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Tuesday, December 17, 2013


BARRIO Kuliat, now Angeles City, used to be part of the municipality of San Fernando. While there are more multi-millionaires per square mile in Angeles than in CSF, genuine Fernandinos nurture a quiet and unspoken "superiority" over the Angeleños.

The fact that San Fernando has been the capital town of Pampanga for many decades gives the historic place greater significance, more renown, and stronger influence in the cultural life of the Pampangos than old Kuliat.

One tangible proof of the Fernandinos’ innate leadership capabilities was the recent disaster in the Visayas when the CSF-based Pampanga Chamber of Commerce and Industry initiated a massive fund drive and relief operations for the Yolanda victims.

Nothing of the spirit, magnitude, and consistency that the PamCham demonstrated in its relief campaign was noted or even glimpsed at the Metro Angeles Chamber of Commerce (MACCI). What seemingly set apart the Fernandino leaders with their Angeles counterparts are the former’s organizational genius, their solidarity, and the passion to uphold Kapampangan pride and sense of duty.

While Angeles is home to several billionaires, the city does not have a television station. The MCN is based in Clark and is owned by Tsinoy IT icon Dennis Uy. Even the radio station in the city is owned by a Bulacan entrepreneur.

San Fernando prides in the first TV station in the province (CLTV 36) and is host to the three largest provincial newspapers led by Sun.Star Pampanga.

Four tabloids based in Angeles City have little influence in social and cultural transformation. I am yet searching for a great Angeleño who can match San Fernando’s Levy Laus in leadership, vision for the province, and community development.

Angeles was proud to have had Engr. Peter Nepmuceno who stood out as a gallant, proud, and involved leader for peace, progress and development. Peter’s voice is hardly heard now, and his towering shadow of the past is cast only at Nepo Quad. While Fernandinos are in the world map because of their giant lanterns, Angeles city is famous because of Aling Lucing’s (sisig).

Another evidence of the Fernandinos’s social and cultural dominance over the Angeleños is the more popular, glittering, and vastly lavish “Circulo Fernandino”. The Angeleños have their own social bash, The Kundiman. Judging from the gems and jewelry worn by the Fernandinos, the richest matron from ancient Kuliat is outshone in the size and cost of their diamonds. The notorious “Apache Gang” of San Fernando invaded Angeles in the ‘60s but none of the gangs from the latter would attempt to do likewise.

The capital town hosts the Archbishopric, the Capitol with its round of Governors, Camp Olivas and its military (police) generals, and the line agencies of the government. That alone creates an aura of superior placement in the hierarchy of power for San Fernando.

The one thing that unites and bonds the two cities is the stark reality that both of them do not have a proper and decent public park. City Mayor Ed Pamintuan is bothered and agitated by this anomaly. He is rushing to establish a modest city park with a secured well lighted promenade. Patriotic taxpayers understand the mayor’s delayed vital project and some as they welcome the adjusted RPT with little hesitancy.

In contrast to the huge PamCham operations, Mayor Ed must have felt embarrassed by the paucity or lack of organized fund drive by the local business organization for Yolanda victims. To make up for this lamentable failure, he will be leaving for the Visayas next week to bring City Hall’s modest financial contribution (P1 million) to the victims.

An oldtimer here observed that Angeles becomes superior to San Fernando in two ways: its higher ground elevation which drains bad water from the city downwards to CSF, and the world famous red light district (Area) and the sex workers in Balibago.

It is in the latter joints that the Fernandino youth gets his traditional baptism, which if he is careless and unlucky, gets infected. It’s an initiation he will not forget for life.

That makes Angeles a most memorable place for most young men in Pampanga, especially raunchy scions of some Fernandino aristocrats who really feel superior over the upland dwellers, including
Negritos of the mountain.

--oo0oo--

God never closes a door
without opening a window.
He always gives us
something better every day.

Published in the Sun.Star Pampanga newspaper on December 18, 2013.

Opinion

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