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Gawad Plaridel awardee Rosa Rosal finds energy in ‘burden’ of volunteerism


For 62 years, TV and movie personality Florence Danon Gayda, also known as Rosa Rosal, has been a "proud volunteer" for the Philippine Red Cross. At 80 years old, she proudly declares that "I don't intend to slow down" as she continues to be at the forefront of blood donation campaigns in the country. "I intend to take advantage of the years that I have, to be able to serve more," Rosal told GMA News Online on Tuesday.
Rosa Rosal may need assistance as she goes up the stage, but she said she has all the energy she needs to continue being a Red Cross volunteer. Photos by Roehl Niño Bautista, GMA News
Wearing a smile and her advocacy’s color that day, the actress and host received the University of the Philippines College of Mass Communications' Gawad Plaridel award for 2012 for her use of television in public service. She has promoted volunteerism and support for the Philippine Red Cross through TV programs and in private. "Patuloy po akong mamamalimos para sa Philippine Red Cross," she told the audience present at UP's Cine Adarna. “Iyan po ang aking bilin kay Toni Rose [her daughter], na huwag akong pipigilan.” Rosal was the face of GMA Network program "Kapwa Ko, Mahal Ko" with Orly Mercado in the 70's, as she made a switch from filming to broadcasting. In an audio-visual presentation, Rosal recalled how someone told her off back in her younger days for using volunteerism as a publicity stunt. “I was shocked… ang ginagawa ko ay ‘di gimik lang,” said Rosal. While media brought her fame, she said that it also helped her share her passion in informing people what the Red Cross can do. For the eight Gawad Plaridel awardee, her service is “for the country, and people.” “That’s where I get my energy. Kung tutuusin mo, kanina pa akong umaga hanggang ngayon, walang kapagod-pagod,” she told GMA News Online. As Rosal started young with Red Cross, she said that “I want you [young people] to have the burden that I had.” “You should have that burden also, na mahalin ninyo ang Red Cross, pagka’t ang pagtulong dito ay pagtulong sa ating bayan,” said Rosal.
Rosa Rosal is a steady presence in blood donation drives, including GMA Network's bloodletting activity for employees in February.
Gawad Plaridel, she said, gave her more energy as she continues her service. Philippine Red Cross Chairman Richard Gordon said that Rosal has become their icon, especially in blood donation. “Rosa Rosal is a motion picture, hindi iyan litrato. Tuloy-tuloy ang andar ng buhay niyan, handang tumulong, hindi nagbibilang,” he told GMA News Online. UP CMC dean Roland Tolentino hailed Rosal for her professionalism in broadcasting, and said that she is a reminder of “ang pangunahing papel ng telebisyon at ng media, at ito ay serbisyo publiko,” in an age when people are not divided by “politiko o politikal na partido o paniniwala, pero kung ikaw ay Kapamilya, Kapuso, o Kapatid.”
After being awarded the Napoleon Abueva-made Gawad Plaridel, Rosa Rosal said that she'll continue "begging" for the Red Cross."
As for Rosal, she wants “to stay as a volunteer until the Lord takes me home.” “If you enjoy what you’re doing, talagang wala kang kapaguran. And that’s how I feel about the Red Cross,” said the awardee. Gawad Plaridel is annually awarded by UP CMC to notable practitioners in radio, print, film, and television. Previous awardees were Eugenia Duran-Apostol (2004 for print journalism), Vilma Santos (2005 for film), “Tiya Dely” Magpayo (2006 for radio),  Che-Che Lazaro (2007 for television), Pachico Seares (2008 for community print media), Kidlat Tahimik (2009 for film), and “Lola Sela” Canlas (2011 for radio). Tolentino announced that next year’s awardee will come from the field of journalism. - BM, GMA News
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