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ALC Group founder Ulirang Ama awardee

Ambassador Antonio L. Cabangon Chua joined the ranks of well-known Filipino figures recognized on Sunday as recipients of this year’s Ulirang Ama Award.

The citation was conferred on the businessman and former envoy to Lao PDR during the 20th Ulirang Ama Awards rites organized by the National Mother’s Day and Father’s Day Foundation Inc., led by President Wilfredo Talag,  held at the Centennial Hall A of the historic Manila Hotel.

Cabangon Chua was named Ulirang Ama awardee in the Business and Industry category.

He was joined by Engr. Hermenigildo I. Sanceja, Joaquin “Jack” Rodriguez, Sergio N. Aquino, Francisco de Leon Sr., Ronaldo Augustin Sumaoang, Rodolfo del Mundo Dalangin, Leonardo R. Garcia and Brigido Buenaventura Calayan.

Also honored as Ulirang Ama were Supreme Court Associate Justice Bienvenido L. Reyes, Judge Demetrio B. Macapagal, and lawyers Alberto H. Habitan and Efren G. Gono for the Law and Judiciary sector.

For the Government and Public Sector, chosen as this year’s Ulirang Ama awardees were Sen. Manuel B. Villar, Commission on Elections Chairman Sixto S. Brillantes Jr., National Bureau of Investigation Director Nonnatus Caesar R. Rojas and Angeles City Mayor Edgardo Pamintuan.

Other Ulirang Ama awardees were Defense Sectary Voltaire Tuvera Gazmin (military and law enforcement);  Dr. Reynaldo Manasala Javate (medicine); Mario P. Sandoval (allied sciences);  Bonifacio N. del Rosario and Valerio Matira Po (sociocivic and religious); Patrick Charles Dugan and Ronaldo Agustin Sumaoang (agriculture); Prof. Enrico Aurelio L. Torres, PhD (education):  Fernando B. Sena (arts and culture); and Rodolfo Jayme Santillan (media and journalism).

The awardees were chosen based on their good moral character, contributions to their respective communities and sectors, achievements in their chosen field of endeavor and for having a wholesome family life.

In his response on behalf of the awardees, Cabangon Chua acknowledged that being recognized as an Ulirang Ama is more special than being honored as one of the outstanding businessmen in the country.

As a father, he said, he has advised his children to “keep learning and improving” and to try to excel in their chosen business or line of work.”

Cabangon Chua said he believes that “no amount of success in life can make up for failure in the home.”

Cabangon Chua  is the founder of the ALC Group of Companies, which has interests in real estate, media, banking and insurance. He is also a known philanthropist.

He said not only the successful fathers should be considered as “Ulirang Ama” but also fathers, who despite living a life in anonymity and in poverty, managed to keep their families intact.

These are the ordinary fathers who are getting only minimum wage but still manage to provide clothes, shelter and education to their children, he said.

He added that fathers who work overseas and experience exploitation, homesickness and uncertainties should be recognized as Ulirang Ama as well.

“Employment is a human right, but many fathers are jobless, they remain isolated…give them back their self-strength and self-dignity,” Cabangon Chua said.

The foundation also gave special awards to Cabinet Secretary Rene Almendras, Customs Commissioner Rozzano Rufino Biazon and Engr.  Kenneth G. Carredo as Tanyag Ulirang Ama; Enersto C. Jaucian Jr. as Ulirang Ama ng Tahanan; Dr. Francisco Pena Purugganan as Ulirang Ama Posthumous Award, and Alejandro Ilagan Atienza as celebrity father.

In Photo:  Ambassador Antonio L. Cabangon Chua (eighth from right) poses with family and members of the awards committee after being named an Ulirang Ama awardee for 2013.  Others in photo (from left) are  Antoinette Cabangon Jacinto, Alexeis Jacinto, Jecelyn Cabangon, Sofia Cabangon, Edward Cabangon, Leticia M.Talag, chairman, Finance Committee, National Mother’s Day and Father’s Day Foundation;  Justice Angelina Gutierrez, Doan Cabangon, Wilfredo Talag, Foundation president; former Rizal Gov. Casimiro Ito Ynares Jr., Justice Normandie Pizarro, member of the Executive Committee of the Foundation; Ingga Cabangon, Yu Kyung Kang, T. Anthony C. Cabangon and D. Edgard Cabangon. The awards ceremonies were held at the historic  Manila Hotel. (Roy Domingo)