A 29-year-old Bacolodnon from Barangay 35 emerged as the top winner in the search for the Best Dancing Traffic Enforcers during the competition’s grand finals held today, Oct. 19.
Mayor Evelio Leonardia congratulated Gemmar Valencia, who also brought home the cash prize of P10,000.
The mayor also lauded the rest of the traffic enforcers of Bacolod for doing their job well.
“I am very proud of you. I came here to honor and appreciate the efforts you’ve done to ensure the safety and order in the streets of our city,” Leonardia told the traffic enforcers present at the awarding ceremony held at the Bacolod Traffic Authority Office (BTAO) inside the Bacolod City Police Office (BCPO) compound.
“To our traffic enforcers, you are an inspiration to all of us. You play a major role in our society,” the mayor added.
Valencia has been a traffic enforcer since 2017.
Aside from the cash prize, he also received a certificate, token, a sack of rice, and grocery items.
He also won the SM’s Choice Award and received P5,000 worth of gift certificates.
Leonardia also congratulated the officials of the BTAO and the contest organizers.
“The best job in the world is when you found something you love to do and you get paid for it. It seems our contestants found that. You can see that they are inspired and with that they become productive in their field,” the mayor added.
Leonardia said he feels nostalgic upon attending the competition since it featured the previous MassKara Festival music, and it was held during the supposed highlight week of the festival.
“With this BTAO event, we were able to feel the spirit of MassKara. Hearing this dance music makes me feel homesick, it is like you long for it but you can’t have it,” the mayor said.
The mayor compared today’s circumstances to the time of the first year of the festival. “This event mirrors our MassKara Festival. Even if we are in the midst of the pandemic, we still have that happy disposition. Right now we are in crisis again—a pandemic— but we have proven that Bacolodnons are resilient. We will survive this.”
In second place was Greg Leonares, who received P6,000 in cash, a sack of rice, and grocery items, while Araceli Abad, who placed third, received P3,000 in cash, a sack of rice, and grocery items.
The fourth to 10th placers were Jay R Arazo, Hazel Nagar, Richie Navarra, Gary Gonzales, Randy Ecraela, Rocky Leganada, and Joemar Langote.
The seven finalists received P1,000 each. All the 10 finalists received certificates, tokens, and gift packs.
Judging the awarding ceremony were Councilor Israel Salanga, BCPO Director Police Col. Thomas Joseph Martir, BTAO head Police Major Ruel Culanag, Luis Gonzales, provincial head of the Philippine Statistics Authority – Negros Occidental; Dr. Ramel Uy, chief executive officer of Radyo Bandera; Dr. Rey Eslabon, principal of Senior High Department of STI West Negros University; businesswoman Agnes Locsin, Floressa May Castro, Public Relations manager of SM Group of Companies, and Moises Flores, administrative officer of Vallacar Transit.
Also attending the awarding ceremony was Councilor Renecito Novero.
The grand showdown was held on corner Lacson Street – B.S. Aquino Drive (Ramos) in the morning. Each finalist showcased their dance routines for five minutes, while managing the traffic flow in the area.
The competitions began in August with 30 contenders. Sixteen performers advanced to the semi-finals held on Sept. 25. The Top 10 was revealed on Oct. 12.
At the awarding ceremony, Culanag said, “We at the Bacolod Traffic Authority Office, would like to be part of the colorful MassKara Festival by way of entertaining the motorists, pedestrians, residents, and visitors. We would like to bring out more smiles on their faces and joy in their hearts. The people will feel better and strive to live contentedly and happily amidst the adversity.”
“We are aware that if we see happy people around us, we, too become infected of their happiness. And this process repeats. It’s a chain reaction,” Culanag added.