In celebration of its 73rd foundation day on June 16, La Trinidad, Benguet honored its outstanding residents through its annual Kayabang Awards.
This year, 12 awardees received the special kayabang award and the special recognition award for their exemplary performance in their respective field of work.
The special kayabang awardees were led by former Philippine National Police Chief, Lt. Gen. Rodolfo Azurin, Jr. and La Union Provincial Police Office Director, Col. Lambert Suerte for public service; Jimmy Guisdan Catanes of the Commission on Higher Education-Cordillera and Charles Gawidan of the Epiphany Learning Center for education; and athletes Kurt Ludan Lubrica and Denesia Esnara for sports.
Lubrica is a bronze medalist in the 32nd Southeast Asian Games kickboxing in the men’s 51-kilogram low kick while Esnara won two gold medals in the women’s open and master-1, both in the 57-kg. weight class and was also awarded the Women’s Best Lifter of the open category in the National Classic Bench Press Championship last December 2022.
The special recognition awardees were Bureau of Jail Management and Penology La Trinidad and B/Gen. Paul Kenneth Lucas and M/Gen. Rudolph Dimas for public service; Rigelle Lando for academic excellence; and Charlito Cognoden for human integrity.
Cognoden, an employee of the La Trinidad Water District, was recognized for his honesty in returning a paper bag full of bills worth P162,000.
The prestigious award honors outstanding citizens, entities, organizations in various fields such as agriculture, education, business, and sports, among others who have contributed much in the development of the valley of colors.
There were no awardees for the golden kayabang, which is the highest recognition given to residents of the municipality.
The last golden kayabang award was given in 2018 to book author James Paw who wrote the “The Cordillera Valley of La Trinidad: In Time and Place: Early History, 1572-1896” published in 2015. – Ofelia C. Empian