As part of the 82nd founding anniversary of Quezon City, the local government recognized individuals and organizations who have been exemplary in their endeavors to help their respective communities.

With the theme: Ordinary People, Doing Extraordinary Things During Extraordinary Times, the 19th Manuel Luis Quezon Gawad Parangal Awards was last night (October 12, 2021) at the Elements at Centris and was attended by the awardees, Mayor Joy Belmonte, Vice Mayor Gian Sotto and select QC government officials.

Mayor Joy Belmonte commended the awardees for going beyond themselves for others.

“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,” she said.

Six individuals and six organizations were acknowledged for their contribution to the people of Quezon City.

The awardees include:

Ana Patricia Non who organized the first community pantry in the Philippines located in Maginhawa, Quezon City. This initiative inspired the whole country to do the same – to give what you can and take only what you need. She also organized a “bigas” drive for jeepney drivers who lost their livelihood due to the lockdowns last 2020.

PLt. Jean C. Aguada is a police officer currently assigned as the Chief of Anonas Police Station Community Affairs and Development Section (SCADS); and Chief of the Women and Children Concern Section. She nursed a five-month-old child left by her parents to earn a living, whom she found while walking on her way to their clean-up drive and feeding program in Quezon City.

Rev. Fr. Ronald Mariano is a Parish Priest of the Holy Family in Barangay Roxas, Quezon City. He initiated COVID-19 Relief operations when the government declared the Enhanced Community Quarantine (ECQ). The program was able to care for more than 4000 families with the help of parishioners who supported the project. Rev. Fr. Mariano also organized the Almusalang Parokya program where homeless families and underprivileged members of the parish were given a decent meal prepared by himself.

Dr. Leandro Resurreccion III (+) is a pediatric surgeon well-liked by so many, was the head of the Pediatric Surgery Division at the Philippine Children’s Medical Center, pioneer pediatric transplant surgeon in the Philippines. He was also well known locally and internationally due to his vision for pediatric surgery especially in liver transplants which he was working to the end.

Staff Sergeant Hidilyn Diaz won the first Olympic gold medal for the Philippines. She is also an Olympic weightlifting record holder by winning the women’s 55 kg category for weightlifting at the 2020 Summer Olympics.

Lou Sabrina Ongkiko is a public school teacher for 12 years in Culiat Elementary School in Quezon City. She was cited for her accomplishments that included overseeing the school’s learning continuity program for distance learning; strengthening science, technology, engineering and mathematics education; and boosting students’ support environment.

Organizations who were awarded include Philippine Animal Welfare Society (PAW-ntry for its pet-friendly pantry offers various pet food and other treats and enjoins pet owners and advocates to give what they can and take what they need; Safe Haven Community Center & Children’s Home which is an active partner of the Quezon City Social Services Development Department (SSDD) in terms of providing temporary shelter to children who are abandoned, neglected or abused; ECPAT Philippines which
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 especially medical frontliners.

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 as well as in the design and implementation of vaccination programs for Quezon City.

A special 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.