Editorial | The Datu Bago Awards

THE 48th conferment of the Datu Bago Awards 2018 is one of the major events of the weeklong founding anniversary of the city. It will be held today at the Royal Ballroom of The Royal Mandaya Hotel.

This year, Mayor Sara Duterte will confer seven outstanding Dabawenyos who have contributed to the growth and development of Davao City.

This year’ awardees are:

Bro. Carlito Gaspar, who has dedicated his life in promoting peace through interfaith dialogue and in championing indigenous peoples’ cultural and resource rights. As a prolific writer authoring over 20 books, he has promoted a deeper understanding of Davao and Mindanao indigenous cultures. His extensive research on pre-colonial Davao has significantly contributed to the study and appreciation of Davao history and culture.

His life’s work has shaped the intellectual, cultural, and moral development of Davao City and the conferment of the city’s highest award is in recognition and affirmation of the values and principles Bro. Karl embodies in words and in deeds.

Norma T. Javellana is an environmentalist and children’s rights advocate. She is known for leading Davao City’s campaign for more publicly accessible green spaces and parks. She lobbied tirelessly for the protection of the Panigan-Tamugan river as well as Shrine Hills, a community she is a part of.

She is being recognized for her trailblazing contribution to the protection and conservation of Davao City’s natural resources and human resources.

Belen C. Laud is a leader in the cooperative movement. She has served and nurtured several cooperatives in Davao City and has significantly contributed to the growth and development of cooperatives in the Davao region.

Aland David Mizell, Phd. , has made a difference in the lives of many poor Davaoeños through the scholarship and educational programs of Minority Care International (MCI), a foundation he founded and leads. He is being recognized for his trailblazing “College Education Behind Bars,” a program he initiated with the Social Entrepreneurship Technology and Business Institute, Inc., the University of Southeastern Philippines, and the Bureau of Jail Management and Penology.

Ricardo N. Obenza Jr., is an environmental activist, teacher, and artist, who has devoted more than 40 years of his life to the reforestation of the Malagos Watershed and the art education of Davao City’s children. His notable work has been recognized internationally and was featured in the Wochi Kochi Magazine of the Japan Foundation where he was described as a modest local activist whose living and teaching is like a work of art in itself.

Beethoven N. Sur is a recognized leader in sports. He founded the United Bodybuilders Association and the Davao Bodybuilders Association. He is being recognized for his significant contribution to the sports and youth development of Davao City and for his outstanding service in support of the Philippine Coast Guard in the Davao Region.

Nieto Latorre Vitto is known as the “Father of Special Education” of the University of Southeastern Philippines, Dr. Vitto has dedicated his life in the service of children with special needs. He is being recognized for his valuable contribution to the promotion of the rights and welfare of children with disability that led to Davao City’s national recognition as a child-friendly City.

We congratulate the seven Datu Bago 2018 awardees.

Posted in Opinion