The Quezon City Government has conferred the 21st Manuel Luis Quezon Gawad Parangal Award to outstanding individuals and organizations that have made significant contributions to the city and country.

Fifteen QCitizens and institutions who have shown dedication and excellence were named as this year’s recipients, representing different fields including Justice and Law, Science and Technology, Social Work, Business and Entrepreneurship, and Environment and Sanitation.

“We are honored to have with us distinguished individuals and organizations who set the bar high in terms of active participation in governance, and whose achievements must be celebrated and emulated,” Mayor Joy Belmonte said during the awarding ceremony at the PETA theater.

“In one way or another, whether on their own volition or driven by circumstances, our awardees devoted their lives and careers in pursuing worthwhile causes, and in so doing, made  positive impacts to the city, the country and even the world,” the mayor added.

Among this year’s awardees are: Prof. Ernesto Serote, the “Guru of Philippine Local Planning” who rationalized the local planning system in the country; Dr. Emma Porio who led the transdisciplinary action research project, Coastal Cities at risk: Investing in Climate and Disaster Resilience in the Philippines; and Dr. Laura T. David who pioneered ocean remote sensing. 

Also recognized are Executive Judge Juvenal Noriega Bella who was among the pioneering Judges that implemented the eCourt system and eSubpoena system; and Justice Maria Filomena D. Singh who has written a Toolkit for Philippine Trial Judges, as well as a working paper on the enforcement of ethical standards in the judiciary. 

Dr. Aura C. Matias who researched the development of a model for predicting carpal tunnel syndrome based on data collected from 100 women who used computer keyboards; and Margarita Romero-Atayde who established and manages the Love2Learn Community Center in Brgy. Pansol which has been conducting reading and feeding programs for more than 300 children annually since 2010 and is run entirely by community volunteers. 

Institutions were also recognized, including Rex Education for being the pioneer in the educational publishing industry in the Philippines for all levels; Rural Rising PH, a non-profit grassroots organization that helps distressed Filipino Farmers; Mother Earth Foundation (MEF) that enables local governments and NGOs to implement Zero Waste programs in communities; Tanging Yaman Foundation Inc, a conduit foundation that offers scholarships to Filipino Youth; and Human Nature, a QC-based business leading natural and organic cosmetic and personal and home care product brand in the Philippines. 

Posthumous citations were also given to Arch. Federico Ilustre, the architect behind the design of the Quezon Memorial Shrine Monument; Fernando Amorsolo, the “Grand Old Man of Philippine Art,” and the first-ever National Artist of the Philippines; and Corazon Victoria “Dinky” Juliano-Soliman who worked extensively on community development, peace and conflict resolution, gender and human rights, and innovative funding approaches. 

For Vice Mayor Gian Sotto, the awardees’ actions and commitment to serve the community have created a chain of reactions that positively affect society.

“To all our awardees, we may never fully understand the struggles that you faced to reach where you are today. But what we do know is that, no matter how big those struggles were, you are the light that cannot be extinguished nor diminished,” Vice Mayor Sotto said.

Each awardee underwent a thorough and comprehensive assessment and deliberation of the awards’ selection committee which is composed of city department heads and past recipients of the award.

Since its launch in 2002, the city has awarded hundreds of exemplary individuals and organizations as part of QC’s Foundation Anniversary.