Pinoy Icon 2011

We have modern day heroes who, in their field of expertise, have made a difference in the lives of Ilonggos. Recognizing them publicly is one way of inspiring them to do more as well as encouraging others follow suit. Besides, a good deed should be awarded.
This is exactly what Pinoy Icon 2011 does. It provides several awards labelled after Independence Day heroes, to modern day achievers. It is already on its second year and held every June 12, anniversary of the Philippines’ independence from Spanish rule.
This is a program of JCI Regatta in collaboration with ABS-CBN and SM City. This early, Pinoy Icon was adjudged as JCI’s Best National Community Development Program for Asia and the Pacific.
Visual artist Publeo G. (aka PG) Zoluaga Jr. was given the Juan Luna Award. He promoted art to a larger sector of the Ilonggo community. He inspired young artists through workshops. He is also a performance artist and a composer.
Demy Sonza is not only a politician but a writer. He wrote a collection of poems entitled “The Stirred Pool.” He also directed his first Hiligaynon play called “Ariring sang Kapalaran.” He received the Francisco Baltazar Award.
A champion of Women and Children’s Rights, Erna Foerster received the Teresa Magbanua Award. She is a retired Chief Inspector of the Philippine National Police. She was Chief of the Women and Children Concerns Section, Iloilo City Police Office for 12 years. She received the Medalya ng Kagalingan, a national award for being the Best Women and Children's Desk Officer.  Now, she is a consultant on Women and Children's Concern for the Chameleon Association, Incorporated of Passi City.
Melchora Aquino Awardee for Civic Work is Maria Rosa Cacho, Panay Electric Company’s consultant for external affairs. She is also active in the Zonta Club of Iloilo City III. She is the Vice President of the Ladies Chapter of the Iloilo Golf and Country Club. She is also active in Gawad Kalinga.
Senator Franklin Drilon received the Emilio Aguinaldo Award for Government Service for his brand of public service and governance.
Dominique Jacela Maquiran received the Apolinario Mabini Award for Education. He is a trainer and resource person in community projects of the Visayas Gurong Pahinungod Program. He has trained more than 800 public school educators under the project "Sustaining Teaching Excellence Program".
The Panday Pira Award for Science and Technology was given to Dr. Josette T. Biyo. She won the 2002 Intel International Excellence in Teaching Award where she bested more than 4,000 candidates from around the world. The Massachusetts Institute of Technology's Lincoln Laboratory named a planet after her.
The Jose Rizal Award for Medicine was given to Dr. Malbar Ferrer. He is the founder and chairman of the board of Citizens’ (Iloilo) Coalition against TB (CICAT), which assists the Department of Health Region 6 in the implementation of the National Tuberculosis Program.
The Graciano Lopez Jaena Award for Media was given to Oscar Lopez. His hands-on management style and application of corporate social responsibility to the varied Lopez businesses greatly changed the face of the Philippine economy. He also got involved in environmental protection and poverty alleviation.
These descriptions about the awardees are just a few of a long list of their efforts in making Ilonggos’ lives better.
Some of us feel that we may not be able to achieve much compared to what these awardees did. But I think that whatever we are doing at the moment and wherever we are, is an opportunity to serve. Let’s do it with joy./Marie Katherine Villalon

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