Pangasinan’s favorite son former President Fidel V. Ramos and his nephew Mayor Hernani A. Braganza, were among the outstanding leaders and achievers honored by the Kaluyagan Nen Palaris (KNP) during its Grand Fellowship and Recognition Night held at Manila Hotel last Dec. 21, 2006.
KNP, a newly revived socio-civic organization organized by Pangasinan businessmen and professionals in Metro Manila six decades ago, conferred Ramos the Pillar Award while Braganza was a given a citation in the field of public service.
Among the prominent figures honored by KNP were former Senator Leticia Ramos-Shahani, former Bangko Sentral Governor Gabriel Singson, former Economic Secretary and Presidential Adviser Hilarion Henarez, KNP Chairman Emeritus Conrado Estrella Sr., former Ambassador and banker Alfonso Yunchengco, former GMA 7 President Menardo Jimenez, former Government Service Insurance System (GSIS) chairman Jose Magno, former Pangasinan governors Tito Primicias, Rafael M. Colet, Vicente Millora and Demetrio G. Demetria, former Anti-Poverty Alleviation Secretary Marieta Primicias Goco, and former Press Secretary Jesus Sison.
A KNP Pillar was also awarded to Foreign Affairs Secretary Alberto G. Romulo, who hails from Camiling, Tarlac.
He, along with fellow awardee Ms. Gloria G. Romero, another prized daughter of the province and a pillar of the Philippine entertainment industry though failed to grace the affair.
Braganza, a former two-term first district congressmen and who held key positions in the national government personally gratefully received the award.
Other honorees who were recognized for their exemplary service to the people were Health Secretary Francisco Duque III, former Dagupan City Mayor and now Immigration Commissioner Alipio Fernandez Jr, former Pangasinan governor Oscar Orbos, incumbent Governor Victor Agbayani, former agriculture secretary Leonardo Montemayor and incumbent Dagupan City Mayor Benjamin S. Lim.
Awardees in the field of police and military services were Armed Forces Chief Hermogenes Esperon, former PNP chief now National Irrigation Administration (NIA) chief Arturo Lomibao, retired Lieutenant General Alberto Braganza, retired Lieutenant General Jose Calimlim, Vice Admiral Virgilio Marcelo, retired Lieutenant General Orlando Soriano retired Deputy Director General Reynaldo Velasco, Lt. Gen. Pedro Cabuay, Ambassador to Indonesia Vidal Querol. and former PNP regional director now Congressman Amado T. Espino Jr.
Leading this year’s posthumous awardees were to former Pangasinan governor Aguedo F. Agbayani, former information minister Gregorio Cendana, former executive secretary Jacobo Clave, the late Jeremias Montemayor- founder of the Federation of Free Farmers, Doña Consuelo Perez-widow of the late House Speaker Eugenio Perez and KNP past presidents Dr. Jose Tamayo and Justice Porfirio Sison.
The late Fernando Poe Jr., regarded as the King of Philippine movies and who starred in monumental movie classic “Anak ni Palaris” was also given a posthumous award, which was received by Elizabeth Poe, his eldest sister.
Cited for their major contribution in the Philippine Arts and Culture were musician Ryan Cayabyab, film director and producer Carlo J. Caparas, famous artists Nestor Vinluan and Baydi Mendoza, and Maria Mendoza.
Sports columnist Al Mendoza and champion cyclist Jess Garcia Jr. were also given separate citations for their advocacy and achievements in sports.
In his keynote speech, Ramos called on his co-honorees to extend their fair and timely share in the uplifting the quality of life in the countryside noting that the nation is still facing the biggest problem which is breaking the chain of poverty.
He said the patriotism exemplified by the foremost Pangasinan hero- Juan de la Cruz Palaris, transcends to the KNP which will soon serves as a catalyst in the realization of more remarkable developments in Pangasinan and a better nation.
The former chief executive even managed to promote anew Pangasinan’s hundred wonders especially the cities of Alaminos and Dagupan which he described as the new investment hub in the country owing to the their established development master plans and collective visions both of its leaders and its people. (CIO)