Thanksgiving mass for sports awardees, Pasko 2012 patrons

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By Nars Padilla

Kafagway Roundup

Friday, January 25, 2013

A THANKSGIVING mass dedicated to the honorees of the annual NCCB Kafagway Sports Achievers Awards project and the event supporters of Silahis ng Pasko sa Baguio Christmas season celebration will be held at the Shrine of the Brown Madonna along Km. 7, Asin Road tomorrow (Sunday).

The Holy Eucharist will be offered by Rev. Fr. Domingo “German” Ledesma, spiritual adviser of the place of worship and the National Correspondents Club of Baguio, at 8:30 a.m. Last Saturday, a core of 33 international and national athletes and sports leaders representing the cream of the crop in the city and the Cordilleras were recognized for their highly meritorious performance and exemplary achievement in the field of sports.

At the helm of the awardees were wushu-taulo gold and silver medalists Alieson Ken Omengan who won the precious and prestigious medals in the 4th World Wushu Junior championship held in Macau last year. Cordi boxers Dayer Gabutan, reigning World Boxing Organization bantamweight champion and newly crowned World Boxing Council Asia Council Continental bantamweight champion shared the KSAA top plum as “Athlete of the Year 2012.”


Benguet Governor Nestor Fongwan headed the cast of sports leaders with his “Sports Visionary Award” in recognition of his outstanding leadership and dedication in the ongoing construction of the province sports complex at Wangal, La Trinidad.

Event sponsors and a group of supporters of Silahis ng Pasko sa Baguio, dubbed as the most colorful and the longest Yuletide season celebration in the City of Pines were also presented tokens of appreciation by the NCCB, the City Social Welfare and Development Office, in cooperation with the city government.

In the honor roll are the Philippine Military Academy, AFP and the PMA Band, the Baguio City National High School Special Program in the Arts, Baguio balikbayan couple Bonnie and Josie Dilenela and US Navy retiree Angel Villaralvo and his charming wife Marie and several media outfit led by ABS-CBN TV Patrol NL and Sun.Star Baguio, the only local daily newspaper in North Luzon, among others.

The SNPSB award for Fr. German and Phases Learning Center headed by its founder-directress City Bernal will be presented at the Shrine of the Brown Madonna after the Holy Mass tomorrow.

Certainly, NCCB and its partner CSWDO under the leadership of Betty Fangasan are very appreciative of the invaluable support and participation of all project stakeholders in the two major events held at the historic Justice Malcolm Square.

Maraming salamat to the VIP personalities who graced the occasion led by Representative Bernie Vergara, Raffy Talocoy, who represented Mayor Mauricio Domogan and Councilor Nick Aliping, president of the Cordillera Chess Association.

Our deepest gratitude also to former youth representative lawyer Edgar Avila and sportsman Tony Candelaria, president of the Wushu Federation of the Philippines-CAR whose presence gave luster to the special endeavor. We are more than grateful for the active participation of the Fil-Japanese Foundation of Northern Luzon, Inc. as the KSAA major award presentor, represented by its executive director Engr. Leopoldo Escaño.

The other presenters were Dr. Lenny Brawner, national president of the Philippine Archery Association; Pete Mendoza, executive chairman of the Philippine Volleyball Association; Dr. Ricardo Balajadia, a prominent civic leader in the city, US Navy retiree Joseph Catacutan; and Avila, founder-sponsor of the annual EMA Golf Cup Tournament.

Thank you very much to the Aloha Philippines dancers, courtesy of Karen Anton for their poi ball and graceful belly dance number, which wowed spectators who witnessed the KSAA awards program. Finally, maraming, maraming salamat po to all those who in one way or the other care and shared sa aming NCCB-CSWDO calendar of events.

Last week, I wrote a few lines about the letter and Christmas card my wife Sol and I received all the way from Iran with love. If you recall, two lovely Persian ladies were chosen as the Baguio Lucky Foreign Visitors, an international tourism feature of Sumvac 2010. The bonanza event was sponsored by the NCCB as an integral part of its annual Kafagway Summerbest program held during the Holy Week observance. The lucky ones Zohreh Ghesami and Leila Pouramoy were then college students at the St. Louis University where they finished graduate studies in Psychology.

Both are back with their parents in Iran. Their mabuhay reception as lucky foreign visitors two years ago included free hotel accommodations at the majestic Pines View Hotel along Legarda Road overlooking the beauty and grandeur of the business district of the city and Burnham Park, free meals, sightseeing tours to places of interest and a courtesy call on the city mayor and the Benguet governor who greeted and presented to them, individually the symbolic key to their respective city and province. In short, Zohreh and Leila were accorded red carpet hospitality during their four day welcome sked arranged and coordinated by the late manong Gerry Evangelista Sr. and yours truly as co-chairman of Summerbest.

Share with us some excerpts of the letter from Zohreh:

Dear grandpa Nars and grandma Sol, Hi, how are you? Merry Christmas and Happy New Year! I miss you so much. Most of the time, I think about you and pray for you. I was so happy when I received your nice letter and beautiful picture. My family was very happy, too. My parents send their regards to you and their prayers, too. Leila and I are working as counselors. We miss you so much and love you. Now is the fourth day in Iran and the weather is very cold, but my city is very beautiful. I hope you can travel to Iran and stay a while with us at home.”

Certainly, we were touched by the sincerity of Zohreh as a dear friend. We will never forget the good things we shared when and Leila were here in the city. We treated them like our own daughters. Good luck and enjoy life to the fullest!

Published in the Sun.Star Baguio newspaper on January 26, 2013.


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