Guia Gomez of Silay

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Thursday, January 31, 2013


HER world today is like a polished oyster filled with pearls… in return, she has a passion to serve the people with selflessness, dedication and courage, like her idol Gabriela Silang. These are the words of writer-photographer Tess Manson-Alegre on Guia Guanzon Gomez.

This is not the first visit of Guia Gomez to Silay. Before, she was here to campaign for you know who. She was busy in the campaign trail but she was guest of honor of Silay Resettlement Project and guest speaker of two women’s organizations. Her visit in Silay last January 25 was very well arranged. She was met at the airport by Mayor Jose Montelibano, Vice Mayor Mark Golez and some close friends. I was there with my tourism staff to give the lady mayor of San Juan a warm welcome.

Guia is the eldest among the three children of the late OB-Gynecologist Doctor Dominador Gomez (a board top notcher) of Silay City and businesswoman Paz Guanzon of Iloilo City. She is always described as the beauty-and-brains daughter. She was baptized in Silay (San Diego Church).

“Ver, this is the second time that I am visiting the Church and now it is already a pro-cathedral. I was baptized here. One of my godparents is the world-renowned mezzo soprano Conchita Gaston.”

She is a BSBA major in Accounting from the Philippine Women’s University, a consistent valedictorian from her elementary days, excelling not only in academics but in extra-curricular activities as well. She studied at the University of Negros Occidental (1947-1953), The Philippine Women’s College, Davao City (1953-57), and the Philippine Women’s University, Manila (1957-1961). In school, she was a student council treasurer, a girl scout, a hula and ballet dancer, a declaimer, a glee club member, a drama artist, an editor of the school paper, a piano freak, among others.

Mayor Oti Montelibano and Vice Mayor Mark Golez hosted a humble lunch for her in Balaring shoreline restaurant and a welcome dinner at the Sen. Jose C. Locsin Cultural and Civic Center. The multi-sectoral groups were there to remind her that she is a Silaynon and to congratulate her for her various achievements for the nation. Mayor Oti Montelibano honored her with a toast and giving her the “Silaynon Award of Excellence.” “Silaynons work hard to make Silay number one, and here we have a lady from Silay who became a mayor of San Juan City . . . and made San Juan number one.”

Mayor Guia Gomez has shown exemplary leadership not only in governance but also in business and cooperatives, scouting movement, national Red Cross, sustainable development, council for women, family and life movement. Since 1994, she was the national president of the Balikatan sa Kaunlaran (BSK) Foundation. BSK is involved in many literacy projects and its productivity center offers workshops and seminars on many livelihood skills.

She is a believer of the Roman poet Horace. “Carpe diem guam minimum credulapostero.” She wants to grab a day since challenges and opportunities knock but once, one must act and not delay until tomorrow.

She invited Mayor Jose Montelibano to bring the performing artists of Silay (rondalla members and dancers) to San Juan City to have interaction with her performing artists also. She asked for a DVD copy of “Rediscover Silay” because she wants to show her people in San Juan the roots of her origin. Among others, she is in Negros Occidental to let her “ka-probinsya” know that her son, Cong. JV Ejercito Estrada is running for senator. “Let JV be your voice in the senate.”

Tita Ging, Silaynons are proud of you. Keep up the good work. Be proud that you are a Silaynon Negrosanon!

Published in the Sun.Star Bacolod newspaper on January 31, 2013.

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