Angélica Sáenz, Rafael J. Ibarrula y José Manuel Calzada reciben las Insignias San Bernabé 2024

Angélica Sáenz, Rafael J. Ibarrula y José Manuel Calzada reciben las Insignias San Bernabé 2024

Angélica Sáenz, Rafael J. Ibarrula, and José Manuel Calzada received the Insignias of San Bernabé 2024 on Monday in a ceremony held in the council chamber of the City Hall of Logroño. The event was attended by almost the entire Municipal Corporation, as well as friends and family of the honorees.

These distinctions aim to recognize the personal and professional trajectory, dedication, and work for the city of the distinguished individuals.

After the welcoming words from the President of the Plenary, Leonor González Menorca, Jesús Vicente Aguirre read a profile of the first honoree, José Manuel Calzada. Aguirre recalled, «eleven years ago, in this same room, José Manuel dared to present a short Quixote, which was me, to receive the insignia. The same one he will receive today.»

About Calzada, he said, «I don’t know many people who know Logroño and La Rioja like José Manuel.» He also highlighted his «commitment, honesty, and knowledge of being, like another Quixote, because he always believed in duels with words rather than swords.»

Calzada, who has lived in Logroño for over forty years, is a journalist by training and a retired civil servant of the Logroño City Council. For many years, he directed the municipal press office. In 1986, he created and promoted the municipal newspaper «DE BUENA FUENTE» and also the short story prize of the same name.

He is an active collaborator of the Popular University. In 1994, he wrote the lyrics of the Anthem of Logroño, a song whose formalization as the city’s anthem was unanimously approved in the municipal council on May 16.

After receiving the Insignia from the Mayor of Logroño, Calzada wanted to share a memory of his grandfather with everyone. He explained, «He couldn’t read or write. He could barely sign his name, and yet, he was enlightened. He could speak in verse, and that is transmitted in the DNA and that’s how I spent my free time, making verses.»

He also wanted to remember in the council chamber of the City Hall that it was «the place where I found the inspiration to write the lyrics of the Anthem in Logroño.» A verse that says: Nobody in Logroño feels like a stranger. Let’s not pretend. Forget about it.»

After this Anthem, he reflected, «the verses should belong to everyone. Anthems are not anthems until people sing them, and when people sing them, no one knows the author. This is the infinite glory of the composer. Audience. People say that no one wrote them,» he concluded.

Next, Nerea Nogueira read a profile of Rafael Jacinto Ibarrula. The singer highlighted Ibarrula as «someone who started the path with humility and without much noise, that’s why he stays in the hearts.»

«Rafael did very important work for children and created musical works with albums dedicated to education and teaching. He always instilled in us the love for music and composition.»

Therefore, she continued, «Rafael is not content, he always wants to stay on the cutting edge of new musical trends to teach the youth. I am very proud to follow in his footsteps and learn from music but, above all, to be generous with others.»

Ibarrula, a musician-composer from Logroño, started his musical career at the age of 13, and at 14, he joined his first group. He considers himself a self-taught musician. Pianist, composer, and musical arranger. He has been a professional musician since 1976.

In his musical career, he has been part of various groups and formations, especially Keaton, Carmen Jesús e Iñaki, Iregua, Orchestina la Moderna, Son de Luna, Los tres del son, and, above all, his most personal project ILLO GRONIO. He has also collaborated with bands like Los Átomos, or singers like Jacinto Salazar and Nerea Nogueira.

The composer of the Anthem of Logroño in 1994, he has an extensive discography with the mentioned groups over the last 50 years.

After receiving the insignia, which he accepts «with great honor,» Ibarrula recalled that «when we set out to make the Anthem in Logroño and I saw the lyrics written by José Manuel Calzada, I knew the song was on its way, and I am very grateful for those lyrics.”

He explained, «I am the one who has the music, not the one who has the lyrics, and that’s why I like to infuse emotions into the music. For me, music has power, it reaches the heart.»

He continued, «Music is feeling; loves, heartbreaks, joys, unforgettable moments… all of these stay inside. Music fills our hearts. It transports us to places, it’s as much music as feelings. It allows us to connect with others. It is the greatest gift of humanity.»

Delighted, he expressed, «seeing so many people singing the Anthem of Logroño, feeling the festive joy of belonging to this city, is priceless.» Finally, he wanted to share this insignia «with my wife and my colleague Alfredo Rodríguez, who provided the vocals for the Anthem and was a very important part of it.» He dedicated his insignia to «all musicians, regardless of their genre.»

Finally, Ángelica Sáenz Ruiz-Navarro received her own distinction, and her life and professional trajectory were reviewed by her children, Santiago and Rafael Vivanco, beforehand.

«It is an extraordinary pride to be able to talk about our mother. For Angélica – said her children – painting was and is one of her great passions. In a life dedicated to her children, the Vivanco project, and art, Ángelica is «a great wife, a great mother, and a great person characterized by her humility and deep values.»

«Accustomed to her life in Alberite, living in Logroño has changed her daily routine, but she is happy to go for walks with her friends or her brother Pepe, or visit the CCR. She is happy because it’s like having a museum at home.»

Angélica Sáenz Ruiz-Navarro, born in Alberite in 1949 and a resident of Logroño for two decades, is the daughter of farmers and small winegrowers. Married to the winemaker Pedro Vivanco, who passed away in 2016, she has two sons, Santiago and Rafael.

Since 1980, she has balanced her dedication to her family with her career as a painter, which has led her to hold various exhibitions. This artistic sensitivity was also reflected in her contribution to the creation of the Vivanco Museum of Wine Culture in Briones.

Very pleased, Angélica Sáenz thanked for this reception because «it is true, we feel and love Logroño very much.» «Thank you because I understand that with this insignia, you are also honoring my beloved husband, Pedro.»

«We have always tried to be a simple and hardworking family. I try to teach this to my children and grandchildren. My husband and I wanted to do something that was always related to the land and wine because wine has given us everything. The Vivanco family and I will always be there for whatever you need.»

The event ended with the words of the Mayor of Logroño, Conrado Escobar, who highlighted the value of all the honorees.

He explained that the distinctions offered by the city, through the council, «represent the mandate of the people of Logroño, to represent us wherever possible.»

He also «conveyed his gratitude to Logroño, precisely, for its contribution to a city that proudly carries its values.»

«These insignias are yours, but we all enjoy them because we all, for example, sing the Anthem of Logroño, read the newspaper De Buena Fuente» and also «Logroño is our wine» because «it represents the way of understanding life in La Rioja and in Logroño.»


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