In a notable accomplishment highlighting unwavering dedication to rural development, Josephine Lay-os, proud Igorot from Bangaan, Sagada, Mountain Province, clinched the third-place spot in the esteemed 2023 National Search for Outstanding Rural Women, also known as the Gawad Parangal para sa Katangi-tanging Kababaihan sa Kanayunan.
Empowering i-Sagada and Beyond
Lay-os's influence extends far beyond her recent accolades, particularly within the lives of her fellow i-Sagada community members. Her recent triumph as the Cordillera Administrative Region's (CAR) SORW regional winner elevated her to the esteemed ranks of the Top 7 national finalists.
Beyond formal acknowledgment, Lay-os is recognized as an inspiring example for rural women nationwide in 2023. Her commitment to community upliftment and rural development is not only celebrated but heralded as a beacon of empowerment and enhancement in lives.
National Recognition Ceremony: A Grand Affair
The grand awarding ceremony, held on December 14, 2023, at the DA-Bureau of Soils and Water Management in Diliman, Quezon City, marked a pivotal moment in Lay-os's journey.
Sharing the stage with outstanding rural women from Regions 2, 3, 5, 10, 11, and 12, the ceremony not only spotlighted Lay-os's individual achievements but also underscored the collective strength of remarkable women from diverse regions.
Rewards and Acknowledgments
At the awarding ceremony, Lay-os received not only a well-deserved third-place recognition but also tangible symbols of appreciation. A cash award of Php75,000, the prestigious Plaque of Recognition, tokens, and a bouquet of flowers served as expressions of gratitude for her unwavering leadership and substantial impact within the rural landscape.
Gratitude and Encouragement
Reflecting on her journey, Lay-os expressed gratitude, not just for the monetary award but, more importantly, for the invaluable learnings propelling her continued dedication. Her words serve as a beacon of encouragement, urging fellow rural women to actively contribute to agricultural programs and embrace continuous improvement.
"Manyanak tan adu ay adal di naadal ko baken wat din siping. Din adal ay at least ay umipagaget pay en sek a ay man ubla. Ilaen di weaknesses ta man improve tapnu ad adu pay di maimula," Lay-os said.
SORW: An Annual Tribute to Exceptional Women
The Search for Outstanding Rural Women (SORW), an annual initiative led by the Department of Agriculture's Gender Focal Point System and chaired by Undersecretary for Finance Agnes Catherine Miranda, holds profound significance.
It pays tribute to the relentless spirit and commendable efforts of exceptional women like Josephine Lay-os, aligning seamlessly with the principles outlined in the Magna Carta of Women.
Conclusion: Shaping a Bright Future
In essence, Josephine Lay-os's triumph goes beyond individual recognition-it symbolizes the collective strength of rural women in propelling sustainable growth nationwide.
The spotlight on her achievements underscores the indispensable role these women play in shaping the future of rural communities in the Philippines.
As we celebrate Lay-os's accomplishments, let her journey serve as inspiration for others, highlighting the transformative power of dedication and the impactful contributions of women in rural development.
The recognition of Lay-os is not merely an endpoint but a milestone in the ongoing journey towards vibrant and resilient rural communities.