Five residents were feted Tuesday by the Baguio Filipino Chinese Community on Monday during the Spring Festival
Chinese Lunar New Year 2024 celebration at the Hotel Supreme. People’s Republic of China Consul Ren Faqiang and Baguio Fil-Chinese Community chair Peter Ng and his officers feted George Tan Ong Cua and Mike Wang Tiu as awardees from the business sectors, while Baguio Tourism Council chair Gladys Vergara de Vera, Eugene Valbuena and Boy Scout of the Philippines – Baguio Chapter director Ramon Jacinto were cited for their efforts in tourism, public service and community service, in that order.

The Baguio born and raised Ong Cua, 59, is an Electrical Engineering graduate of Saint Louis University and he manages and owns the Golden Pine Hotel, the Paragon Hotel and Suites and Fortune Seafood Restaurant. The bizman, who received his citation from vice mayor Faustino Olowan, is also the officer in charge of the Association of Philippine Chinese Understanding. Tiu, who made Baguio his residence 1998, is the owner of the Baguio Time Center. He is also the president of the Tiok Lim Mason Lodge. Baguio Rep. Marquz Go’s wife Soledad handed him his award with Ng and the BFCC officers.

Former Baguio Rep. and mayor Bernardo Vergara joined his daughter Vergara – de Vera received her award from Faqiang. She is a true blue Louisian having graduated from the Holy Family Academy, the Saint Louis Girls High School and the Saint Louis University where she finished cum laude in marketing and where she took up subjects in law. She is a business woman also and owns the GVO Gasoline Stations, the Swiss Baker, Francia Realty, Sunrise Holding and GV Bucketlist Travel and owner of the GV Building along Bonifacio Road.

The former chair of the Kabataang Barangay (now the Sangguiniang Kabataan Federation), thus became a member of the city council from 1986 to 1987, was elected as a regular councilor in 1998 and served until 1992. She served
also as KB Region I president and elected vice president of the KB national from 1985 until 1987. Vergara – de Vera is the chair of the BTC and the BLISTT (Baguio – La Trinidad – Itogon – Sablan – Tuba – Tublay) Tourism Council. The former chief of staff of father Bernardo, is also the president of Glad to Be Green, Inc. since 2019.

The organization advocates “for clean and renewable energy technologies, such as solar power, and their role in addressing climate change and global warming.” Valbuena is a city government employee with the city administrator’s office since 1992. The Baguio Colleges Foundation (now the University of the Cordilleras) alum is the
past action officer of the Baguio Chinese New Year of the Executive Committee secretariat. He is also the vice chair of the BB-Picag, a volunteer service oriented organization and help marshal private led runs or events.

Vergara-de Vera thanked the Fil-Chinese Community for selecting her and the four fellow awardees during her response after the awarding rites. The awards was part of the grand dinner where students from the Baguio Patriotic School had their cultural presentation which were witnessed by Chinese nationals who joined the festivity including the grand parade earlier that afternoon. The Chinese festivity ends with the second portion of the Chinatown.

By Pigeon Lobien

Amianan Balita Ngayon