Ten luminaries brightened up Plaza Mayor on the night of April 20 as they received their Dangal Balangueño award.
Recipients of the award came from various fields of expertise such as education, jurisprudence, engineering, humanitarian works, business and commerce, performing arts, medicine, public service, agriculture, and women’s welfare.
With the theme “Galing Balangueño, Ipagmalaki mo!”, the City Planning and Development Office (CPDO) headed by Ms. Elsa Ilagan led the preparations for the awards night. The award’s purpose is to inspire Balangueños to take an active part in community building by seeing how their fellow residents who excel in their field of expertise are recognized.
However, the Multi-Sector Governance Coalition (MSGC), also known as ‘Ugnayang Balangueño, did the selection of awardees. MSGC is an alliance of private individuals who vow to help the city attain its University Town vision. As they are representatives of their respective sectors, the city government deemed them worthy to recognize as Balangueños who have been successful in their own turf.
Mayor Francis Anthony S. Garcia and Vice-Mayor Vianca Lita V. Gozon personally handed the plaques to the honorees. Mayor Garcia’s wife Raquel was also present, as well as members of the Sangguniang Panlungsod.
A Roster of Illustrious People
Ms. Maricel Galura received the award for Humanitarian Work. A member of the Rotary Club, Galura is known for charity works that benefitted mostly the people of Balanga.
Engr. Nelson Andres, current dean of Bataan Peninsula State University’s College of Engineering, was honored in the field of Engineering. In his acceptance speech, he said that his greatest pleasure was to impart knowledge to his students. He has had students who have placed in the engineering board examination.
Dr. Carolina Violeta of the Department of Education received the award for excellence in the field of Education and Learning. Ms. Estrella De Mesa, proprietor of Barangay Cupang’s famous Estrella’s Eatery, was honored in the field of Business and Commerce.
Another one in the food industry, Ms. Aurora “Babes” Austria, was awarded for elevating women’s status in public service. While Austria had a long experience of working in government, she is best remembered for being Malacañan Palace’s executive chef during the time of former Pres. Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo.
Dr. Francisco Pascual was hailed in the field of Medicine, while Atty. Victor De Dios was named excellent in the field of Jurisprudence.
Mr. Carlos “Bong” Ramos, a pioneer of ‘Tanghalang Tatsulok’ received the award in the area of Performing Arts.
Mr. Rolando Dizon, former city department head and now adviser on cooperative affairs, received the award for Public Service.
Lastly, Mr. Antonio Balboa, a Balangueño peasant promoting organic farming, was honored in the field of Agriculture. Balboa has been a long-time partner of the City Agriculture Office. |Arli Atienza