An ordained minister and registered social worker, Rev. Edwin Ibanez Lariza has integrated spirituality in the service of the people in his administrative and leadership functions in the academe, church and community endeavors, and professional organizations, respectively. Consistent advocate in the social work profession and pastoral ministry, he was awarded as one of the Ten Outstanding Social Workers of the Philippines in 2004. The Convention Baptist Ministers Association which he led as national president for six years bestowed on him the honor as President Emeritus in 2010.
However, he has also a foretaste of media and publications work, having been trained in journalism and basic video production. As such, he served as publication officer of Central Philippine University for three years. Other writing experiences consist of a decade work as editor-in-chief of church related publications and moderator/adviser of the University yearbook and other student publications. He has written a book on spirituality and community service and co authored a service learning resource book and textbook on religion and ethics.
Other media exposure includes serving as executive producer & host of CATV show and program coordinator/manager of the University Channel. Currently, he maintains a TV show and radio program which discusses politics, spirituality and service.
A product of the Central Philippine University and Convention Baptist Bible College where he completed his Bachelor of Theology; Bachelor of Science in Social Work and Diploma in Theology, respectively, Rev. Lariza. earned his Master of Social Work from the University of the Philippines- Diliman.
Rev. Lariza is a consistent advocate of volunteerism. Among his voluntary involvements are as follows: president and chief executive officer of CPU Katin-aran Communities Inc.; executive director of Iloilo House of Refuge (Crisis Center for Women and Children); president, Iloilo Coalition of NGOs and POs (ICON); coordinator, VOICE-Western Visayas, network of volunteer organizations; president, Centralian Volunteers; regional chairman and member of the national board of the Philippine Association of Social Workers and the National Association for Social Work Education; and member of the Executive Committee of the Regional Development Council Western Visayas, being the chairman of the Social Development Committee.
An organizer of various NGOs and networks, Rev. Lariza has played significant role in networking and volunteerism. Having been elected as NGO representative to the Executive Committee of Provincial Development Council (PDC), he served as co-chair of the Governor of the Province in the PDC for three consecutive terms. It was in such capacity that he initiated the move which resulted to both provincial and city ordinances that institutionalized the celebration of the NGO-PO Week in Iloilo every first week of December to give due recognition to the role of NGOs, POs, and other civil society organizations in nation building.
While undergoing medication, he resumes work as professor in Central Philippine University, Iloilo City. Rev. Lariza also heads the Learning Institute for the Fullness of Life and Empowerment (LIFE), Inc. A professional body of volunteer social workers, educators, clergy, lay, youth, community development workers that advocates the attainment of the fullness of life and empowerment by providing lifetime opportunities for learning and service.