March 1, 2024

A small gesture by Mayor Benjamin Magalong has touched the heart of a man with special needs, big time.
A week after crashing into a city hall program proclaiming that he is the “greatest photographer,” Brian Galang found himself on the same stage on March 9 receiving not a rebuke but a special award from the mayor for “his active participation in city hall flag-raising ceremonies.”
“His love for Baguio and enthusiasm is inspiring and admirable.  Brian continues to act as a beacon of light for the city,” reads Galang’s certificate of appreciation he proudly held as he hugged city officials one after another including Councilor Mylen Yaranon whom he considers as his “second mom.”
“He was over the moon.  This is the first time that a city mayor gave him recognition,” Brian’s mother Sonia Fernandez said.
Fernandez thanked the mayor for being understanding of her son who at 36 experiences bouts of hyperactivity caused by a hydrocephalic condition which Brian suffered from in infancy.
The mayor, Fernandez said, witnessed another of Brian’s hyperactive tendencies when amid a festive public event last December he got carried away and suddenly danced with abandon, an incident which the mayor again took in stride.
“Brian was whisked away from the stage but then the mayor asked him to resume his dance in their corner with him and his companions as the audience,” she said.
  Described by his mother as a fighter, Brian weathered his medical condition that also affected some of his motor and mental skills as a child.
At a young age, he taught himself to read, spell and develop other academic skills albeit he was forced to quit school after completing grade 4 because he was bullied by other children.
Today, he is an articulate man with a distinct voice and diction and a penchant for serving the church and the local community.
A fixture in public events, Brian can charm people including dignitaries having shared moments with the likes of presidents Fidel V. Ramos and Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, among others.
He is also close to other city officials including former mayor Mauricio Domogan.
He served as altar boy of the Catholic Church for years and now acts as a town crier for religious events all of which are posted in his social media account which also serves as an e-obituary where one can find death and funeral service announcements.
He keeps himself abreast with current events and makes sure that the community is updated too through his posts covering everything from big public happenings to typhoon signals.
Just recently he was told off political issues when he attempted to call for support to one beleaguered national official. 
“Stay pure of heart, Brian. Keep off politics,” one of those who commented wrote.
Moments after receiving the award, he jubilantly posted about his feat raking in well wishes from friends across the community.
The banter, “You’re not from Baguio if you don’t know Brian Galang” holds water.  
You are really not from Baguio if you have not heard of Brian Galang, the latest toast of the town.  – Aileen P. Refuerzo