5 top Negrenses honored

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A US-based doctor and four other achievers in their respective fields were recognized by the provincial government during a program marking the 113th Cinco de Noviembre at the Capitol here.

Cinco de Noviembre refers to the bloodless revolution staged on November 5, 1898, by Negrense revolutionaries led by General Juan Araneta from Bago City and General Aniceto Lacson from Silay City.

They carried fake weapons (nipa stalks that looked like rifles and cannons that were bamboo mats painted black) that deceived the Spaniards into surrendering.

Dr. Ramon Gustilo, a renowned orthopedic surgeon, scientist and inventor recognized worldwide for his achievements in the field of medicine, has made the Filipino proud, according to Governor Alfredo Marañon Jr.

Gustilo is one of the inventors of the Genesis knee replacement system and has 12 patents awarded to him by the US government for his inventions in the field of orthopedics.

Dr. Ricardo Yanson Sr., an awardee for transportation, started with one jeepney and now owns Vallacar Transit Corp., the biggest bus company in the country, Marañon said. Yanson and his wife, Olivia, have initiated numerous medical outreach missions to help fellow Negrenses.

Lydia Gaston was recognized for culture and the arts. She is a Negrense by choice who for 50 years has dedicated her life to the arts and dance, the governor said.

She is described as a well-loved dancer, teacher and choreographer who has trained numerous young Negrense ballerinas, some of whom have gone on to gain international acclaim.

An awardee for his achievement in agriculture, Antonio Mapa is the only Negrense who has ventured into specialized and integrated rice farming. Mapa produces Japanese rice called “Koshi Hikari.”

“If 10 percent of the rice farmers in the country were like Mapa, we would have rice coming out of our ears,” Marañon said.

Oscar Hilado, a respected name in the corporate world, is one of the most awarded businessmen in the country, the governor said. Hilado has worked at raising funds for the University of St. La Salle, constructed houses for the poor through Gawad Kalinga, and helped in providing education for the underprivileged.

“All five awardees are top performers in their own fields, who have worked for others, not just for themselves,” Marañon said. “We must emulate the lives of these five awardees.”

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