Inday Loren Receives Datu Sumakwel Award from Antiqueños

December 29, 2018

Senator Inday Loren Legarda today received the “Datu Sumakwel Award”, the highest recognition conferred by the Bugal Kang Antique Awards held at Eagle’s Hotel in San Jose, Antique.


The Datu Sumakwel Award is given to an Antiqueño or juridical persons in recognition of their service for the development of Antique.

Legarda, who was nominated by Antique Vice Governor Edgar D. Denosta, was conferred the highest award for her outstanding accomplishment in the fields of Governance and Public Service, Arts and Culture, Entrepreneurship, Leadership, and Environmental Protection.

“I strongly believe that she encompasses the epitome of a true Antiqueño public servant for all her numerous outstanding achievements and invaluable contributions not only to the progress and development of Antique, but also to our country, and the world,” said Denosta in his nomination letter.


Legarda, a three-term Antiqueña Senator who chairs the Senate Committees on Finance, Foreign Relations and Climate Change,  is a known environmental advocate, a women and children’s rights champion, and an arts and culture advocate. She has authored many of the country’s landmark laws in her 20 years as senator and has been recognized many times nationally and globally.


In her acceptance speech, Legarda thanked her fellow Antiqueños for supporting her in the programs she has been providing the province and assured them that she will lead Antique towards progress.


“Antique’s progress is unstoppable. Now, our dream of seeing Antique rise and be great, if not greater than our sister provinces, will come into fruition because we can do it, we have the means and we should have the strong will to turn our dreams into reality,” said Legarda.


“While I am humbled to be recognized as a pride of Antique, I dare say that we should all strive to be Antique’s pride, which is not measured by any award but by the passion and heart to serve our people and our province,” she stressed.


Legarda is a child of Antique. Her maternal grandmother, Carmen Gella Bautista, is from Pandan. Her great grandfather, Ariston Gella, was the first pharmacist of the province and a member of the Malolos Congress that crafted the first Philippine Constitution. Her great granduncle, Vicente Gella, opened the first and only secondary school in Antique during the Spanish period and became Governor of the province. Pedro Gella was a Mayor of Sibalom, while Bartolome Gella was head of the Army’s Medical Corps during the revolution.


In the past few years, Legarda has brought the much needed support for Antique with the goal of not only being on a par with neighboring provinces but also to uplift the lives of her kasimanwas.


She has provided programs for livelihood and additional support for fisherfolks, farmers, weavers, artisans, homemakers, and micro, small and medium enterprises; for quality and free education up to tertiary level through the Universal Access to Quality Tertiary Education law which she authored; and for medical assistance especially to indigents in all government hospitals and the upgrading and improvement of hospitals and rural health units.


She has ensured that infrastructure projects are in place, even reviving the airport in San Jose and bringing back Philippine Airlines flights to Antique. At the same time, she is also able to greatly contribute in protecting the environment and promoting Antique’s culture and heritage. The construction of the Pandan Arboretum and Eco-Park, the Coastal and Marine Ecosystems Rehabilitation Program, the Sibalom Natural Park Conservation and EcoTourism Development, the restoration of the Gabaldon School Buildings, and the establishment of Kinaray-a Center and language marker for Kinaray-a are some of her projects dedicated to preserving the beautiful culture, heritage, and environment of Antique.