A Palaweña who provided home-cooked meals to the homeless, senior citizens, medical, and non-medical frontliners during the COVID-19 hard lockdowns received a “Laang Kawal Special Recognition Award” from the Philippine Air Force (PAF).

Melissa Grace Olit, a hospitality management professor for 13 years at Palawan State University (PSU), founder of Chef Aiza’s Community Kitchen, a PAF reservist, was conferred the special recognition by PAF commanding general Lt. Gen. Connor Anthony Canlas on Thursday.

Olit got the award almost at the same time as the other winners at the Col. Jesus Villanor Air Base in Pasay City.

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Olit said Palaweños must maintain the spirit of volunteerism to help the community bounce back amid challenges being faced.

“Let us all continue to search for ways to give back to the community and hope that in the future, the small ripples that we make will create waves of positive change towards a matatag, maginhawa at panatag na buhay,” Olit said.

Olit had also been previously awarded as an “Outstanding COVID-19 Volunteer” by the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) Regional Office in MIMAROPA in 2020 and 2021.

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is a desk editor and senior reporter of Palawan News. He covers politics, environment, tourism, justice, and sports. In his free time, he enjoys long walks with his dog, Bayani.