By Merlina Hernando-Malipot
Education Secretary Leonor Briones lauded her fellow Negrenses for their high regard for intellect and integrity which, she believes, is important for all public servants.
“In our province, we respect intellect, we respect honesty, and we respect integrity,” Briones said during the opening ceremony of the 2018 Buglasan Festival held in Freedom Park of Dumaguete City. She also thanked and congratulated the people of Dumaguete who came to join the festival. “This is a time for thanksgiving; this is also a time for celebration,” she said.
Briones highly commended her fellow Negrenses for “valuing intelligence and honesty over wealth” because it is an “important quality” that public servants must possess. “This is what our province is all about,” she added.
This quality, Briones said, is one of the reasons that notable people from Negros Oriental have been holding key positions in the government. A native of Guihulngan City in the said province, she shared that despite her family’s financial challenges when she was young, she never felt inferior because her parents – both public school teachers – earned the respect of their community for their noble profession.
“What makes Negros Oriental unique? What makes it different? Here, respect, admiration, and love is not measured by wealth or power, but by one’s integrity and how one serves his fellowmen, as exemplified by our teachers,” Briones said.
Briones further cited how the province is home to established educational institutions, hosting a number of universities and colleges. She likewise acknowledged the schools she went to – Hibbard Institute in elementary; Guihulngan High School, where she graduated valedictorian; and Silliman University, where she majored in Accounting and graduated magna cum laude.
Meanwhile, Briones also called on the outstanding Negrenses to “expand their horizons, go beyond sports and music, and dabble in literature” – as Negros Oriental is known for creative writing workshops. “All the leading writers flock to Dumaguete, here in Negros Oriental, to learn and hone their writing skills,” she ended.