2012 awardees ‘highly qualified’

CITY OF SAN FERNANDO – The recipients of the Most Outstanding Kapampangan Awards (Moka) 2012 are highly qualified and unquestionable, and the quality of the whole batch itself is excellent, the judges said.
Moka 2012 Board of Judges chairman Levy P. Laus made the statement on Tuesday when the awardees topbilled by Senator Manuel Villar Jr. took on the stage to receive their honors in grand ceremonies at the Bren Z. Guiao Convention Center here.
Laus, 1991 Most Outstanding Kapampangan for Business with Civic Consciousness, said the field of awardees — Ma. Miguela Santiago (Outstanding Honorary Kapampangan), P/Supt. Bernardo Perez (Law Enforcement), Felix Tienzo (Social Service), Patrick Cura (Youth Service), Leonardo Canlas (Education), Norman De Jesus (Agriculture), Fr. Vic Nicdao (Religion), Lillian Borromeo (Culture), John Manalili (Mass Media), ALE Representative Catalina Bagasina (Government Service), Allan Pineda aka Apl.de.Ap (Arts) and Villar (Business and Entrepreneurship)–were all strictly and rigidly screened by the selection committee and adjudged carefully by the Board of Judges.
“This year’s batch of awardees is indeed highly qualified. In fact, all those nominated had good qualifications. But after careful screening, this field of Moka recipients stood out as the best,” Laus said.
He added that it took both the selection committee and the judges’ board weeks of grueling scrutiny to come up with the roster of most outstanding Kapampangans for the 441st Pampanga Day celebrations, the Moka being the highlight of the commemoration.
“It was really a tight and arduous selection and judging process, which took weeks and we saw to it there would be no controversies in our decisions. But we are gratified with the final results because you have in the roster the likes of Sen. Manny Villar whose Bamba roots I am familiar with in the early days when we were ‘palengke’ boys in San Fernando,” quipped Laus.
Laus said that he was optimistic other sectors for awards would be filled up in the next Moka years, following the recommendations and amendments to be made in nomination, screening and selection of outstanding Kapampangans.
“There are a lot of Kapampangans excelling in their respective endeavors that deserve the award. I am optimistic that with the recommendations and proposed amendments from the awards body, plus the creation of the Moka foundation, we could fill up more of the categories in the search and give honors to our deserving kabalens,” concluded Laus.
Kapampangan-American artist Allan Pineda (Apl.de.Ap) of the Grammy Award winning group The Black Eyed Peas and Senator Manuel “Manny” Villar Jr. were hailed with 10 others as among this year’s roaster Moka awardees.
Pineda, a native of Sapang Bato in Angeles City, was recognized for his art and philanthropic works among others in the Arts Category while Villar was hailed as this year’s awardee for the field of Business and Entrepreneurship.
Pineda was recently awarded the Order of St. Gabriel the Archangel by the Holy Angel University. He recently established the apl.de.ap Foundation (AdAF) aiming to support youth in his hometown, his country and thorough Asia.
Meanwhile, Villar was recognized for his business acumen in real estate.
The Philippine Center for Investigative Journalism once called him the “Dean of Philippine Real Estate Industry.” As one of the leading entrepreneurs in the country, he championed the cause of small and medium sized enterprises.
He authored and passed into law the landmark Magna Carta for Small and Medium Enterprises (RA 8289), and Barangay Micro Business Enterprises Act (RA 9178).
Ma. Miguela Ticson Santiago, better known as Leleng, who was hailed as Outstanding Honorary Kapampangan is a native of San Pablo City, Laguna, she was married to former Guagua Mayor Manuel Santiago where she was pushed into the maelstrom of public service.
Supt. Bernardo M. Perez was hailed as this year’s awardee in the field of Law Enforcement. He figured prominently in the operations and capture suspected criminals the likes of the Roger “Ogie” Dominguez, leader of the Dominguez carnapping group, a member of the Bong Guinto Carnapping Group among others. Perez led the arrest of 23 wanted personalities in the province.
This year’s Social Service went to Felix G. Tienzo. Some of his notable projects include RP-Japan Medical Mission, local medical missions and relief operations.
Youth Service went to Patrick Cura, a top ranking Barangay Kagawad of Lourdes Sur East in Angeles City. He was also conferred as the “Outstanding Student for Community Service” and “Outstanding Student Feminist” by the Angeles University Foundation.
Dr. Leonardo Canlas was awarded as this year’s awardee in the field of Education while Norman G. De Jesus was given the award on the field of Agriculture. Other awardees include Fr. Victor Nicomedes Nicdao (Religion), Lillian Borromeo (Culture), John Manalili (Mass Media) and Catalina Bagasina (Government Service).
The Moka was initiated by the late Gov. Juanita Nepomuceno in 1978 which coincided with the first Pampanga Day Celebrations. It was latter incorporated as a necessary part of the celebrations each year.
Vice Governor Joseller “Yeng” Guiao, this year’s Moka committee head, said that the event was conceived to give due to give due and lasting honor to Kapampangans who have excelled in different fields.
In 1980, Mendoza suspended the Pampanga Day and the MOKA pending proper historical account of the province’s founding date. He later ordered the observance Pampanga Day Celebrations resumed in 1982 but the Moka was only reinstated a year later in 1983.
Today there are around 400 Moka awardees representing various fields. Contemporary Moka awardees are given a five-sided prismatic tapering shaft trophy designed by John Henson, Rhoel Pineda and Herminigildo Pineda.
‘I am a proud Kapampangan’
Senator Manny Villar Jr. claimed Tuesday that he is a proud Kapampangan.
This came as he led 11 other Kapampangans who bagged the “Most Outstanding Kapampangan Awards (Moka) for 2012 held at Bren Z. Guiao Convention Center, this city.
“Iba po ito. Dugo po natin ito. Ipinagmamalaki ko po na ang dugong nananalaytay sa akin ay dugo ng isang Kapampangan,” Villar stated.
Senator Villar was named Moka awardee in the field of Business and Entrepreneurship. He is known for his guiding principle, “Sipag at Tiyaga.”
The senator’s maternal grandfather, Nicolas David Bamba, came from Purok Bamba, Barangay San Nicolas 1st in Sasmuan town.
His mother Curita Bamba is a seafood dealer from the same town while his father Manuel Sr. came from the province of Iloilo.
Villar Jr. has excelled both in business and politics. Hard work, persistence, and perseverance became his work ethics. (Jovi T. De Leon/Ian Ocampo Flora/Herbert Mapiles)


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