Five persons, two of them of Filipino – Chinese descent and three others are this year’s Chinese Spring Festival
awardees. The Baguio Filipino – Chinese Community through its chairperson Peter Ng has named 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 Ramon Jacinto are cited for their efforts in tourism, public service and community service, in that order. The 59 year old Ong Cua, who was born and raised here, 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 is also the officer in charge of the Association of Philippine Chinese Understanding. Mike Tiu, who started
calling Baguio his home since 1998 is the owner of the Baguio Time Center. He is also the president of the Tiok Lim.
Vergara – de Vera is the daughter of former Baguio congressman and mayor Bernardo Vergara who is a Louisian at heart having graduated from the Holy Family Academy, the Saint Louis Girls High School and the Saint Louis
University where she graduated 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 as a member of the city council from 1986 to 1987 and 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. She is also 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. Jacinto is the director of the Boy Scout of the Philippines – Baguio. On February 11, locals will get to experience the Little Chinatown to Baguio at the Session Road where everyone get to enjoy their “preferred Chinese delicacies, explore a variety of products, and experience captivating cultural shows.”

Pigeon Lobien/ABN

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