March 3, 2024
GRAND BENGUET DAY CELEBRATION — The twin celebration of the 122nd foundation day of Benguet and Adivay Festival was marked with gongs and cheers as people from the 13 municipalities converged at the Benguet Sports Center in  Wangal, La Trinidad on Nov. 23 to share their common good. Ranking officials led by Gov. Melchor Diclas, Vice Gov. Ericson Felipe, and Rep. Eric Yap danced the “tayaw” prior to the butchering of pigs, which signaled the start of the celebration themed, “A people’s festival of culture, nature, and the future”. — Ofelia Empian

A fashion designer, educator, medical technologist, and a general were recognized for their achievements during the Benguet Awards on Nov. 22 at the Capitol.
This year’s achievement awardees are Police Director General Rodolfo Azurin, Jr.; Lucia Jacinta Benter; Roberto Camacho Tican; and Andrew Demot Visaya, Jr.
Prior to becoming the 28th PNP chief, Azurin served as Benguet’s provincial director where his stint garnered certificates of merit in the PNP and a commendation by the provincial board through a resolution.  
Medical technologist Benter of the La Trinidad municipal government, meanwhile, was lauded for her efforts during the height of the Covid-19 pandemic, where her resourcefulness and ingenuity was appreciated as she produced personal protective equipment out of unused trash bags and face shields from available materials.
This led to her receiving the Civil Service Commission’s Dangal ng Bayan 2021 award as a national awardee.

BENGUET ACHIEVEMENT AWARDEES — Four individuals who excelled in their respective fields were conferred the Achievement Award from the province of Benguet on the occasion of its 122nd foundation day. The awardees are Police Director General Rodolfo Azurin, Jr.; Lucia Jacinta Benter; Roberto Camacho Tican, and Andrew Demot Visaya, Jr. Benguet officials led by Gov. Melchor Diclas and Vice Gov. Ericson Felipe conferred the award on Nov. 22. — Ofelia Empian

Educator Tican of Tuba was recognized for being a world-class educator, starting off as a teacher exchange program of the Philippine government which jumpstarted his professional career internationally, after teaching in the province, by teaching in a school in the state of Texas, U.S.A.
He was recognized as best teacher, perfect attendance, and CEO Campus Admi-nistrator of the Year awardee. 
Fashion designer Visaya, Jr. of Itogon was the fourth achievement awardee for showcasing the Benguet fabric into his creations, which was featured not only in the local and national stage but also abroad.
He joined the notable Thailand Fashion Week, where he paraded his works inspired by the rich culture and tapestries where he came from.  
Also celebrated during the awards night was the inaugural Adivay Global Icons (AGI) which was conferred to the following from the United States: Arthur and Esther Bulayo, Joyce Dipas Laoagan, Demvia Acosta Maslian, and Digna Adonis Nichols; Raul Hora Dado from Norway, Archibald and Grace Nabus from the United Kingdom, Gerard Carbonell Felipe from Australia, Concepcion Ogues Laoyan from Canada, Myra Zymelka-Colis from The Netherlands, Yvonette Serrano Duque from Thailand, and Lucio Cabarles Victor Jr. from the Democratic Republic of Congo.
The lone group awardee in the same award is The Cordillera Connection-Israel. 
The AGI awardees are those living overseas and have made a positive contribution in projecting the good image of Benguet internationally.
Plaques of commendation were conferred to 16 awardees, namely Ronica Raine Babsa-ay, Dr. Annabelle Anod-Bawang, Aaron Marc Alain Calya-en, Jimmy Catanes, Atty. Moises Palasi Cating, Lance Angelo Layugan, Samuel Poliden, Nora Sagayo, Myrna Sison-Kuiper, and Jonathan Supsupin. 
Plaques of recognition was also awarded to James Gabito, Saturnina Garcia, Jayvee Moltio, Heather Pulido, Ryan Jay Victorino Salamat, and Orlando Smith, Jr.
Benguet officials led by Gov. Melchor Diclas and guest speaker Supreme Court Senior Associate Justice Marvic Leonen led the awarding ceremony.
This year, there were no awardees for the most coveted Everlasting Award and the Leadership Awards.
In his speech, Leonen has urged the awardees, who are leaders and influencers in their respective fields, and participants who came during the awards night to uphold social justice; seeking to live a life of purpose in serving others especially to the voiceless and nameless members of the society.
He urged the audience to be involved in the affairs of the community and for the young people to stand for what is right and true in this age of disinformation. – Ofelia C. Empian