Angeles Blessed-A A +A
By Ram Mercado
Sunday, August 25, 2013
AMONG the “blessed’ places in Pampanga, I find Angeles as truly one.
This is one of the reasons why I decided to live here although my favorite town of my youth was San Fernando.
A glance of the chronological events in old Kuliat (then Angeles town, to city) told how this community had been battered by natural and man-made calamities but always prevailed in time.
The town could not be flattened for long after each devastating earthquake, destructive fire, killer-typhoons. Neither rampaging floods, strong quakes, huge conflagrations could knock the residents down their feet.
When I decided to move to Angeles in the late 60s, I found the city in a moral dichotomy. On one side is the area for “sinners.” On the other divide live the “saints.”
If the city was placed on a weighing scale, its population turns heavier at night in the Balibago area, the “R and R” center of US soldiers at Clark.
The sins of Gomorrah at the rest and recreation district could not overcome the saintly and pious energy in the other half of the city.
This is where the main Catholic church, a nunnery, a former seminary, a host of village chapels, INC churches are located. Prayers, devotions and continuous worship at these places -- especially at the chapel of the Blessed Sacrament -- seemed to cast a divine mantle over the whole city. The Carmelite nuns are in perpetual worship.
Proof of my contention of life’s ideal condition in Angeles was experienced in the past Habagat days when residents were spared the distress and punishment by floods that swept other communities.
People are watching how their leaders perform during bad times. Now it appears that the political destiny of City Mayor Ed Pamintuan is being launched and directed by extreme weather conditions.
The Pinatubo disaster catapulted him to the mayoralty. He shone as the core leader in massive rehabilitation work, in cleaning and lighting the ravaged city, and restoring people’s confidence in its future.
EdPam led his lahar brigade -- with Alex C as commander -- to make bridgeless Abacan River passable to thousands of commuters on feet. He brightened an otherwise gloomy and desolate city with his populist street festival, Tigtigan Terakan King Dalan.
He gives equal concern to both the legal and illegal settlers. With Rochelle Aguilar-led city disaster management team, he assured the wellbeing of riverbank dwellers by not putting them on harm’s way.
EdPam wants the city safe, drug free, with smooth traffic and clean surroundings. He leads the police in the drive against predators -- illegal recruiters, trafficking of women, and hired killers.
Religious communities are united in supporting his good governance. He was reelected by the collective forces who demand efficient services, expect honest leadership, and a far-sighted vision for making Angeles an ideal and highly habitable city.
Angeles, Blessed City!
Published in the Sun.Star Pampanga newspaper on August 26, 2013.