09 Nov UP Alumni Association Confers this Year’s UPAA Distinguished Alumni Award to an ICA Alumni
Batch ’71 Valedictorian Dr. Milagros Ong-How is this year’s recipient of the prestigious UPAA Distinguished Alumni Award which is “conferred on alumni who have demonstrated extraordinary achievements and excellent contributions in their chosen fields that bring about substantial benefits to society and distinct honor to the University.” The awardees were honored at the UP General Alumni Homecoming last Saturday August 19, 2017 at the UP Bahay ng Alumni with its theme of “Itanghal ang Dangal.”
The roster of the 2017 UPAA Most Distinguished Alumni awardees is headed by the SC Senior Associate Justice Antonio T. Carpio, DBM Secretary Benjamin E. Diokno, Senator Cynthia Aguilar-Villar, and Ambassador Lilia R. Bautista. The 2017 awards are given to UP alumni who “pioneered significant breakthroughs” in specific fields including government, law, politics, business, community, culture and arts, and others.
Dr. How’s achievement in the field of corporate social responsibility was recognized for her “practice and advocacy” which led to the founding of the How Good Foundation in 2009 that has helped thousands of Filipino students and farmers.
Dr Ong-How is a champion of the modern Philippine agricultural revolution, a visionary and staunch advocate of agriculture’s best technologies and practices. Her love for Filipino farmers and genuine concern for the agriculture industry make her the ideal ambassador at the International Fertilizer Association. Through the Universal Harvester Group, the wellbeing of Filipino farmers remains at the core of the plans for the future of Dr. Ong-How. (Excerpt from Itanghal ang Dangal 2017 UPAA Yearbook)
Through Dr. Ong-How’s initiative, the TOFARM Foundation, a nonprofit organization, was established in 2014 which undertakes the annual search and awarding for the Outstanding Farmers of the Philippines for exemplary practices. To further extend her advocacy with the youth of the country, she has recently produced movies that highlight the plight of Filipino farmers and their families. This gave birth to the annual TOFARM Film Festival, an indie festival where six finalists are showcased in movie houses in the country with some of them garnering awards in international film festivals already. This is a platform for artists in the movie industry, many of whom are just starting in their field, to stage their talents in not only acting but also in directing. Recently, a music lover and supporter herself, Dr. Ong-How established the TOFARM Songwriting Competition this year that “portray lives and everyday experiences through songs”.
Dr. Ong-How’s three daughters are also ICA alumni and her twin grandchildren have just begun their ICA journey.