly contributed and created an impact on the development of Bacolod's communities.
Ponce was recognized for her personal selfless service and continued commitment to the welfare of the homeless and young people in conflict with the law, thereby significantly contributing to the development of young people to become better adults and productive citizens of Bacolod City.
Villaluz was recognized for his selfless service to the City of Bacolod by generously giving his time and talent to render free music to people from all walks of life especially to the elderly and disabled, preserving and propagating Bacolod’s native music and culture for composing the official hymn of Bacolod City.
Leonilo Lopue, the Ang Banwahanon Awards Committee chairman, said that as of yesterday, Bacolod has about 140 awardees since the Ang Banwahanon Awards started in 1974 during the incumbency of then Mayor Carlos Benares as a special feature of the Charter Day celebration.
San Sebastian Cathedral rector Rev. Fr. Felix Pasquin was guest speaker, while Msgr. Noly Que, a 2010 Ang Banwahanon awardee, led the opening prayer.
Leonardia and the city officials congratulated the awardees for their outstanding contribution to the City of Bacolod and her people.
Present at the rites were Councilors Em Ang, Sonya Verdeflor, Mona Dia Jardin, Al Victor Espino, Caesar Distrito, Catalino Alisbo, Carl Lopez, Homer Bais and Roberto Rojas.*CGS