MY home city, the progressive city of Pasig, celebrates the 444th year of its founding on July 2. Part of the celebration is the awarding of Outstanding Pasigueños, individuals and institutions, who have distinguished themselves in different fields, every other year. In 2000, I was an awardee in the Practice of Profession in Economics and Banking. Since 2015; has been renamed as Dangal ng Pasig Awards.
As a past awardee, I am a member of the special committee which selects and votes upon the candidates to be conferred the award. For 2017, among the awardees is Senior Pastor Peter Tan Chi, founder of the Christ Commission Fellowship (CCF). The pastor having been my classmate at the University of the Philippines Diliman, I was assigned by the Pasig City administrator, Reynaldo P. Dionisio, to contact Pastor Tan Chi to inform him of the award which will be conferred today, July 6, at the Tanghalang Pasigueño.
Past Dangal ng Pasig awardees include Sylvia Reynoso Gala (culinary); the late Letty Jimenez Magsanoc(journalism); Flor Tarriela (banking and finance); PEZA Administrator Lilia de Lima; CHEd Commissioner Nona Ricafort (education); Piolo Pascual (performing arts); Zoren Legazpi and Carmina Villaruel (exemplary couple); and the Asian Development Bank and San Miguel Corporation, among others.
The criteria require the awardee to have being either born in Pasig City or to have lived in the city for at least seven years, for individuals, and for or an institution to have contributed significantly in the development of Pasig City. Under the able leadership of the Eusebio family, now represented by Mayor Roberto“ Bobby” Cruz Eusebio, Pasig has been transformed into a highly urbanized city ranking No. 3 nationwide in terms of gross revenue, having earned P21 billion in 2016, and noted for its world class physical and social infrastructure.
The awardees for 2017 are: Daniel de la Cruz (sculpture); Roderick Macutay (painting); Royal Pineda (architecture); Giselle Sanchez (theater arts); Perlita Reyes (music); Rosalio “Yoyong” Martirez (sports); Carmelita Militär (education); Dr. Enrique Ona (medicine); Peter Tan Chi (spiritual leadership); Aging’s Food Delight (culinary); Tam Mateo agham at imbensyon ( alternative medicine). This is a distinguished group of achievers truly deserving to be conferred the title of Dangal ng Pasig Awardee.
Of this year’s awardees, I developed a special interest in CCF founder Peter Tan Chi because of my involvement in the Christian movement, especially in my capacity as president of the Unity Philippines Spiritual Center. I happened to mention this to Pastor Peter and upon hearing this, he invited me to listen to his special message on June 18, which was Father’s Day.
On June 18, he immediately smiled upon seeing me and introduced me to his CCF leaders as “ my UP classmate”. When he ascended the stage to deliver his talk, I observed how many thousands of CCF members were listening intently. We all felt awed when he pointed out that so many people commit mistakes and yet tend to make excuses, say, why they are late for a meeting, tending to put the blame on others. He said this attitude was not healthy and was contrary to the principle of positivity. It is about time that we accept and assume responsibility for our mistakes, he said. We cannot keep on escaping from facing the truth and tossing the blame to others. He emphasized repeatedly that there should be “No excuses! Assume responsibility!” Our country cannot attain real progress unless each citizen develops a positive attitude of assuming responsibility for his or her actions. So much waste in public funds and personal perdition are due to the negative attitude of making excuses and not taking responsibility. The time is ripe for change. I was so touched by his message which I found very appropriate for the occasion and applicable in improving governance. As we applauded him, his message kept ringing in my ears and I felt so enlightened.
Rosalina de la Paz-Magat graduated with a masters in public administration from the Harvard Kennedy School (1988), where she was a USAID scholar and Edward Mason fellow. She finished economics at the UP School of Economics (magna cum laude and class valedictorian) in 1972, and took an MBA also at UP in 1979.