By Edwin Lariza at Padayon: Our Life Journey
In my other blog, the role of social workers from Western Visayas was highlighted in the national celebration of the Social Work Week in the Philippines every June 13-19.
Likewise, the tradition set by Ilonggo social workers in the history of the social work profession was emphasized. Started by Josefa Jara Martinez, the first and foremost among Filipino social work pioneer, more contributions have been done.
Martinez was joined by Carmen Montinola-Luz and Felicidad A. De Silva in the list of seven pioneers that formed the first association of social workers in the Philippines, the Philippine Association of Social Workers, Inc. (PASWI).
The social worker-senator who authored the RA 4373, Dr. Maria Kalaw- Katigbak, had an Ilongga heritage. Since then, social workers in Western Visayas follow the tradition of leadership and excellence.
The Ilonggo social workers elected in the PASWI National Board were as follows: Atty. Dolores Nalumen, Sr. Sandra Alejo and the blog’s author. Atty. Nalumen was even elected as president. After their term, another three followed, namely: Mr. Rubin Magno, Miss Mary June Quanico and Sr. Enriqueta L. Legaste.
They were succeeded by Prof. Feli Sustento, Mrs. Lulu Magbanua and Mrs. Lucita Villanueva. Interestingly, except for Atty. Nalumen and Sr. Sandra, all others in the list are Centralians.
Record also shows that of the four Ilonggo recipients of the Ten Outstanding Social Workers in the Philippines Award, three are Centralians, namely Mr. Victor Salmon (BSSW ’73) in 1998; yours truly in 2004; and Mrs. Nina Joy Tanada, (BSSW ’79) in 2010.
Mrs. Tanada was also recipient of the Outstanding Municipal Social Welfare and Development Officer award given by the Association of Local Social Welfare and Development Officers of the Phil., Inc. (ALSWDOPI) in 2010 and 2012.
Other Centralians who have distinguished themselves in the social work profession are as follows: Mr. Lazaro Petinglay (BSSW ’89) was adjudged as 2001 Most Outstanding DSWD Rehabilitation Workers in the Philippines by the Department of Justice.
In 2005, he was also awarded as Outstanding Provincial Social Welfare and Development Officer by the ALSWDOPI. The same award was received by Dr. Neneth Pador (BSSW ’76) in 2008. Another Centralian, Mrs. Adela Talamor, was awarded in the same year as Outstanding Municipal Social Welfare and Development Officer.
However, the various distinctions of Centralian Social Workers are just continuation of the legacy set by social work pioneers in Central Philippine University. Prof. Irene Ortigas, the pioneer of the Department of Social Work, was national awardee in 1999.
Having garnered the Regional Award for Individual Category in Western Visayas, she was finalist for the Bayaning Pilipino- National Level. Her successor head of the Department, Prof. Ruth C. Corvera was also adjudged Top 5 Finalists in the Ramon Aboitiz Award for Exemplary Individual during the 2nd RAFI Triennial Awards for the Visayas and Mindanao in 2002.
Aside from the pioneering work and national awards, Centralian Social Worker perform well in the Social Work Board Examinations.
Record from the Department of Social Work, as validated by the Registrar’s Office, shows the following achievers, corresponding their rank and year of examination: Erlinda Baldeviso (5th),1975; Rosie Adayon-Dimamay (4th), 1978; Nema Andong-Villan (7th),1979; Romeo Guanzon (7th), 1982; Sr. Trinidad Edullan (5th),1984; Hope Hervilla (2nd ), 1987; Raul Bunda ( 18th ), 1989; Sr. Lerma Pangantihon (14th ),1990; Ernesto Arellano (7th),1993; Cherrylyn Calinawagan ( 9th ),1994; Rosalina Lorque ( 8th) and Elizabeth Cubillos (10th ), 1995;Jinkee Gargarita (18th ),1998; and Sheen Faminialan (10th ),2010.
The 1st placer in 2001 board examination, Melea Cianel Pabiona-Ellorin, is also a Centralian. While she finished her BSSW degree from Lourdes College in Cagayan, she took her first two years of Social Work from Central Philippine University.
The list is not exhaustive. If you know of other Centralian Social Workers who have excelled in particular fields, feel free to send information to the author, if possible with corresponding photographs.