Can Negros be one?

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Tuesday, June 10, 2014


LAST week, I had a pleasant visit to Dumaguete City on board an air-conditioned Ceres bus. The Yanson family has continually modernized land transport in Negros Island, Panay Island and even in Mindanao.

If founder Ricardo Yanson did not believe in comfort and convenience, we could have ended up traveling by land on those so-called double-tire buses.

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We were in Dumaguete to prepare for the upcoming 24th Unity Ride of the motorcycle clubs that compose the Visayas Confederation of Big Bike Club Philippines comprising 31 clubs. We are happy to accomplish our request to borrow the famous Rizal Boulevard along the seaside as the exhibit venue. We paid a visit to Vice Mayor Woodrow Maquiling Sr. who gladly told me that my request was welcomed to declare July 1 to 6, 2014 as the Motorcycle Safety Riding Week in the City of Dumaguete in time for the motorcycle event.

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The visit to the Negros Oriental Governor’s Office gave me a smile when the secretary informed me that Gov. Roel Degamo accepted my invitation to lead the big bikers to a ride from Dumaguete to Amlan and host a dinner for his fellow visiting big bikers.

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While having hamburger, fries and light beer at Honeycomb Tourist Inn, we heard of the issue on the move to make Negros Occidental and Negros Oriental a one-island region. We wondered how it would be re-named. It is not good sounding to call it Negros Island because we are not negros. Maybe Negros OccOr? Or Negros OrOcc.

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That Occidentals speak Hiligaynon or Ilonggo dialect and the Orientals talk the Cebuano dialect is not an issue though. If ever Governors Marañon and Degamo ride on to the idea, it would be nice to have that mountain link of Mabinay to be well paved permanently that not an inch of the road becomes a discomfort to the riding public considering that it is a long six-hour regular ride between the two provinces.

We see a conflict as to where the regional offices will be. Surely, the interested city will be Kabankalan. But Negrenses look at Iloilo City a more comfortable regional office point as it is only a one-hour travel and the Orientals find Cebu City a more convenient destination for regional needs. This issue is seen to be the main ingredient and spice as to whether the cake of One Negros can be baked or not.

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This column greets Babes Ortaliz-Fisher, Vicky Que, Edyll Tan, Dodong Bascon, Henry Espinosa, Carlo Ongsingco, Rushty Ramos, Raymond Gaston, Vice Mayor Mark Golez, Neneng Lucasan, Ferdie Santillan, Alex Roleda, Judge Pepito Gellada, and Jenny Lao.

Published in the Sun.Star Bacolod newspaper on June 10, 2014.

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