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At Close Range
Thursday, February 7, 2013
I SHOULD have touched on another blaring and blazing topic of the day but I cannot let an important event pass away without writing about it even though prominent writer and fellow columnist Noel Tulabut has already written a glowing account about the affair.
So, if there was one grand event done in Mabalacat City, it was the presentation night of the Miss Mabalacat City 2013 on February 3, a Sunday.
It was well executed that it could perhaps rival in magnitude and impact even those staged in Metro Manila; and the multitude of people who witnessed it could attest to the presentation's best points.
Everyone was visibly enthralled that Sunday evening that no one was discomfited over the almost an hour power outage suspected as systems overload. Everyone was still in place and waited for the proceedings to continue and voila! power was on and the splendid presentation moved on.
Elaborate acts were done and shown on three giant TV monitors were selected tourist-oriented places around the globe and the montages were given so much animation and life by dancers from the Mabalacat City Center for the Arts and the durable United Gay Power Movement.
Exquisite shrills were thrown the way of ABS-CBN soap series actor Richard Yap (Sir Chief) who sang to the 17 candidates for Miss Mabalacat City 2013! Di pa ba suki ng Mabalacat beauty pageant si Sir Chief?
Meanwhile, seated among the judges were: Marina Benipayo and Ricardo Cepeda who added glamour to the tourism officer-judges from different towns of Pampanga. Where was Mabalacat's tourism officer?
Except for the momentary glitch, the presentation was a resounding success and much credit should be given to Jun Magbalot and company.
In his remarks, Jun profusely thanked everybody who contributed to the success of the event. Mayor Boking Morales also gave his message and in it, he glowed over the development strides of the city and asked that everyone does his share to improve on their services being given the public. It was almost 1:00 a.m., when the affair formally ended and all those who witnessed it had good memories of that presentation.
Of course, Jun and his men stayed behind to clean up and put things in order for the awakening day's (Monday) work routine. The new Miss Mabalacat reigns supreme and the franchise lives on.
Not all have noticed or felt the impact of the reported 6% economic growth of the country. I received a text message from an acquaintance based in Metro Manila and commented thusly: "PNoy asking Pinoys to rejoice in trumpeting the so-called 6.6% Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth is like Marie Antoinette asking the poor hungry French who did not even have crumbs of bread to eat, to help themselves with imaginary cakes". Such reaction from someone who have lived in the crowded metropolis maybe all his life and, from the looks of things, he may be right.
I was handed copies of Mabalacat SB resolution nos. 167 and 184: the first reso urges the now city mayor to take action on the Resolution No. 9 of the Sangguniang Barangay of Calumpang on the signboards put up by Tarlac and the establishment of a satellite office on Barangay Calumpang. Resolution No. 184, meanwhile, urges the City Mayor to close down the operation of the Philippine Children's Fund of America (PCFA) which operates the profit-oriented Paradise Ranch owned by Fil-Am Erick Gomez and assisted by his administrator, Roman D. Goce.
The said Resolution No. 184 cites that, inter alia, Paradise Ranch had been paying its business taxes for FY 2007-2011 to the local government of Mabalacat City but by some reasons known only to Gomez and Goce, the so-called tourism-oriented enterprise shifted its allegiance and patronage to Bamban, Tarlac and indeed paid its taxes there. Would the Mabalacat City authorities take this blatant defiance sitting down? What now, Ka Roger and Mayor Boking, sirs?
Published in the Sun.Star Pampanga newspaper on February 08, 2013.