Friday, April 13, 2012

Gen. Mateo Noriel Luga Award

The Gen. Mateo Noriel Luga Award : SAGAY 2012.

In 2008 we started advocating for the due recognition of Gen. Mateo Noriel Luga, the most unsung national hero in our country and the ideals which he stood for. He was a tribal leader with his band of tribal warriors, who fought for the freedom of this nation, from Tumauini, Isabela, to Manila, Cebu and the Visayas, to fight, defend and secure our independence and freedom

He was sent to Cebu with his two cousins to lead an Army foreign to his culture and defend the island from the Americans. He rescued his family, who were taken hostage to weaken his resolved and fought back an honorable war against the most powerful army in this world and won. He maintained his idealism as a nationalist despite the respectable position he already enjoyed in the Philippine Scout and left the armed service because of his idealism and love for and independence of our country from the dictates of the foreigners, joined the civilian government to distribute lands equitably and justly in Negros Island for every Filipino to have a piece of land of their own. Applied for and acquired only what is due to him in a homestead for his own, settled peacefully with his family, lived as a farmer and died a simple man before his return to a land he formerly ruled, not seeing the light of day.

He made a difference. A tribal leader leaving behind the comfort of the territory he rules to fight honorably the world's greatest army with people different from his culture to defend our freedom and independence. HONOR! COURAGE! INTEGRITY! Traits seldom a leader possesses these days, which OUR younger generations should live by! We are FILIPINOS who possesses these traits, in the past and even in present time, we still have leaders even in present times who live by this traits and ideals set by our Forefathers and many more shall follow!

The Awardees:

Posthumous Award goes to Captain Eugenio Luga Surriga, a WW II USAFFE veteran who later joined the US Military Service, the first Luga Clan member to join the US Military Service.

Lifetime Achievement Award were given to Gen. Emilio Villanueva Somoza Luga, Jr. and Col. Mateo Ledesma Hojilla Luga, for their significant role in pacifying the 1989' Coup d' Etat.

Military Service Award was given to BGen. Alan Rio Luga for his invaluable contribution to DND's OPLAN BAYANIHAN and the peace effort of the government to reach out to NPA REbels and members of the armed groups of the Secessionist Movements in Mindanao.

Health and Wellness Award goes to Dra. Lenny Luga Canizares Fernandez, for her research work with another doctor entitled: "The Economic Impact of Smoking in the Philippines", which convinced Congress to pass the Anti-Smoking Bill.

Post Graduate Award goes to Vida Luga Sison Gabe a communication expert who graduated full scholar at Ateneo De Manila, Masteral Degree in Communication at University of California Davis, participated in different World Bank research projects on different issues in our country.

College Category goes to Fraulin Luga Sauro, She is a fifth generation Luga from the progeny of “General Mateo Noriel Luga”. She was contracted in a Silliman University Project as a cartoonist to popularized a comic version of the procurement law, entitled “Lando’s Mirror”. Published in January 2009, the 300 copies of “Lando’s Miror” in Visayan, Tagalog, English version and was consolidated in CD Animation for a better understanding of the youth of the local government procurement system to support the government’s effort in its Anti-Corruption Campaign and for the citizentry to be vigilant in safeguarding public funds. Special Award goes to Mala Jean Luga, the one who initiated the advocacy movement for the recognition of General Mateo Noriel Luga and the institutionalization the Luga Clan gatherings in Tumauini, Isabela, Manila and Sagay.

Special Award goes to Mala Jean Luga, the one who initiated the Gen. Mateo Noriel Luga Advocacy.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

The Luga Clan: Sagay Reunion 2012

It was Mala Jean Luga who set us up to a meeting at their residence with his father Col. Mateo H. Luga on May 20, 1998 in Fairview, Quezon City, where it all begun. Although there were reunions already organized even prior to the Tumauini and Sagay Reunion, the last two came about out of Mala's persistence.

When we were exchanging notes via emails concerning the life and times of Gen. Mateo Noriel Luga, we told Mala that we shall support her but, only at the background in regard to the advocacy campaign for Gen. Mateo Noriel Luga to gain recognition and to fulfill his father's wish as well as that of the senior members of the Clan. His father, Col. Mateo H. Luga, as well as BGen. Emilio S. Luga and other senior members of the clan - among them, Maria Luga Ramiro, have been advocating for a regular reunion of clan members from Luzon, the Visayas and Mindanao for every five years. Maybe because for all we know is that, there were just but a few members of the Luga Clan. It is likewise of public knowledge that Gen. Mateo Noriel Luga is one of the most unsung national hero in Philippine history by the National Historical Institute. Mala Jean Luga was very persistent that we decided launch an advocacy movement in this regard.

It is ironic that a person with such a colorful life as a hero, who earned much respect and esteem by the mightiest army in this world, the United States Armed Forces, during the Fil-Am War because of his conviction to honorable warfare despite inferiority in armaments and forces, was not given due recognition by this nation and his countrymen. Little is known about his family, brothers, sister. The succeeding generations of this martyr is not even aware of their roots, when or where he was born and was actually buried. Most of his children were named after prominent national heroes: Jose, after Dr. Jose Rizal; Emilio, after Gen. Emilio Aguinaldo; Maria and Pilar, a prominent name of an ideal Filipina. This is how nationalistic the great warrior was that he wanted his children to follow his ideals, without them knowing about it.

In is ironic! He was not given due recognition! This is an injustice! An insult to a martyr who fought dearly for the freedom we now enjoy! His family was made hostage to weaken his resolve, yet he stood firm, rescued his love ones and fought back an honorable warfare that earned the respect and admiration of the world's mightiest army. It is this resolve that motivated and drives us to seek for answers to question that haunts us for generations.

It was then that we started the Ibanag Cyber Revolution Project to advocate for the due recognition of Gen. Mateo Noriel Luga! To commemorate his 75th Death anniversary right at the place where he was born! The ALIMOKON CYBER PROJECT begun and it paid off for we have been united in this resolve!

During the Independence Day of 2009, Gen. Mateo Noriel Luga was honored by then President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo. The "The 75th Death Anniversary of Gen. Mateo Noriel Luga" was successfully held thereafter on April 9, 2010, in Tumauini, Isabela, to give honor to the warrior whose last wish is to see his native land, but died in Manila of cancer and has never made it back to Tumauini. It was an honor that the offspring of the brothers and sister of Gen. Mateo Noriel Luga, led by Fr. Angel Baquiran Luga heed to our resolve. In unity there is strength!
Thereafter, under the present Administration of President Benigno S. Aquino III, the Luga Clan's military and police legacies to the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) and the Philippine National Police (PNP), was recognized. Recently, according to the wishes of the senior members of the clan, a reuinio was successfully held from March 28 to 30, 2012, in Sagay, Negros Occidental.
The 2012 Sagay Reunion was dedicated to the third generation Luga, our Patriarchs, the old guards and fifth generation members of the clan. It was highlighted by awarding mementos to clan members who made extra ordinary achievement that changed the course of history of this nation. Some the accomplishment of the awardees are made public just recently after almost more than two decades. Let us not history be kept from us anymore! Let us not history repeat itself! Let freedom reign by honoring those who deserves the laurels for this nation and its people to stand courageous, like those martyrs and heroes before us without the fun fare of politics!

Posthumous Award; Lifetime Achievement Award; Military Service Award; Health and Wellness Award; Post Graduate Level Award; College level Award; and, a recognition to a clan member who contributed to the continuing institutionalization of the of the Luga Clan's legacy was given to deserving clan members as a beacon never to let history repeat itself, to carry the name and the legacy for those who shall be left behind.

THE AWARDEES! To be continued . . .