Olympics medalist Diaz, 7 others are TOWNS awardees
The Outstanding Women in the Nation’s Service (TOWNS) Foundation Inc. recently recognized eight women for their excellent work in their respective fields that has brought about positive impact on national development.
Wearing a silver gown to signify her Olympic silver medal in weightlifting, Hidilyn Diaz received the TOWNS Award on Thursday night and made the audience of prominent past awardees laugh with a pun, “I’m so happy, I want to lift all of you.”
Diaz said it was such an honor from someone who came from a poor family in Zamboanga City to be included in the gathering at Dusit Thani Hotel in Makati City.
As part of her commitment to TOWNS to continue excelling in the field of sports, Diaz said she hoped that next time she would be wearing a gold gown.
Patricia Evangelista, TOWNS awardee for media cited for her journalistic work that bears witness to tragedy and elicits compassion from the public, highlighted the Duterte administration’s war on drugs in her acceptance speech.
“As we gather here tonight, somewhere in the city in some dark alley, someone will die. Shot in the back of the head, swathed in packaging tape,” Evangelista said.
“Maybe we haven’t told the story right. Maybe there are words we haven’t found yet. My commitment is to keep trying, to keep the faith, to keep the record straight in the hope that one morning there will be no more new names for us to remember,” she said.
The TOWNS Award was also conferred on Cherrie Atilano for advocating sustainable farming and transforming rural communities; Luisa Mercedez Lorenzo, a licensed doctor who pursued arts and put local artists and their works on the global art map, and Marissa Arlene Martinez for her contribution to the Navy.
Awardees also include Aisa Mijeno for social enterprise on alternative lighting system; Lou Sabrina Ongkiko for her accomplishments in improving public education, and Jocelle Sigue for her passion in developing information and communications technology jobs in the countryside.
Every 3 years
The TOWNS Award, given every three years after a year-long nationwide search, places primary importance on how nominees have brought recognition to the country or their community.
The awardees must demonstrate pioneering zeal in their work focused on the underserved sectors of society and have introduced innovations that benefit the public.
The TOWNS Foundation also cited Vice President Leni Robredo for championing women’s rights and empowering the marginalized, especially those on the fringes of society. Robredo was presented the Tanglaw Award, which was received by Salve Duplito on her behalf.
The “elusive” Tanglaw Award was first and last conferred on Elenita Lim in 1995.
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