February 23, 2024

Baguio Midland Courier columnist Pablito Sanidad Sr. is one of the awardees of the prestigious Father Jose Burgos Awards, the highest award given to outstanding sons and daughters of Ilocus Sur.
The award was conferred to Sanidad along with other awardees during the Kannawidan Ylocos Festival late last month.
Sanidad, who is now the vice mayor of Narvacan, went to college at the Saint Louis University and took up Law at the University of the Philippines College of Law. He was top eight in 1967 Bar Examinations. 
He is a noted human rights lawyer and was national chair of the Free Legal Assistance Group for 12 years. He is a senior partner of the Sanidad & Villanueva Law Offices in Baguio and currently the dean of the University of Baguio College of Law. 
He was awarded the Exemplary Diego Silang Achievers Awards in 1987 in the field of law. 
His son, Pablito Sanidad Jr., is a board member of Ilocos Sur.
Other awardees are Navy Ensign Dionne Mae Umalla, who was the valedictorian of the Philippine Military Academy Mabalasik Class of 2019, and Kenneth Bryle Bal-iyang, who also graduated last year as the second summa cum laude of the University of the Philippines Baguio. 
Umalla, from the upland town of Alilem, is the fifth woman to graduate at the top of her class in PMA. She received 14 special awards last May including the Philippine Navy Saber, Leadership plaque and the Presidential Saber Award which was handed to her by President Rodrigo Duterte. 
In her speech, Umalla honored her mother, a teacher in Alilem, who singlehandedly raised her and her siblings. 
Bal-iyang, a B.S. Biology graduate, from Gregorio del Pilar town and Candon City, earned a general weighted average of 1.141 to become the second summa cum laude graduate of UP Baguio. 
His paper on leptospirosis also won the outstanding paper award in the UP system. 
Like Umalla, his mother is also a teacher at the Quirino National High School. 
Other awardees of the Fr. Burgos Awards this year are Juan Carlo Donato Antonio, Dr. Gilbert Arce, Sr., Maria Anunciata Sta. Ana, Arrey perez, Melvin Anaen, Dr. Buenafe Alinio, Arch. Fatima Rabang Alonzo, and Ricardo Favis (posthumous). 
Gov. Ryan Singson said the recent crop of awardees attest to the role of Ilocos Sur as an agent of change not only in the region but also in the whole country. – Ofelia C. Empian