A Catholic priest, a police officer, and the organizer of the “community pantry” are among individuals and organizations who were honored during the celebration of the 82nd founding anniversary of Quezon City on October 12.
Father Ronald Mariano, parish priest of the Holy Family parish in Barangay Roxas, Quezon City, was cited for his initiative to help parishioners when the government declared the “enhanced community quarantine” last year.
The parish’s aid and feeding program, dubbed “Almusalang Parokya,” was able to feed more than 4,000 families, especially homeless people and the most affected by the community lockdown.
“We all have a selfless spirit inside us. Our awardees are proof of the truth that altruism is innate in our society. They will be the first to tell you that they are ordinary people doing extraordinary things,” said city mayor Joy Belmonte.
Also given recognition was Ana Patricia Non who organized the first “community pantry” in the Philippines on Maginhawa Street in Quezon City. The initiative inspired a lot of communities to give what they can and take only what they need.
With the theme “Ordinary People, Doing Extraordinary Things During Extraordinary Times,” the 19th Manuel Luis Quezon Gawad Parangal Awards was held at the Elements at Centris and was attended by the awardees and city officials.
Police Lieutenant Jean Aguada, chief of Anonas Police Station Community Affairs and Development Section, was recognized for nursing a five-month-old child left by the parents to earn a living.
Other awardees were Dr. Leandro Resurreccion III, a pediatric surgeon at the Philippine Children’s Medical Center; Staff Sergeant Hidilyn Diaz who won the first Olympic gold medal for the Philippines; and Lou Sabrina Ongkiko, a public school teacher for 12 years in Culiat Elementary School in Quezon City.
The Philippine Animal Welfare Society was also cited for for its pet-friendly pantry, the Safe Haven Community Center & Children’s Home for providing temporary shelter to children who are abandoned, neglected or abused; ECPAT Philippines that provides temporary shelter to children victim of trafficking and sexual abuse; BeSeekLeta for Every Juan, which collects old or unused bike parts from donors to be repaired, refurbished and rebuilt to a whole new functional bike to be given for free to fellow Filipinos in need of transportation assistance.
Other awardees are the Salamat PH Healthcare Heroes, which pooled donations to provide food for night shift frontliners; and OCTA Research, which provides comprehensive, holistic, accurate, rigorous, and insightful data analysis to the Quezon City Government to ensure efficient COVID research study outcomes.
A posthumous award was also bestowed to former president Benigno Simeon “Noynoy” Aquino III for his “exemplary leadership and good governance” as the 15th president of the Philippines and is a true Quezon City citizen.