Capitol Honors Centenarians & Outstanding Negrenses

The Negros Occidental Provincial Government yesterday honored 45 centenarians and awarded five outstanding Negrenses in ceremonies that highlighted the commemoration of the 119th Negros Day, or Cinco de Noviembre.

CENTENARIANS. Negros Occidental Gov. Alfredo Marañon, Jr. (2nd from left) and Vice Gov. Eugenio Jose Lacson lead in the turn over of P100,000 cash to Francisca Cabrera Diala (1st from right), 105 years old, of San Carlos City, during the Awarding and Presentation of 2017 Negrense Centenarians at the Capitol, yesterday. Diala is one of the 45 Centenarians from the different cities and municipalities of the province who were honored as part of the 119th Negros Day Celebration.*(Richard Malihan / Capitol photo)

The centenarians received cash incentives of P100,000 each from the provincial government during ceremonies at the Provincial Capitol.

Governor Alfredo Marañon Jr. and Vice Governor Eugenio Jose Lacson led the the turn-over of P100,000 cash to 105-year-old Francisca Cabrera Diala of San Carlos City in rites dubbed Awarding and Presentation of 2017 Negrense Centenarians.

Gov. Alfredo Marañon, Jr. speaks before the 45 Negrense Centenarians who were given P100,000 each and honored at the Provincial Capitol, yesterday, as part of the 119th Negros Day Celebration.*(Richard Malihan / Capitol photo)

Diala and the 44 other centenarians, or those who are 100 years old and above, came from different cities and municipalities of the province, excluding Bacolod City.

The Negros First Centenarian Act passed in 2015 grants a one-time cash incentive worth P100,000 to the centenarians, who are residents of Negros Occidental for at least three years.

Those living in Bacolod, the province’s highly-urbanized capital city, are not qualified.


In separate rites in the afternoon also at the Provincial Capitol, the Marañon-Lacson administration awarded this year’s five outstanding Negrenses.

Undersecretary Austere Panadero of the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) and Gawad Kalinga (GK) founder and chairman Antonio Meloto led this year’s awardees.

Panadero, a native of Fabrica, Sagay City, is the awardee for Government Service.

A well-known advocate for inclusive governance, promoting gender equality, and sustainable development, Panadero is the brains behind the Seal of Good Local Governance program of DILG that continuously assesses and monitors the performance of local government units.

Bacolod-born Meloto, the awardee for Civic and Humanitarian Works, founded the GK, a non-government organization fighting poverty through holistic development approach.

In Negros Occidental alone, GK has established almost 40 communities that has benefited a number of Negrense families.

Other awardees are couple Joey Gaston and Christina Borromeo-Gaston for Entrepreneurship and Livelihood Promotion, Ramon Hofileña for Culture and Arts, and Margarita Fores for Culinary Tourism.

The Gastons are the husband and wife team behind the successful enviro-social Hacienda Craft Industries based in Hacienda Santa Rosalia, Manapla town.

Silaynon Hofileña is the most recognized name when it comes to arts and cultural history of Negros Occidental especially of Silay City.

Fores, a descendant of the Aranetas of Iloilo and Negros Occidental, is a chef and restaurateur recognized as Asia’s Best Female Chef for 2016, and the first Filipino chef to win the award.* (Nanette Guadalquiver / PNA w/report from APT)