PRRM development workers from different generations, staff, officials, partner POs, NGOs and government agencies, and special friends joined the 60th anniversary program and homecoming last July 17, 2012 at the PRRM Building in Quezon City. The event was the culmination of the year-long celebration which kicked off last July 2011 in PRRM Nieves Center in San Leonardo, Nueva Ecija.
The program was emceed by PRRM Trustee and Board Secretary, Mr. George Sanchez. Prof. Wen Tiejun of the China Rural Reconstruction (CRR) graced the event with a keynote speech. Receiving the loudest and longest applause and cheers were the PRRM rural reconstruction workers (RRWs) of the 1950s and 60s.
Congratulatory and support messages were presented by Prof. Lau Kinchi of the CRR; Dr. Arjun Karki of Rural Reconstruction Nepal (RRN); Ms. Marie Lisa Dacanay of the Institute for Social Entrepreneurship in Asia (ISEA); Dr. Jaime Galvez-Tan; and Mr. Joselito Tambalo of the PO Leaders Caucus (POLAC).
Midway through the program was a rendition of three song numbers by Harana, an all-male quartet that arranges and performs all-Tagalog kundiman, folk and popular songs. “60 Voices”, the special audio-visual production for the anniversary, was premiered during the program.
A traditional highlight of PRRM’s anniversary celebrations is the giving of loyalty awards to staff who have continuously served for five, 10, 15 or 20 years. Awarded during this 60th anniversary were six staff, namely, Emmanuel Anilao, Grace Constantino, Anne Dzanelle Javier, Amor Cabico, Rommel Lampaan and Sharon Taylor.
The last part of the anniversary program was a short and significant tribute to the late Mr. Horacio R. Morales, Jr., or HRM, PRRM’s President from 1986 to 1998 and Trustee from 1998 to February of this year. PRRM officers, staff and guests proceeded to dedicate the “Horacio R. Morales, Jr. Lounge” in honor of HRM’s “significant contribution to rebuilding and infusing new life and direction to PRRM. His leadership has inspired a new generation of rural reconstruction workers and development activists in PRRM and civil society”.
A tribute book entitled “Losing You, Keeping You: The Life and Exciting Times of Horacio R. Morales, Jr.” was released during the dedication of the HRM Lounge. The book is a compilation of messages from HRM’s colleagues, friends and “students”.
Prominently displayed on the wall of Benitez Hall was a colorful paper mosaic of the PRRM 60 years logo surrounded by a rendition of coastal, lowland and upland ecosystems. Those who attended the program took turns having their photo taken with the mosaic. Designed and created for over a month, the mosaic was a “labor of love” of PRRM staff.
Contributors to our anniversary events: Philippine Air Lines (PAL), Development Academy of the Philippines (DAP), Department of Agriculture (DAR), Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), Office of Sen. Sergio Osmeña III, Office of Sen. Aquilino Pimentel III, Office of Sen. Ferdinand Marcos, Jr., and Jollibee.