The 2022 Mindanao People’s Excellence Awardees

IT WAS was last May when I received a message from a Dr. Lito Buan, the President of the Asia Pacific Luminare Awards and the Gintong Parangal Awards, asking for some details regarding my academic and professional background.  It surprised me as he added that he was supervising the Mindanao People’s Excellence Awards (MPEA) 2022 for his friend from Agusan del Sur, a Dr. Rush Samporna, who is the President of the award giving body.  I only got to meet the two personalities last July 17 during the MPEA night held at the Grand Ballroom of the Dusitd2 Davao.  It was a surprise for me as there were so many Muslims in attendance dressed in their traditional outfits of bright and shimmering colors.  Yes, you’d easily mistake them as coming from the royal clans. 

Dr. Rush Samporna and Dr. Anthony Penaso

    The program, although starting late, opened with a bang with the lively performance of the young dancers of the Tingagen Dance Troupe Culture & Arts.  The performance was immediately followed by a short fashion show presenting the collection of international fashion designer Sherwin Darrel.

Davao’s Mindanao People’s Excellence Award recipients (l-r): Melody S. Alabastro, Sherwin Darell, Dr. Michael E. Dakudao

Sherwin advocates the promotion of our diverse Filipino culture as dramatically integrated through the tribal design influences and handcrafted details in his brand of fashion couture.  Naturally, Sherwin Darell is a proud recipient of the MPEA 2022.

     In his Welcome Message, Dr. Rush Samporna said, “We are holding this event for excellent Mindanaooans.  I would like to thank my mentor, Dr. Lito Buan; and I have to acknowledge the help of the Paramount Sultan of Mindanao, Maranao Sultan Usman Tantao Sarangani, for making this special event possible…Tonight is the night to recognize the excellent people of Mindanao who excel powered by their God-given talents, hard work and faith. 

It is about time for them to shine and be recognized for their fair share in building our nation.”  Indeed, as Willian James wrote,

“The deepest principle in human nature is the craving to be appreciated.” And Cosmetic mogul Mary Kay Ash reminds us, “Everyone wants to be appreciated.  So if you appreciate someone, don’t keep it a secret.”

Dr. Lito Buan

     In his inspirational message, the Municipal Vice Mayor/Presiding Officer of the Municipality of Madamba, Lanao del Sur, Abdulhamid Umpa Amerbitor thanked the first ever Philippine President coming from the Mindanao region, Rodrigo Roa Duterte, for the various much needed infrastructure projects he accomplished in Mindanao during his term. 

“He was the only Philippine President who acknowledged the historical injustice committed against the Muslims, Indigenous People and Lumads in Mindanao,” passionately expressed the public servant.

     “This event is solely organized to give due recognition and honor to Mindanaoans and company brands who have shown incomparable excellence in the fields of academics, arts and culture, business and marketing, politics, traditional/tribal leadership, among many others still.

The slogan for this event, ‘Let the Mindanaoan’s Legacy be Known,’ is very appropriate.  Mindanaoans deserve to shine.  Many exemplary Mindanaoans are creating ripples of impact in their respective niches.  They are making legacies in their respective institutions and communities.

Tingagen Dance Troupe

  True enough, what you leave behind is not what is engraved in stone monuments, but what is inculcated into the lives of others.  The recognition we receive is a manifestation of a personal culture of excellence. 

And as they say, ‘Excellence is not an act, but a habit’,” professed Dr. Anthony Penaso, the President of the Caraga State University, in his inspirational message. 

The distinguished professor was one of the recipients of the Mindanao People’s Excellence Awards 2022 for his exemplary contribution in the field Education. 

     The night ended with Dr. Rush Samporna hoping and praying that the Mindanao People’s Excellence Awards will encourage Mindanaoans to have the courage to excel. 

“It is you alone, and you alone with the help of Allah to have the courage to help build our communities and nation as a whole to shine brighter.  This is the time to shine and be recognized!”


Source: Mindanao Times (