June 14, 2024

■  Jane B. Cadalig 

Becoming one of Baguio’s exceptional residents requires not only the submission of voluminous documents detailing what one has done but most importantly, an unquestioned reputation.

This was emphasized by members of the Society of Outstanding Citizens of Baguio (Socob) who were recognized by the city government for their exemplary contributions to the welfare of Baguio and its citizens.

Retired judge Maria Clarita Tabin and retired school principal Elma Donaal, who are among the outstanding citizens of Baguio, said one’s integrity and character are the most important factors considered when someone is nominated to become one of the city’s model citizens.

“One’s character is a very important element in any search. It is not included in the criteria because it is presumed that when you are outstanding, your integrity is intact,” Tabin said.

This was shared by Donaal, who said those who nominate should ensure that they know the person, not only for the work they are doing but also their character.

“Nominate someone you know very well and you believe is deserving to become an outstanding citizen. Do not nominate only because someone is your friend or because you have an agenda or favor that you will get from nominating a person,” she said.

Socob launched the search for exceptional residents of the city who will be bestowed the Outstanding Citizens of Baguio award.

Nominations will be accepted until June 30 to be followed by the validation and judging phases in time for the awarding during the Baguio Day celebration on Sept. 1.

Former Saint Louis University president Jess Hechanova, also an awardee, has encouraged the public to nominate individuals who are deserving of the citation or those who selflessly dedicate their time and effort for the welfare of others, the community, and the city.

“The role of the nominator is very important because they are the ones who submit the list of these remarkable people,” he said.

The Socob members also encouraged potential nominees to keep an open mind and treat their nomination as their way of inspiring others to become model citizens.

Outstanding Baguio citizen Priscilla Macansantos said the examples of potential nominees can be used to inspire others to also do good for their communities.

“It is when we share the lives of model citizens that we can give ideas to others on how they can also contribute to the community because there are people who think that when they are doing well in their careers, they are already helping without realizing that they can do more to help others,” she said.

Parties interested in nominating to the search for Outstanding Citizens of Baguio download forms from the Socob Facebook account, or get the documents from the City Mayor’s Office.