Outstanding elderly citizens to be feted

Six outstanding senior citizens shall be honored this Tuesday, the highlight of the program in the celebration of October as Filipino elderly month.

The awards are in four categories: Community service, Resource generation, Leadership and Huwarang Nakatatanda.

Dr. Osmund Belmonte, a retired Assistant Regional Director of the Department of Science and Technology (DOST-CAR) is awarded for Community Service, being an educator, a research coordinator, a scientific and technological developer, thesis and dissertation adviser. His accomplishments include authoring Science and Technology materials for the classroom and community; being a member of organizations in the community specifically for child development; and establishing the Baguio City Science Foundation, a science-based school in Baguio.

He is a recipient of the Presidential Dangal ng Bayan Award for Public Service, a speaker in science occasions, both local and national; and an acclaimed judge and participant in science and engineering fairs; in Thailand, Taiwan, Japan, Malaysia; and Illinois, Hawaii, Indiana, California; in the USA.

He continues to share his knowledge and skills in the community through barangay organizations, skills program trainings and senior citizen groups.

Another awardee for community service is Lourdes Saludares Agcolicol of barangay Gibraltar who for years shared business know-how to the community before and even after retiring from government service as a public health midwife for 35 years. With more time for service after retirement, the barangay senior citizen and KALIPI federation finances fell into her shoulders. Introducing good records keeping and handling of money matters, the financial standing of both organizations was intact and became more stable during her term.

Agcolicol also steered her barangay to win roadside and mini-parks contests. She also actively participated in celebrations and as senior citizen officer for a day (SCOFAD) in recent years. Born in Dingras, Ilocos Norte in 1935, she resided in the city for 56 years.

Retired teacher Rosa Guadilla Rillera shares the resource generation award with fellow musician-teacher Basilisa Cachero Pimentel.

Rillera is known as a benevolent person, raising funds for worthy causes such as church projects; and a Philippine Government Retirees Association (PGRA) Lakambini project where part of the proceeds was donated to Typhoon Yolanda victims, and another portion given to the Baguio General Hospital and Medical Center (BGHMC) Advisory Board for Senior Citizens’ medicines. Born in Rosario La Union in 1931, she made Baguio her home since 1954.

She is also an active learner in technical and environmental concerns.

Basilisa Pimentel is the composer of the Baguio March, PGRA, Society of Outstanding Citizens of Baguio (SOCOB) and Holy Family hymns, and given certificates of merit from the Cultural Center of the Philippines (CCP), University of the Philippines (UP), among others.

Now 92, Ms. Pimentel still coaches and conducts various singing groups in church, programs and gatherings. She is also a donor for the Barangay Police Outpost and other projects in the city. Accordingly, she shares not only her talent but also time and treasure for the furtherance of culture and the arts. She hails from Kayan, Tadian, Mt. Province but has made Baguio her home for 69 years.

Josephine Almendral Flores is the Leadership awardee for this year, with her accomplishment through the years, and after retirement from the academe. She has continually grown with academic institutions through authorship of books and participation in community activities; specifically in culture and arts.

Nellie Bal-i Kabluyen from Central Guisad Barangay is this year’s lone Huwarang Nakatatanda awardee.

Not a stranger to public service, Kabluyen made the senior citizen office her regular workplace, after retirement from the Civil Service Commission. Responsible, meticulous and diligent, records are in place and updated, with a dependable and ready hand for assistance when she is around.

A bastion of care and strength in her family, she guides and supports family and extended members. Trained as a teacher, she kindly assists unschooled community members without payment or gifts.

With all that she has achieved, Mng. Nellie as she is fondly referred to, lives simply and humbly, truly a model to be emulated.

The awardees are carefully screened by the City Social Welfare and Development Office as lead secretariat with other line agencies as members.

The CSD celebration is done in line with the theme, “Kilalanin At Parangalan: Tagapagsulong ng Karapatan ng Nakatatanda Tungo sa Lipunang Mapagkalinga.” –juliegfianza