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Editorial | The Datu Bago Awards

The 49th conferment of the Datu Bago Awards is one of the major events of the 82nd founding anniversary of the city.

The city honored yesterday the five outstanding Dabawenyos who have contributed to the growth and development of Davao City.

This year’ awardees are:

Koronado B. Apuzen, a lawyer, who has dedicated his life to promote the rights and welfare of workers, farmers, agrarian reform beneficiaries, and rural cooperatives. His advocacy for the environment by protecting selected slopes of Mount Apo in ways that prevent erosion and enhance soil and water conservation is a testament to his commitment to social justice and sustainable economic growth. He has shown that taking up the cause of the marginalized is an empowering and rewarding legal career path that contributes to the development of Davao City and the Philippines.

Ines P. Mallari is a third generation war-displaced Japanese descendant who dedicated her life working as a bridge between the Philippines and Japan.  As an educator committed to peace, she works with young people in the Philippines and in Japan, helping them have a better understanding of one another’s history and culture.  She is a living example of how two countries who suffered the tragic effects of war in the past can move forward and forge better understanding and peace through their peoples.

Datu Rodolfo M. Mande, a Matigsalug tribal leader from Marilog, has been working tirelessly to promote his indigenous culture and heritage as well as to ensure his tribe’s recognition and inclusion in the city’s economic, political, and social life.  He has used his degree in education to promote literacy in the remotest Matigsalug villages and is considered one of the pioneering teachers of the Foundation Learning for Indigenous Children (FLIC) of the Tribal Mission Foundation International. As part of the Matigsalug Manobo Tribal Peoples Council of Elders, he manages their ancestral domain and livelihood projects for the benefit of their tribe.

Mary Ann Maceda Montemayor is recognized for raising the level of awareness and appreciation for Davao’s capacity to host important national and international events as well as in promoting Davao as a globally competitive destination for tourism and investment.  As Honorary Consul of Hungary, she has forged stronger ties between the Philippines and Hungary and helped promote Davao to Europe.

She is a successful entrepreneur who is able to prove that integrating the diversity of Davao’s indigenous culture and the ingenuity of local micro-entrepreneurs makes the city a unique tourism and investment destination.

Antonio B. Partoza, Jr., a visionary entrepreneur and philanthropist, is the man behind the famous Partoza Durian Farm and the spirit that nurtures the Balay Pasilungan.  Born in Laguna but a Davaoeño by choice and by heart, he is one of the pillars of the Mindanao Fruit Industry Development Council. He is also known for his more than 30 years of untiring service to Balay Pasilungan, a privately-funded homeless shelter for street children of Davao City.  A committed humanitarian, he uses his entrepreneurial and leadership skills in the service of marginalized communities in the city through various civic organizations. He is an example of an immigrant who has fully embraced and embodied what it means to be a Davaoeño.

We congratulate the five Datu Bago 2019 awardees.

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