Nueva Caceres Heritage Movement celebrates 1st anniversary, honors First “Bahandi” awardee

NAGA CITY, May 4 (PIA) ---  In recognition of individuals who have done an exemplary contribution in the preservation of our history and culture, the Nueva Caceres Heritage Movement, Inc. (NCHM) deemed it fit and apt to bestow the first Bahandi Award to its rightful recipient and re-visit our historical pages as highlights of their 1st Founding Anniversary celebration.

Atty. Gualberto Cea Manlagnit, an accomplished lawyer and an art aficionado of the highest caliber was chosen as the very first recipient of the Bahandi Award for Arts and Culture during the dinner-lecture held at Starview Hotel here, Thursday.

Manlagnit, popularly known by close colleagues and family as Pay Bentoy, is an art enthusiast, a lover of music having written various Bicol song adaptations in the past, one of which is the “Sa Baybayon nin Sisiran: 100 “Berso asin Awit” (verses and songs) launched in Ateneo de Naga University in March 7, 2011.  He is also a prolific writer who detailed the saga of our Bicolano soldiers during the Japanese occupation in Camarines Sur.

City Councilor Nathan Sergio, who is also the concurrent Vice President of NCHM stated that through the award, the NCHM wishes to acknowledge, support, encourage and  honor people who have  dedicated their lifetime in pursuit of excellence  especially in the study and deepening  of local culture,  history  and the arts. 

“We look at this endeavor as a priceless contribution to preserve our cultural heritage.  We thought of giving this award to persons who have notable achievements in the field of history and culture, with reference to Bicol Region. Through this, we also wish to inspire others to do the same and increase the number of people who have the same advocacy as ours,” Sergio stressed.

Bahandi is an old Bicol word which means home jewelry. The connotation says that it is something precious to keep and to cherish.  It is in a way a heirloom and an inheritance most likely passed on from the ancestors.

Aside from the conferment of the award, the organizers have also invited Dr. Danilo Madrid Gerona, a distinguished Bicolano historian, a prolific writer who have already written and published numerous history books and a former member of the Executive Committee on Historical Research of the National Commission on Culture and the Arts (NCCA). 

Gerona was invited to deliver his lecture on the 450th year of the Christianization of the Philippines dubbed “Magellan Expedition- in Focus”. In his lecture, he cited copious historical blunders that have misled the people’s perception of who was really Magellan, including the controversial circumstances that will forever change the historical chronicle of how we viewed Magellan as a warrior and as a voyager.

For one, Lapu-Lapu is not a young warrior during that time as depicted in most books but an old chieftain who was probably in his 60’s then. Most of Magellan’s men and crew, as what Gerona shared, were killed by Humabon while survivors were sold as slaves to Chinese traders.

Gerona in his book on Ferdinand Magellan wants to demystify some accounts on what really took place during his expedition, particularly here in the Philippines.  The Bicol historian also emphasized that for the past 500 years some significant t facts were ignored in our history books.

The book is expected to be launched anytime this month. (LSMacatangay, PIAV/Camarines Sur)