“This is what we celebrate tonight – the Filipino talent and the Filipino capacity for service.”

Thus spoke educator and constitutional law authority Fr. Joaquin Bernas, S.J. about the significance of the 2011 Quezon City Gawad Parangal awards night at the Crowne Plaza ballroom, a highlight of the celebration of QC’s 72nd founding anniversary.

Fr. Bernas was one of the 10 most outstanding citizens who received this year’s most prestigious awards for individuals.

Mayor Herbert Bautista congratulated the awardees for contributing to the city’s past achievements and for continuing to contribute today. He said that the awardees “will certainly continue to be QC’s outstanding citizens and institutions.”

Speaking on behalf of the individual awardees, Fr. Bernas pointed out what the late Fr. Horacio de la Costa had said about two treasures of the Filipinos in spite of their poverty.  Quoting from Fr. De la Costa’s inspirational essay “Jewels of the Pauper,” Fr. Bernas said these two jewels are our music and our faith; these are the bonds that bind us together, and as a people we cannot perish because we have these treasures.

The other individual awardees are entrepreneur Ramon E. Rodriguez, development educator Dr. Jose Vergara, “Comedy King” Rodolfo “Dolphy” Quizon, broadcast journalist Cecilia “Cheche” Lazaro, renowned painter and art teacher Fernando Sena, broadcast media executive Charo Santos-Concio, multi-awarded Broadway-singing star Leah Salonga, educator-writer-performing artist Dr. Rustica C. Carpio, and mass media entrepreneur Atty. Felipe Gozon.

The 2011 Gawad Parangal awards for outstanding corporations/institutions went to five recipients: The Philippine Star, National Kidney and Transplant Institute, Splash Corporation, French Baker, and Arce Foods Corporation.

Speaking for the outstanding institutions, Philippine Star president/ CEO Miguel G. Belmonte expressed the recipients gratitude to the QC government by pointing out that the leaders, people and institutions of the city have much to be proud of.  He said that QC is among the best in local governance in the Philippines and in Asia, and is a model of urban development.

Mayor Bautista was assisted in the awards ceremonies by Vice Mayor Joy Belmonte, chief of staff Aldrin C. Cuña, and Gawad Parangal selection board director Dr. Manuel S. Alba.

Among the special guests in the awards night were Speaker Feliciano Belmonte Jr., former Mayor Ismael Mathay Jr. and his sons Bu and Chuck Mathay, District 2 Congressman Winnie Castelo and spouse Councilor Precious Hipolito Castelo. Mencio/ Ramir/ Ej/ Maureen Quiñones, PAISO   


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