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by: Rizel S. Adlawan
MORE than three months after she reprimanded Medellin town officials for not fully supporting Capitol’s Expanded Green and Wholesome Environment that Nurtures (E-Gwen) competition, Gov. Gwendolyn Garcia showered them with praises yesterday.

She visited the northern coastal town as a keynote speaker of the first commencement rites of the Cebu Normal University (CNU)-Medellin campus.

Garcia told reporters that the town heeded her call to put ornamental and flowering plants along the highway.


She said the town is cleaner and Mayor Ricardo Ramirez adopted the purok system, just like San Francisco town in Camotes which has been a consistent champion of the e-Gwen awards.

The e-Gwen competition picks local government units based on indicators such as cleanliness, sanitation and health; greening, protection and enhancement of the environment; creativity, artistry and aesthetic impact; promotion and nurturing culture and heritage, and good governance.

Ramirez told Capitol beat reporters that they will join the “Pasigarbo sa Sugbo,” one of Capitol’s programs, which they also failed to join before.

Local funds

Garcia also highlighted the role of Medellin town in supporting CNU whose main branch is located on Osmeña Blvd., Cebu City.

She said they must be commended for their efforts because they have been supporting the community college out of their local funds.

The town allocates P8 million yearly for the school.

The school held the commencement exercises for its first batch of graduates. There were 119 graduates and one of those who stood out was a 41-year-old mother of three.

Emma de la Peña, considered as the eldest of the batch, graduated yesterday, 10 days after her eldest daughter’s college graduation at St. Theresa’s College in Cebu City.

Both of them now have diplomas in Bachelor in Elementary Education. Emma is a major in pre-elementary education while her daughter, Kristine Marie, has a major in special education.

Emma said she got pregnant when she was 18, already on her second year of college at the University of San Carlos.

She took up Bachelor of Science in Architecture.

She got married at an early age but she never stopped dreaming of finishing college.

Her husband and her children said they are proud of her.

Garcia, in her speech, shared with the graduates the lessons she has learned along the way, telling them to follow their heart and pursue their dreams.

Quoting then US president John F. Kennedy, Garcia said, “It is alright to dream.

Pursue that dream. The only dream worth dreaming is that dream you spend all your waking hours pursuing.”

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on April 04, 2012. 
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