3 women are Datu Bago 2012 awardees

DAVAO CITY — The Davao City Government in its 75th Araw ng Dabaw celebration conferred the Datu Bago award to an entrepreneur and two educators for their outstanding service that has contributed to the growth and development of the city.

The three awardees were cited for having served as a model of excellence and an inspiration to the Dabawenyos and for demonstrating exemplary competence and dedication to help achieve city’s development.

The conferment of Datu Bago award is among the highlights of the annual celebration of Araw ng Dabaw.

Datu Bago Award is the most prestigious and highest award to be given by Davao City to a resident in recognition of his or her achievements.

Dulce Saavedra, one of the awardees, said in her speech in behalf of the recipients that she was overwhelmed with joy of the award. “I thank God and People for the award.”

Saavedra said what is more significant of being a recipient of the award is the “feeling of fulfillment, great satisfaction and deep gratitude to God and people and above all there is humility.”

She said she was tempted to be proud but she humbled herself, “because I was not expecting that whatever little contribution I was able to give some 55 years will warrant such recognition and honor.”

“I am 83 years old and much of my life is behind me now. God will give me bonus years to continue serving God and people,” she said.

She added that her commitment is to continue running the race for service to God and people.

Saavedra is an educator and the regional director of the Girl Scout of the Philippines (GSP), a distinguished member of GSP in Davao Region. She is a Golden Jubilee Awardee of the GSP.

She dedicated the best 50 years of her life to Girl Scouting. A pillar of GSP, she is the force behind the growth of the organization not only in the Davao region but in the entire Mindanao.

The 83-year-old GSP pillar is being honored for her significant contribution to the development of the five-hectare Camp Alano in Daliao, Toril, Davao City.

Under her leadership, the camp was transformed from a fledging campsite into a beautiful training center for Eastern Mindanao that has become a famous Davao City’s landmark that serves as a training ground for more than 100,000 girls and women leaders all over the country.

The other awardee, Enrica Ongchua Babao, an educator, real estate developer, lessor, and a present chair of the Board of Trustee of the Davao Historical Society Foundation Inc. for almost two decades.

Babao is also a multi-awarded individual from various award-giving bodies both here and abroad. She is an active philanthropist and donor of historical and cultural artifacts to the Museo Dabawenyo.

She is recognized for her invaluable contribution in the preservation of Davao’s rich cultural heritage and her tireless advocacy promoting Davao’s indigenous culture and on popularizing the city’s history among the youth.

She has also developed and maintained various historical makers in Davao City, notably the Golden Kris Memorial Monument.

Linda Coronel Tesoro, is an entrepreneur who runs one of the most productive companies in Davao Region and in the whole country based on the National Productivity Council. Aside from being an entrepreneur, Tesoro is a multi-awarded humanitarian and civic leader. She broke many barriers for women not only in Davao City, but in the entire country.

She is a recipient of the prestigious Aurora Aragon Quezon Award, the highest award given to an individual Red Cross volunteer for her significant contribution to the promotion of the Red Cross mission and to community service.

She is a Rotary International Service Above Self awardee, the highest recognition given to an individual Rotarian who has rendered exemplary humanitarian service.

Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio bestowed the award to the awardees during a ceremony Thursday night at the Royal Mandaya Hotel, attended by the city’s top officials, religious and civic leaders.

The award is an accolade for persons of any nationality, living or dead, born in Davao City or who have been residents of the city for at least 10 years.

Duterte-Carpio, in her message during Thursday night’s conferment, said the three women made significant contributions to the city that help propel the city’s growth.

She said the new awardees should serve as inspiration to our lives.

Since the Datu Bago Foundation Inc. was instituted in 1969, during the mayorship of Elias B. Lopez, a total of 153 individuals have been bestowed with the award, including prominent recipients such as Soledad “Nanay Soling” R. Duterte, Antonio O. Floirendo, Ricardo Limso, Tomas Monteverde, Jesus V. Ayala, Emilio Palma Gil, Patria G. Montemayor, Aida Rivera Ford, Msgr. Clovis Thibault, PME, and Archbishop Antonio L. Mabutas.

Last year’s awardees were Antonio B. Arellano, Bishop Fernando Capalla, Carmelina Vosotros-Francia, Mario Leofer Madrazo Lim, Rogelio Lomada Lizada (posthumous), and Guillermo Jr. Pilpil Torres. (ASA)

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