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Bohol became a separate politico-military province from Cebu on July 22, 1854. To commemorate the 154th Bohol Day with a “bang”, the provincial government lined-up activities for July 22, 2008 and likewise declared this day as a special non-working holiday in the whole province. Its celebration adds to the fanfare and activities of the month long Sandugo Festival.
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The day-long celebration was launched with the flag-raising ceremonies, followed by the unveiling of the marker and then the blessing of a water treatment facility at the Plaza Rizal. A commemorative Mass was set at 7:30 am and the Bohol Day program and awarding rites ensued at the Bohol Cultural Center at 9:30 am.
The highlights of the Bohol Day Program and Awarding Rites was the gracing of the affair by the Philippine Vice-President Noli de Castro, as the Keynote Speaker, and the giving out of the Datu Sikatuna Awards to Boholanos and non-Boholanos who have contributed much to the welfare of the Boholanos and the development of the province as a whole.
Gov. Aumentado and Herrera, assisted by Acting Vice-Gov. Cesar Tomas Lopez, Bohol's Reps. Edgar Chatto, Congressman Roberto Cajes and Adam Relson Jala, as well as the Provincial Board (PB) members, conferred the awards.
The year’s batch of awardees are: Dr. Lucio Tan, chair of the national flag carrier Philippine Airlines (PAL), Lance Gokongwei, President and Chief Executive Officer of Cebu Pacific Air, Beatriz Zobel de Ayala, patroness of the development of Bohol’s culture and arts; and last but not the least, lawyer Oscar Sevilla, the General Manager of the Philippine Ports Authority (PPA).
Dr. Lucio Tan, represented by Barazel Salazar, PAL’s assistant VP for Sales for Cebu and the Visayas, was conferred a Datu Sikatuna Award for his invaluable contribution to the immense development of Bohol’s tourism, trade and industry by providing flights to Tagbilaran from Manila and vice versa; redounding to the improvement of the economic profile of the Boholanos. Mr. Tan strongly supports the Panglao Bohol International Airport Development Project (PBIADP) and once the airport is operational, promised to fly PAL therein.
Likewise, Mr. Lance Gokongwei, represented by Candice Iyog, Cebu Pacific’s VP for Marketing and Products, was conferred a Datu Sikatuna Award for providing an alternative carrier through the Cebu Pacific Air flights from Manila to Tagbilaran and vice versa thus also contributing much to the immense development of Bohol’s tourism, trade and industry.
For her part, Ms. Beatriz Zobel de Ayala had been active in bringing to the national attention and to the whole world the heritage sites of Bohol including the old massive stone churches and the ancestral homes throughout the province thru the Ayala Foundation. Thus, she was conferred with the Datu Sikatuna Award being Bohol’s patroness of the development of its culture and arts.
Lawyer Oscar Sevilla, as General Manager of the PPA, was conferred with the Datu Sikatuna Award for his invaluable contribution to the province’ progress in tourism, trade and industry thru unprecedented port development by which ports were included in the Strong Republic Nautical Highway. The ports developed were the Jagna, Ubay, Tubigon, Tagbilaran and Talibon seaports. With the full operation of these seaports, ease of travel and trading to neighboring islands of Mindanao, Cebu, Leyte and onwards to Luzon, specifically that of Metropolitan Manila have been established.
After the program, and at 1 pm, the “Hot Shot and Bull Ride Fun” was held at the Tagbilaran City Hall Compound followed by a presentation of the Voice Over Internet Protocol (VIOP) by Momentum Plus at the Bohol Tropics Resort at 2 pm. At 8 o’clock in the evening, the Boholanos and their guests were treated to a cultural show entitled “Gabii sa Bol-anong Garbo, Gawi ug Kultura” (Boholano Pride, Tradition and Culture Night).
In line with the Bohol Day celebrations, as well as part of the Sandugo Festival, is a surgical-medical mission at the Gov. Celestino Gallares Memorial Hospital in Tagbilaran City. This mission has been ongoing since July 16 and will end on July 24. It is sponsored by the Provincial Government of Bohol, the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office and the Philippine Jaycees Senate of Bohol.
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