The Gabi ng Parangal Para sa Mandaragat of the Karagatan Awards 2008 last Saturday, August 30, 2008 was a poignant experience for most of the 10 honorees.  A fellow fisherman-awardee, Faustino Jacildo Nono died a few days prior to the awarding.  Accepting his award of P25,000, a trophy and a fishing boat engine instead from GenSan Mayor Jun Acharon is live-in partner Ella Guererro Morales.

A project of the Tuna Festival Council and the City Mayor’s Office of GenSan, the Karagatan Awards which was conceptualized three years ago is meant to honor handline fishermen who have managed to rise above their plight and are presently doing their share to help alleviate the lives of other fishermen.

The nine other honorees for 2008 are:

  • Hadji Usop Suenan Alim
  • Virgilio Laruda Bulaquiña
  • Christian Daga
  • Crisente Daga
  • Anastacio Mangubat
  • Wilfredo Obenza, Jr.
  • Benito Pechon, Jr.
  • George Sarcon
  • Virgilio Wite

The two-hour awarding ceremonies directed by triumvirate Egai Cadiente (Aesthetic Director), Bing Cariño (Stage Director), and Emi Englis (Creatives & Technical Director) and held at the KCC Convention and Events Center was given more credence with the presence of Guest of Honor Atty. Jesus Dureza, Press Secretary of President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo.

Other prizes received by the fishermen were training scholarships worth P5,000 applicable to any short course offered by ACLC; 1-year accidental insurance worth P100,000 from Philam Life; Scholarship grant on tuition fee on any 2-year course at STI College; and, Gift Items from Gaisano GenSan, GenSan Fitmart, KCC Mall of GenSan, NCCC and Tanduay.

A Pakura worth P50,000 courtesy of Congresswoman Darlene Antonino-Custodio and 3 Pakura LPG Kit from Xoom/Tropical Autogas and I unit cellphone from SMART were also raffled off among the awardees themselves.

The 10 trophies presented by Coca-Cola Bottlers were handcrafted by local artist Ricky Nuyda.