For the first time, the Manila Times awarded 13 model cities in the country held at the New World Man By awarding top model cities in the country for various categories.

Bacolod City is the country’s most livable urban center. Other cities recognized for viability and excellence in specific areas were Santa Rosa City, Batangas City, San Fernando City Pampanga, Tagaytay City, Parañaque City, Quezon City, Zamboanga City, Mandaluyong City, Naga City, General Santos City, Laoag City and Davao City. Meanwhile, a special recognition was given to the Municipality of Nunungan, Lanao del Norte, which is considered an emerging hub from the south.

As a preview of things to come in the next Philippine Model Cities Forum and Awards, a Most Promising Municipality Award has been given to a rising star in the South – Nunungan, in the Province of Lanao del Norte. Amidst the conflict in Mindanao and the challenges of clan feuds (called rido in Maranao), has strived to embrace peace and worked together toward a future that is safe, sustainable and prosperous. Sperheaded by a neophyte yet visionary Municipal Mayor of Nunungan, Lanao del Norte Mayor Marcos Mamay. He prioritized peace and order through settlement of family feud and priotizes infrastructure projects in his locality with support from national government through Duterte administration and the provincial government.

Dump trucks and four-wheel drive vehicles have been the only means of transportation available to traverse the 15-kilometer road to and from the inland town for four agonizing hours. But under the leadership of Mayor Marcos Mamay, things have changed as the roads are being built to make the journey just over 20 minutes.

When the road project is completed, agricultural products – including strawberries and vegetables like those cultivated in Baguio – from the arable land of Nunungan will reach the market and supply the needs of neighboring places in the region, and possibly even as far as the Visayas and Luzon.