SIX Dagupeños and a retired archbishop were honored in this year’s celebration of Agew na Dagupan.
The honorees are Jose F. Datuin, visual arts; James A. Dy, community service (disaster response); Atty. Albino V. Gonzales, community service (humanitarian advocacies); Johnny Guan Kay Lo (posthumous), corporate social responsibility; Felipe C. Siapno, elderly sector leadership; and Marcelo L. Vistro, religious lay leadership and Archbishop Emeritus Oscar Cruz (moral values crusade).
Datuin is a sculptor-painter; Dy is the founder of Dagupan Filipino-Chinese Community Association Incorporated and the PANDA Volunteer Fire Brigade; Gonzales is the past district governor of Rotary International District 3790; Lo is the founding president of the Guanzon Group of Companies; Siapno is the chairman of the Office of Senior Citizen Affairs (OSCA) and former Vice Mayor of Dagupan City; Vistro is the Archdiocesan Coordinator of Education Ministry and ONLA Council of the Laity Archdiocesan of Lingayen-Dagupan; Cruz was archbishop of Lingayen-Dagupan for nearly two decades until he retired.
The award is bestowed by the city every five years in conjunction with the annual celebration of Agew na Dagupan.
Meanwhile, the city also gave recognition to its top ten business taxpayers for 2011.
They are Dagupan Electric Corporation; CSI Group of Companies; San Miguel Foods, Inc.; San Miguel Integrated Sales; San Miguel Brewery, Inc.; Samsung Electronics Philippines Corporation; University of the Pangasinan, Inc. (PHINMA); Magic Group of Companies; Natasha; Avon Cosmetics Inc.; and Mc Donald’s-Dagupan.
A special award was also given to Lim Pan Commercial, University of Pangasinan, Inc. (PHINMA) and Bank of the Philippine Islands.
The top ten real property taxpayers are the City Supermarket, Inc., Borealis Corporation, Kerwin L. Fernandez, Ngo Chiao Lin and his wife Juanita; James A. Dy and his wife Belen; Dagupan Electric Corporation; Mayor Benjamin S. Lim and his wife Celia; Voltaire P. Arzadon and his wife Loreta; B.H.F. Corporation; and Magic World Reality and Development Corporation.
Mayor Benjamin Lim conveyed his gratitude to the different non-government organizations who participated in this year’s celebrations, including the freemasonry and to the organizing committee headed by Honorata G. Siapno and Dr. Alma Ruby C. Torio of the selection committee.
Describing the awardees as the embodiment of true generosity, Lim said “they helped others while seeking nothing in return, neither credit, media exposure nor accolades, but a genuine desire to help, nothing more nothing less.”
The University of the Philippines Arco Strings Ensemble, the first and sole representative of the Philippines to the Festival International de Musique Universitaire-FIMU (International University Music Festival) held last May 26-28 in Belfort, France, serenaded the awardees with their rendition of the major string orchestra works of Corelli, Bach, Vivaldi, Handel, Mozart, Britten, Grieg, Tschaikovsky, and Elgar.
The charter day celebration also included the Manlingkor ya Ogogaw wherein student leaders from the public and private schools take on the role of the city government officials for a week.
In a pep talk to the young leaders, Lim said, “You should know what we are doing here [in the city government]. But in a day, more or less, you will be able to understand the strategy of the city which is to increase the livelihood prospect that can be created if we have a peaceful city.”
The mayor’s young counterpart, 15-year-old Jan Francis B. Del Rosario from St. John Catholic School, said he supports the campaign to rid the city of illegal drugs.
Serving as del Rosario’s vice mayor was Megan Lo from Mother Goose Special Science School Systems Inc.(MGSSSI).
The 12 members of the city council were Editha Marie Flores, Reylyn Mariz Vidal and Arielle Kate Zaratan from St. Albert the Great School (SAGS); Charlene Fama and April Antonette Velasco, DCNHS; Debbie Anne Bato, Terence Lapenas and James Bryan Soriano, MGSSSI; Denise Issa Diego, Nuestra Señora de Lasallete; Jan Chloe Gonzales, Divine Word Academy of Dagupan; Nehemiah Mula, Francisco Q. Duque Memorial Special Science High School; and Ma. Lawrence Remmsy Narvasa, Bonuan Boquig National High School. (with report from CIO)