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Environmentalist Dr. Bengwayan is NOT a Reader’s Digest Hero
April 30, 2012 was a big day to every Filipino when ABS-CBN News broadcasted that Baguio’s Dr. Michael Bengwayan is named Environmental Hero of the globally acclaimed Reader’s Digest.

We all believed in the “panig sa katotohanan, panig sa bayan” report. Dr. Bengwayan’s friends celebrated with their jaws up high as they were claiming that their fight against SM has come to an international attention. 

Yes, they are successful in bringing elementary kids to the streets and mandating college students to join the protest regardless of their stand on this issue! What a desperation!

My favorite ABS-CBN Baguio news personality Maira Wallis reported the half-baked good news to the network’s night newscast Bandila.

Dr. Bengwayan has been leading a big crowd in demanding SM Baguio not to earthball the trees inside the SM compound. Even Catholic bishop Carlito Cenzon supporting his cause to boycott SM and march down the famed Session Road.

However, Reader’s Digest learned about the news report that Dr. Bengwayan is their alleged Hero of the Year and there was like “I didn’t know that !” drama. The magazine publication released a statement saying that the report was TOTALLY FALSE. Thus, the celebration of the Save 182 Baguio team was also FAKE.

Here is the heart-breaking statement:

“Reader's Digest Asia wishes to clarify information recently reported in the national media concerning Dr Michael Bengwayan. 

Contrary to reports, Dr Bengwayan has not been voted or awarded a Reader's Digest Asia Environmental Hero award. In fact, we have no such awards programme currently or planned. 

Earlier this year Dr Bengwayan was interviewed by a freelance writer working on a project for Reader's Digest Asia magazine. That interview has not been used and is not scheduled for publication.”

Here are the responses on the statement:

Grace Bandoy: the media responsible should be held liable for faulty reporting?

Cheryl Chyt L. Daytec- Yangot: What happened? What changed the mind of Reader's Digest? Did it not make the announcement earlier? Or was there something sinister about all this?

Elson Elizaga: Does Bengwayan have a doctorate degree? From what school?

Going back to basics, the report why RD named Dr. Bengwayan a hero is because of his discovery of an alternative fuel. Kudos my dear Dr. Bengwayan. I know that is true and that makes you hero to me and to your friends. The truth is clear: RD never came to a decision to declare Dr. Bengwayan a hero.

Goodies! If only ABS-CBN News first confirmed the report before broadcasting it to the whole Filipino community then no one would be getting embarrassed! Kababain!

Who is Dr. Bengwayan by the way? According to hayop.Ocash.com:

Michael Bengwayan is a journalist (news and feature), environmental specialist, agriculturist.

Masters degree from the University of Ireland, Dublin, Ireland Environmental Resource Management, Masters Degree in Rural Development Studies, 

Bachelors Degree in Agriculture, 
20 years experience in journalism with the Press Foundation of Asia, 
several national dailies and local newspapers. 
European Union fellow. 

Had working stints in India, Taiwan, Indonesia, Ireland, Tanzania as agriculturist, environmental officer and writer.

Contact Address: P.O. Box 74 La Trinidad, Benguet 2601, Philippines,

Christian is a Marketing Communications practitioner in Quezon City. He is an Igorot from Sagada, Mountain Province. To get in touch with him, please shoot an email to christianaligonow@gmail.com.

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