MALOLOS, BULACAN, September 9, 2003 (STAR) By James Mananghaya  - This historic province burst into vibrant colors and festive sound yesterday as it kicked off the annual "Linggo ng Wika" with parades and ceremonies in all its 22 municipalities and two cities.

Gov. Josefina de la Cruz said the week-long celebration would highlight Bulacan’s finest products, industries and historic and rich culture, having been home to some of the country’s heroes.

To give Bulakeños a taste of their own artistry, there are art exhibits showcasing the works of respected Filipino artists who have traced their roots to the province.

The equally grand and historic Barasoain Church hosts the works of renowned painters Jose Joya and Mauro Malang, while the Sentro ng Sining at Kultura ng Bulacan hosts the "Pagtatanghal at Exhibit sa Buhay at Sining ni Antonino Buenaventura," the "Pistang Bulacan Diorama Sketches," "18 Maestro ng Sining" and the First Bulacan Arts Festival Memorabilia.

All these exhibits will run until Sept. 15.

The Hiyas ng Bulakan Convention Center hosts a bonsai exhibit, featuring some of the miniature plant designs and landscaping works from the towns of Guiguinto, Paombong and Hagonoy, where some of the well-known horticulturists in the country are found.

A trade exhibit showcasing the province’s world-class products — Baliuag’s buntal hats, San Miguel’s sweets, Doña Remedios Trinidad’s coffee and San Rafael’s mushrooms, among other items — is held at the Hiyas Convention Center.

The celebration culminates on Sept. 13 with the Gawad Dangal ng Lipi, which gives recognition to Bulakeños who have made their mark in their respective fields.

Antipolo City bags Literacy Award anew By Non Alquitran The Philippine Star 09/09/2003

For the second straight year, Antipolo City has bagged the National Literacy Award.

No less than President Arroyo handed the award to Antipolo Mayor Angelito Gatlabayan during simple ceremonies held at the Leyte Park Resort and Hotel in Tacloban City last Sept. 5.

Antipolo City was the first runner-up in 2001. It also achieved Hall of Fame status in the Southern Luzon level.

The Literacy Awards, initiated by the National Literacy Coordinating Council (NLCC), is held annually to coincide with Literacy Week (Sept. 3-5).

This year’s theme, "Functional Literacy: A Tool for Poverty Alleviation and National Solidarity Toward a Strong Republic," focused on efforts to alleviate poverty by identifying grassroot initiatives which address cultural diversity and improve learning and knowledge acquisition.

Antipolo City’s literacy campaign this year focused on sustaining ongoing projects and strengthening the literacy campaign at the barangay level.

For 2003, Gatlabayan allocated P136,997,618 as special education fund, of which P710,000 was earmarked for non-formal education honoraria.

Among the listed priority projects this year include the non-formal education of the Dumagat community and disadvantaged groups like out-of-school youths, senior citizens and street children, and the Project Bagong Laya.

Other projects set to be launched are those targeted at other sectors such as tricycle drivers, as well as the Kapatiran, Pag-asa sa Likod ng Rehas, Paglitao, Zone 17, Dalig Literacy classes and Special People Inc.

To encourage reading among residents and students to sustain the literacy campaign, the city government has established the city library, community reading centers and a mobile library.

This year, Antipolo City recorded a 98.9 percent literacy rate.

Reported by: Sol Jose Vanzi

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