Officials and employees of the Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA) on Wednesday night paid their last respects to a former chairman of the agency, RAdm. Feliciano G. Salonga, PCGA, who passed away last January 29 at the age of 86.
Former SBMA Administrator Armand Arreza, who served with Salonga, was also there to recall fond memories of the former official who was known among SBMA employees for his punctuality and colorful language.
Former Zambales governor Vicente Magsaysay and his son, former SBMA director Jesus Victor, also attended the ceremonies.
Gerard Salonga, conductor, musical arranger, orchestrator, as well as founder, musical director and conductor of FILharmoniKA, also paid his last respects to his father and, along with his symphony orchestra, offered a musical tribute to the former SBMA Chairman.
On Monday night, SBMA Deputy Administrator Randy Escolango, who is also commander of the 111th Squadron of the Philippine Coast Guard Auxiliary (PCGA), also led PCGA officials in a necrological mass to honor their former comrade.
A graduate of the US Merchant Marine Academy in Kings Point, New York, Salonga held the rank of a Rear Admiral in the PCGA, and organized the PCGA 103rd Squadron (Zambales) in Subic and became its commander.
Among the PCGA officials who gave their final salute to their former comrade were Commodore Gerry Reyes, who read a poem in Salonga’s honor, Vice Admiral Jose Lito Aseniero, VAdm Joseph Dy and VAdm Valentin Prieto.
Salonga’s wife, Luz, received the Philippine flag presented by PCGA officials.
Salonga served as the fourth SBMA chairman and head of agency and was credited with steering the agency towards further development of its maritime business sector.
Prior to his appointment to the SBMA, Salonga served in various capacities for other maritime-related companies: president and general manager of Philippine Shipyard & Engineering Corp.; vice chairman of the Bataan Shipyard & Engineering Co., Inc.; managing director of Marine Consultancy Division of B.P. Mata & Co., Inc.; marketing director of MLD & Associates, a marine consultancy firm; and executive chairman of Sabah Shipyard Philippines, Inc.
He also became chief of the Aids-to-Navigation Group, Philippine Coast Guard Auxiliary (PCGA) National Command; and a commissioned officer (LT. SG) of the Philippine Navy who at one time served as TF-04 Intelligence Officer, Patrol Force Staff Engineering Officer, and Division 21 Chief Engineering Officer.
In 1998, Salonga was named "Outstanding Professional Achievement Awardee for the year 1998" by the alumni group of his alma mater, the United States Merchant Marine Academy Alumni in Kings Point, New York.
In 1994, he was also awarded a presidential citation by President Fidel V. Ramos for the successful privatization of the Philippine Shipyard & Engineering Corporation in Subic, Zambales.
In 1989, Salonga was named an adopted son of Subic in recognition of his service to the community. A similar honor was bestowed on him on October 24, 2015, when he was made an adopted son of Zambales for his goodwill and support to the people of the province "with the common vision for excellent service and development of the (Subic Bay) Freeport and the Zambales Province.”
After the wake at the SBMA Gym, Salonga’s remains were brought to San Felipe, Zambales, where he was buried at the Fiñones Memorial Garden Cemetery on Friday, February 5. (RAV,HEE/MPD-SBMA)
IN MEMORIAM: A video tribute in memory of former SBMA Chairman Salonga, produced by the Media Production Department of the Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (DMS,FLP/MPD-SBMA)