Rev. Fr. Jose Victor Lobrigo receiving the Istorya Ng Pagasa award on behalf of Bishop Joel Baylon from Vice President Leni Robredo (Photo from 'Istorya Ng Pagasa - Albay Launching 2018' by Letrato Photography/FB)

Bishop Joel Baylon of the Diocese of Legazpi is among the 20 honorees of the Albay leg of Istorya ng Pag-asa (INP) Photo Gallery, which opened on October 29, 2018, at the Activity Center of Ayala Malls Legazpi.

The Bishop is presented in the photo gallery as a “revolutionary turned visionary”.

In his teens, challenged by the social inequalities and political unrest of those times, and fired by youthful idealism, Bishop Bong left the seminary “to dedicate his life to help free society of its evils.”

For two years, the young Joel strove to align his idealism and the world’s reality. Until he realized that the answers he pursued were in the journey to the priesthood that the Lord Jesus was offering to him. He then returned to the seminary, which was the beginning of his adventure of being a spirit-filled visionary.

The other INP honorees awarded by Vice President Leonor Robredo from Albay are Judge Ave Alba, Rebecca Apuli, Maricel and Freddie Arevalo, PO1 Christian Arquero, Engr. Abdon Balde, Samuel Baloso, Atty. Felipe Berces and Dr. Josefa Berces, Atty. Rochelle Marie Cortez and Svetlana Viktoria Roxas, Dr. Jesus Dexisne, Justice Teresita Dy-Liacco-Flores.

Also Antonio Esquilador, Elizabeth Evangelio, Engr. Clemente Ibo, The Paje Siblings, Archt. Suzette Peachie, Atty. Gideon Peña, Jose “Chingsan” Rañola, Dehlia Rebustillo, and Teodora Samar.

Bishop Bong’s story and of the rest of the honorees will be on exhibit for a month.

Istorya ng Pag-asa

INP is a traveling photo gallery featuring extraordinary stories of hope of Filipinos. Through words and portraits, the project aims to inspire, empower, and be a source of hope for all. It is an offshoot of Araw ng Pagbasa, an annual reading advocacy program that began in Quezon City.

Officially adopted in November 2016, INP is an initiative of the Office of the Vice President aiming “to direct social conversations away from animosity and toward positivity by spreading stories of hope.”

The project continues to grow and expand its reach to all corners of the country, with the support of partners and stakeholders from Cebu, Cagayan de Oro, Quezon City, Naga, Baguio, Palawan, and Dumaguete.

According to Robredo, in order to maximize the project’s potentials and to reach younger audiences, they have also recently organized and concluded the INP Film Festival. (Gem N.S. Penetrante)

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