BY ADRIAN P. NEMES III
Mayor Evelio Leonardia has declared July 18 as “Atty. Simplicio Palanca Day” in Bacolod City to give due recognition to the contribution to the city of the deceased businessman.
In Executive Order number 38 issued yesterday, Leonardia said Palanca, who is fondly called the “Old Man By The Sea” and the “Man Who Saw Tomorrow” had become a prominent pillar in Bacolod.
After passing the Bar in 1954, Palanca ventured into business and founded the Bacolod Real Estate Development Corporation (Bredco), Leonardia said.
Through hard work, courage, and perseverance, Palanca made his greatest legacy by reclaiming the 250-hectare shoreline of the city in 1961, and establishing a seaport and harbor facility, he said.
Leonardia added that the reclamation project opened the gateway to the city and Negros Occidental province and propelled the economy through tourism and by providing job opportunities.
The mayor noted that the reclamation project, a once vast foreshore land, now holds ports of international standards that cater to local and international cargoes and public sea vessels, and warehouses and establishments.
Other notable structures that were built on the reclamation area were the Pope John Paul II Tower to commemorate the visit of the highest leader of the Catholic Church in Bacolod in 1981.
This construction paved way for Palanca to receive a Papal Award from the Diocese of Bacolod on top of the Ang Banwahanon Award he received for his outstanding works and achievements that impacted on the community, Leonardia said.
Palanca, 98, who died on July 10, will be laid to rest on July 18 at the family’s mausoleum in Victorias City, Negros Occidental.*