Thursday, April 05, 2012

RAFI Triennial awardees to use cash prize for tree nursery, project expansion

(L-R) Rene “Tatay Ete” Vendiola, Ramon Aboitiz
Awardee for Exemplary Individual, and
Manuel Margate who serve as client
service department manager of
Women for Tomorrow Foundation (NWTF)
that was declared Eduardo Aboitiz Awardee for
Outstanding Institution, raised the
Ramon Aboitiz Foundation Inc. Triennial Awards
trophies during the award ceremony
last March 22 at Marco Polo Plaza Cebu

Preserving the environment does not need a high educational attainment but it requires a high degree of passion and love for nature.

These characteristics are manifested by self-made environmentalist, Rene “Tatay Ete” Vendiola, who is a high school dropout and former kaingin farmer but managed to set up a Liptong woodland that preserves local fauna and species of plants and native trees.

For his effort in biodiversity conservation and forestation in Bacong, Negros Oriental, Vendiola was awarded with the Ramon Aboitiz Award for Exemplary Individual during the 5th Ramon Aboitiz FoundationInc. (RAFI) Triennial Awards last March 22 at Marco Polo Plaza Cebu.

For Vendiola, he was not competing with the other four finalists—two priests, a peace promoter in Mindanao, and a former Boy Scout master.

The Marco Polo Plaza Cebu
Ang RAFI nangita og tukog sa lukay nga hugpungon aron mahimong silhig. Gihimo mi sa RAFI og silhig. Sa among pagkasilhig, kami ang mogamit sa among nahibaw-an aron makatabang sa atong komunidad (RAFI is looking for ribs out of coconut leaves so that when grouped together, they form a broom. We the finalists are formed by RAFI into a ‘broom’ so that together, we can use our knowledge and help our community),” he said.

Vendiola shared over Pagtuki last March 24 that when declared awardee of the RAFI Triennial Awards for the individual category, he felt like crying because it was his first time to get an award. Pagtuki is the official radio program of RAFI every Saturday over dyLA from 10-11 a.m.

            As the awardee, he received a trophy and a cash prize of Php 440,000, which he said he will use to build his dream endemic trees nursery.

       On the other hand, the Negros Women for Tomorrow Foundation (NWTF) bagged the recognition as the Eduardo Aboitiz Awardee for Outstanding Institution for their efforts to uplift the lives of many women. 

NWTF, an organization that provides capital to poor women to start in small scale business, has been providing livelihood opportunities through its program called “Project Dungganon” (dungganon is Hilagaynon or honorable).

Its executive director, Dr. Cecilia del Castillo, was sent to India to learn the Grameen Credit system, on which the program is based.

“We did not publicize our work. We just did our jobs. The people we helped are those who have little opportunities in life. They are the ones who really need our help,” said Manuel Margate, NWTF client service department manager, said in Bisaya.

He said NWTF will use the Php 440,000 cash prize received during the RAFI Triennial Awards to expand and improve Project Dungganon so that the organization can uplift the lives of more poor people.

The RAFI Triennial Awards was launched in Dec. 6, 1996 during the 39th anniversary of the foundation to commemorate the philanthropic, humanitarian, and holistic ideals of RAFI founders Don Ramon Aboitiz and his son Don Eduardo Aboitiz. The awards program is now on its 15th year this year, which is also the 45th year of RAFI.

            It is one of the awards capabilities of RAFI, recognizing individuals and institutions that go the extra mile in bringing about positive change and in uplifting the quality of life of communities.

Here's a peek of The 5th Triennial Awards Search Committee;

Prof. Margarita dela Cruz (Chair)
Dean, University of the Philippines Visayas - Tacloban College

·         Founder and Executive Director, Guiuan Development Foundation, Inc.
·         Director, Leyte-Samar Heritage Center
·         Head, Regional Environmental Information System - Eastern Visayas
·         Member, Policy Advisory Committee and Experts Advisory Panel
·         Member, Foundation for the Philippine Environment
·         Member, Board of Trustees, Samar Island NGOs Consortium
·         Finalist, RAFI Triennial Awards - Ramon Aboitiz Award for Exemplary Individual
·         Member, Search Committee - 4th RAFI Triennial Awards

Valeriano “Bobit” Avila
Columnist, TV Host

·         Former Chairman, City Traffic Operations and Management
·         Consultant, Cebu City Government
·         Former Member, Mactan Cebu International Airport Authority
·         President, Metro Cebu Theater Association
·         Private Sector Representative, Central Visayas Regional Development Council
·         Anchor/TV Host, Straight from the Sky
·         Columnist, The Freeman and The Philippine Star

Bro. Crispin P. Betita, FMS
Executive Director, Marcellin Foundation Inc.

·         Former President, Marist School (1975-1982)
·         Former President, Notre Dame of Dadiangas College
·         Former President, Notre Dame of Marbel University
·         Founder, Marcellin Foundation, Inc.

Leonardo A. Moneva
Executive Director, Mag-uugmad Foundation Inc.

·         Expert in agriculture, rural development, and community organizing and development
·         Member, Cebu Provincial Development Council
·         Member, Cebu Uniting for Sustainable Water
·         Member, Argao Protected Area Management Board
·         Member, VETIVER Network of the Philippines
·         Member, Baden Powel Fraternity
·         Barangay Captain of Bagacay, Sogod, Cebu

Jonathan Jay P. Aldeguer
Chief Executive Officer and Founder, Island Souvenirs Inc.

·         Founder and owner, Island Souvenirs Inc.
·         Trustee, Cebu Chamber of Commerce and Industry
·         Awardee of the following:
o   TOYM for Business Entrepreneurship in 1997
o   Entrepreneur Philippines’ 10 Most Outstanding Filipino Entrepreneurs
o   Agora Award for Business Entrepreneurship
o   International Young Design Entrepreneur of the Year Philippines
o   Tourism Kalakbay Award
o   Entrepreneur of the Year Tourism Award
o   Cebu Chamber of Commerce and Industry
o   Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year for Small Business (2006) 

            For more information about the RAFI Triennial Awards, please contact (032) 418-7234 loc. 105 and look for Cathy Margate, or visit or
The Con Tour's Trip was made possible by Ramon Aboitiz Foundation, Inc., to witness the Triennial Awards night at Marco Polo Plaza, Cebu City, Philippines, as delegate, representing the Bukidnon Province, Mindanao as Blogger.

(A press release statement from RAFI)

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