Mom and mommy Gene

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By Jonathan Llanes

The Maryknoller

Thursday, March 20, 2014


GOT a bit busy last week with the presentation of the 2014 PMA top 10 and graduation rites apart from having to do office errands. But as promised, we will feature in our column the women in the city who have shown greatness in their fields of expertise.

One of the my Mom's good friend is the only surviving member of Baguio City's ever popular "Three Witches", the first and only lady Mayor Virginia Oteyza-De Guia whom we fondly call Mommy Gene.

Aside from being one of my mom's (Dra. Adoracion Trias-Llanes) good friend, my mom was also was one of her physicians and often, I used to see Mommy Gene in my mom's clinic at the Baguio General Hospital and Medical Center and at the Benguet Laboratories for her regular check-ups when mom was still alive.

During one of the local elections, mom mentioned mommy Gene is the first and only lady Mayor of the City. And with our country’s trademark of having male politicians in power, this remains to be an amazing feat.
Mommy Gene was appointed as the 1st Filipina acting mayor of Baguio City in 1946 due to the serious illness felt of then mayor Jose Cariño.
Her appointment as the first and only female chief executive placed the Summer Capital in the limelight as she was more known then to be an actress in films.

Mommy Gene was born in December 26, 1917 at the then Baguio City, Mountain Province, Philippines. Married to Victor de Guia Sr., the husband and wife have four children, one of which is the famous independent film maker and artist "Kidlat Tahimik".

Although having a short stint in politics, Mommy Gene never forgot to show her love and admiration to the city where she was born.

This was explicitly witnessed when she together with former Baguio Midland Courier Editor Cecile Afable and well renowned Educator Leonora San Agustin fought for the preservation of the remaining trees, parks and other infrastructure from possible distraction.

And what about the famous Jadewell parking brouhaha where they together with former Mayor Braulio Yaranon, Bishop Carlito Cenzon, former Councilor Lilia Yaranon and business woman Nelia Cid and concerned citizens of Baguio showed their dismay against some scrupulous politicians raking money from the parking business?

These actions alone have proven to be an inspiration for future leaders to emulate.

Who says Baguio politics have no room for women? You don't need to be in politics to show support for our beloved Baguio City.

As they say, respect begets respect. And up to now, Mommy Gene still has that respect from residents as she has, time and again, shown to the younger once the importance of preserving whatever is left of our once beautiful Baguio.

And for the aspiring female politicians, emulate what she has and continues to show. The question to be answered by true blue born and raised Baguio people is, "How much do we really love Baguio?"

And if this should be the guiding question to be answered by our present and future female political leaders with the heart of a mother wanting only the best for her children, then I think we wouldn't have a hard time looking for our next lady mayor in the future.

Published in the Sun.Star Baguio newspaper on March 21, 2014.

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