The Araw Ng Maynila 2015 celebrations

Manila Mayor Joseph E. Estrada and the City Council of Manila have lined up various activities for the celebration of the 444th foundation day of the City of Manila, June 24th this year.

MANILA HONORS NORA AUNOR.  Manila Mayor Joseph E. Estrada congratulates
actress Nora Aunor who received the top award in the Patnubay ng Sining at
Kalinangan awards yesterday held at Manila City Hall. Looking on from left:
Councilor Yul Servo Nieto, Director Liza Villasenor of Tourism, Councilor Re
Fugoso, Estrada, Aunor, and Councilor Cristy Isip. 
The traditional awarding ceremony for Outstanding Manilans will be held at Fiesta Pavilion of Manila Hotel on June 23, 6 pm.  Also to be given citations are the Outstanding Taxpayers of the city.

The week-long festivities started last with Medical Missions in the city’s various hospitals from June 15 to June 19, specifically at the Gat Andres Bonifacio Memorial Medical Center, Ospital ng Tondo, Ospital ng Maynila, Ospital ng Sampaloc, and Justice Abad Santos Hospital.

As in previous years, the celebration affords the city officials to honor various community sectors, and cite them for their concrete achievements and contributions to nation-building. 

First to be given such accolades are the Outstanding Educators and Students who were feted by Mayor Joseph Ejercito Estrada and Vice Mayor Francisco “Isko Moreno” Domagoso at the Manila Grand Opera Hotel last June 16.

Outstanding City Hall employees were also honored and given plaques of appreciation for their services in various departments of the city government, from 25 years to 40 years. The ceremony was held at the Bulwagang Antonio Villegas last June 17.

The next day, it was the turn of Senior Citizens to receive such citation from the mayor in simple ceremonies at the Senior Citizens Garden in Rizal Park, Manila, while the Outstanding Judges, Prosecutors and Policemen who have been tirelessly assisting Mayor Estrada in maintaining peace and order in the city were honored in fitting ceremonies at the New World Manila Bay Hotel, formerly Hyatt, in Ermita.

On the same day last June 18, the Urban Settlements Office led by Department Head Victoria S. Clavel and the mayor distributed Certificates of Lot Award to 29 qualified beneficiaries of the Land for the Landless Program at Bulwagang Villegas.

Estrada also handed over Transfer Certificates of Title to two families and Letters of Approval for Transfer of Awards, Deed of Sale, etc. to 22 families.

The next day, June 19, was the birth anniversary of the national hero, Dr. Jose Rizal. There was an unveiling of the statue of Dr. Jose Rizal at the Pamantasan ng Lungsod ng Maynila (PLM) which was then celebrating its 50th anniversary.

In the afternoon at City Hall, the City of Manila gave the Patnubay ng Sining at Kalinangan awards to deserving artists and institutions in the field of arts and culture.

The awardees are Nora Aunor (Diwa ng Lahi Award), Augusto Deviana, Ballet Manila, The Company, Architect Alfred Geoffrey Carandang, The Junior New System, Vic del Rosario, The Manila Hotel, Sarao Motor Inc., Tourism Infrastructure Enterprises Zone Authority (TIEZA) and actor-director Eddie Garcia (Gatpuno Antonio J. Villegas Award).

Last Saturday, June 20, the more than 800 barangays of Manila were at center-stage, with the Barangay Awards held at Forum 3, Philippine International Convention Center (PICC).  The awarding ceremonies were led by Mayor Estrada and Councilor Salvador Philip Lacuna, president of the Liga ng mga Barangay Manila Chapter.

The awards’ Executive Committee and technical working group composed of heads and staff of the DILG Manila field office and the Manila Barangay Bureau picked the barangay awardees, divided into overall/group awards and specia awards.

These are Barangay ng Kinabukasan (child-friendly and gender-sensitive), Barangay Mapayapa (peaceful, secure and drug-free), Barangay Malusog (health and sanitation), Barangay Makakalikasan (clean and green) and Barangay Laging Handa (best DRRM programs - disaster and rescue).

Last Sunday, the Manila Youth and Development Office led by Dr. Angel Espiritu initiated various activities for the youth, among them the Manila Youth Rocks BMX Bike Competition, Street Dance Competition, Graffiti Theme: Dito sa Maynila, and a grand concert featuring Parokya ni Edgar, Wolf Gang and Silent Sanctuary.

Other activities were Manila’s Got Talent finals night at Robinsons Place in Ermita (June 22), First Mayor Erap Interzone Ten Ball Billiard Tournament at the Arturo Tolentino Sports Complex in Dapitan, Sampaloc (June 24) led by MASCO chief Philip Cezar, and Cooperative Awards (June 23).

Three important events capped the celebration. On June 23 at 4 p.m., the city officials will unveil the newly constructed Friendship Gate at Binondo Chinatown, at the foot of Jones Bridge. The event will be led by Mayor Estrada and Councilor Bernie Ang. 

The new arch will be the biggest such Friendship Arch outside of China, measuring 15.6 meters in height and 26 meters in width. Funds used in the construction came from donations from Chinese donors.

Manila will honor its Outstanding Manilans and Outstanding Taxpayers in fitting ceremonies at the Manila Hotel on Tuesday, June 23.

Last but not least, the city will pick its Miss Manila and her court, Circa 2015, in an entertaining beauty pageant to be held at the PICC Plenary Hall at 7 p.m. on June 24. The event is handled by Viva Entertainment.

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