The Rotary Golden Wheel Awards Foundation and the Government of Quezon City honored the other night 12 eminent non Rotarians led by PNP Chief Oscar Albayalde and Kapuso actor Dingdong Dantes and 13 Rotarians of RI District 3780 with Mario R. Nery Vocational Excellence Awards led by Intellectual Property specialist lawyer Pablo Gancayco and veteran author, publisher and communications specialist Melandrew T. Velasco for his body of works in documenting outstanding Filipino patriots and statesmen.
Velasco has written and published more than 30 books over a span of over 18 years. He is better known in the literary circle as the family biographer of former Philippine President Fidel V. Ramos. Since 2000, he has authored and published books on the life stories of the former president’s family members namely: “An Enduring Legacy: The Life and Times of Ambassador Narciso Ramos;” “In A Class of Her Own: The Biography of Angela Valdez Ramos; “Simply Ming: The Life and Legacy of First Lady Amelita M. Ramos;” “Mommy: The Life Story of Josefa Jara Martinez – Pillar of Social Work; “Uncle Sim: The Legacy of Simeon Marcos Valdez;” and “Colors of Light: The Story, Poems and Paintings of Lucia Mangapit Valdez;” and FVR’s Ramos Peace and Development Foundation, Inc. (RPDEV).
Velasco, a native of Dagupan City, is a former seminarian at the Mary Help of Christians Seminary and Christ the King Mission Seminary (SVD) in Quezon City before he transferred to the College of Mass Communication in the University of the Philippines, Diliman where he earned his Bachelor of Arts in Mass Communications, major in Journalism degree in 1985.
He was nominated for the award by the Rotary Club of Cubao West president Rhyan Virrey of which Velasco was a past club president.
To date, Velasco has also authored coffee table books on various civic and religious organizations like Rotary International with “Embrace: The Heart of Service;” “The Golden Wheel Book: Inspiring Stories of Rotarians;” and “Love for Others is What Rotary and The Power of Serving Others with Past RI Director Rafael “Paing” Hechanova;” “Celebrating 100 Years of Kiwanis International and 50 Years of Kiwanis in the Philippines; “Faith, Hope and Love: 30 Years of the Bukas Loob sa Diyos” including select cities in Metro Manila and nearby provinces. Among these are “Parañaque: From a Pueblo to a Mega City by the Bay;” Nueva Ecija: A New Era of Peace and Progress” and “Pasay: A Royal Kingdom’s Evolution to Travel City.”
Among his most recent works include: “From Carriedo to Balara: 140 Years of Metropolitan Waterworks and Sewerage System;” “Accelerating Change and Transformation: 25 Years of Philippine Public Safety College;” “Kamagong: The Life and Legacy of Antolin V. Paule with SM;” “FVR XYZ Files: Anecdotes, Issues and Controversies and Trivia of Fidel V. Ramos; “15 Years of RPDEV: A Continuing Voyage for Enduring Peace and Sustainable Development” and “Silver Linings: The Continuing Saga of the 1986 EDSA People Power Revolution” due for relaunch this February.
Also a Junior Chamber International (JCI) Senator, Velasco was a recipient of the JCI Senate Philippines Golden Award in 2009 in the field of Literature and Mass Communications. He has invariably served as JCISP Director and National Chairman of the search for The Outstanding Filipino Physicians (TOFP) in 2008 and 2012. He now chairs the 2019 search for The Outstanding Filipino (TOFIL) Awards.
A contributor to Asian Journal Group of Publications owned by Roger Oriel, Velasco is the President and CEO of Media Touchstone Ventures Inc., a publishing and public relations outfit.