A litany of thanks, PJ and Gaye-A A +A
Wednesday, July 4, 2012
I DEDICATE this entire column to the local governments of Pinamungajan, Toledo City, Naga City, San Fernando, Carcar City, Barili and Aloguinsan, but more particularly to Mayor Geraldine Yapha and Rep. Pablo John “PJ” Garcia.
Without their help, we wouldn’t have accomplished what we did last weekend. They extended 100 kilometers of support to 121 people who thought of nothing better to do than run for 20 hours or so on dim roads, muddy paths and shade-less highways.
Thank you, Mayors Aurelio Espinosa of Toledo, Valdemar Chiong of Naga, Antonio Canoy of San Fernando, Nicepuro Apura of Carcar, Teresito Marinas of Barili, and Mayor Augustus Moreno and Vice Mayor Cynthia Moreno of Aloguinsan, and Mayor GayeYapha of Pinamungajan.
The presence of your policemen, barangay tanods, a medical team and refreshments crew along the race route at unholy hours gave the runners the confidence to accomplish their crazy goal of finishing 100 kilometers before 2 p.m. of July 1.
Thank God, we did not receive reports of runners being hit or run over by passing vehicles or being mugged. What could holduppers get from runners, their race bibs? They couldn’t rob runners Neil Nacario, Kit Quiseo and Rico Dale Wesley of their shoes because they were running barefoot.
Every step that took them farther away from your town or city meant they were getting closer to the finish line. Of course this would be a not-so-truthful statement if they were still in DAS, Toledo City, with 80K more to go.
Never mind if the pit stop or hydration station was not in our proposed location because the barangay captain here was not allied with you, and that you preferred another barangay. This meant we had to adjust the gaps between the pit stops. But the more important thing was, the hydration station was there.
Gaye Yapha, you deserve your own paragraph of thanks. We can never thank you and the local government of Pinamungajan enough for the generous hosting of our event. You gave more than what we requested. Goodness, no one could have topped what you did.
We extend our thanks to the Municipal Council, most especially Councilor Tonton Yapha who left nothing to chance, and to the other town officials.
I’d like to give special thanks to Pablo John for his help in our event. Four of the seven cities/towns covered by the race route belong to his district, the third. Within his powers as congressman, he had our race concerns attended to without so much a fuss.
The thing is, there’s political friction between him and the Yaphas of Pinamungajan.
But he and Gaye did something unprecedented in the political history of Pinamungajan: Show up together in a single event, shake hands, address a crowd without mention of anything partisan, and send off the runners in high spirits.
All this they did right in the beach resort of the Yaphas in Tajao, Pinamungajan. It was a tense situation for Gaye and the Yapha supporters and just as awkward for Pablo John. But they transcended their politics.
Pablo John fired the gun from a podium with Gaye beside him. When the runners were gone, I was left with both of them with no clue of what to do. Pablo John invited the organizers to dinner in his place in Poblacion and Gaye invited us to dinner in her place in Tajao. I didn’t hear them inviting the other. Hehe.
I didn’t want to say no to either, so I hauled the organizers first to Pablo John’s where we had alimango, bisayang manok, bas-oy and other seafood, then later back to Gaye’s where we had humba and lechon. I ate my tension away.
Gaye and Pablo John, thank you.
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on July 04, 2012.