It is About Meeting Friends

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Wednesday, August 20, 2014


PEOPLE -- I am no night person. Even when I was young I never stayed too late at night and always wanted to rest my head on my pillow before nine in the evening, and maybe snoring by ten. But last Wednesday night was an interesting one for a writer like me, meeting many long time friends and introduced to new acquaintances, that's why it was an exception and stayed late. It was the grand opening of Capas Mayor TJ Rodriguez' Matam-ih, a new restaurant inside the Clark Freeport serving authentic Kapampangan cuisine. Matam-ih, an aeta dialect means manyaman, masarap, delicious.

Like a butterfly, I fleeted to several tables to pick stories and opinions. Dennis Uy, the young entrepreneur who prides himself as a business partner of Apaliteno Manny V.Pangilinan(MVP) was interested in the forthcoming face-off between incumbent Mayor Ed Pamintuan and Senator Lito Lapid in the 2016 Angeles City mayoral race.

Intently listening in Dennis' table were Guagua food chain businessman Jess Nicdao, banker Jay Carlos, restaurateurs Manny Alfonso of Ribeye and Maricar Angeles of Binulo. At the opposite of the table were husband and wife Rene and Agnes Romero and District Engineer Rico Guilas of the Department of Public Works and Highways.

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In another beautifully decorated table were Tarlac Governor Vic Yap and Congressman Noel Villanueva of the third district. They were joined by local officials of Tarlac and some priests.

MORE FRIENDS- Moved to another table, and whom did I meet but the brothers Pineda of Concepcion, Tarlac, Chit and Susing. Chit was former president of Northern Cement and a known brain trust and man friday of Boss Danding Cojuangco. Susing was a former board director of Clark Development Corporation and National Power Corporation. I seated myself and joined the table where two members of congress, Representatives Oscar Rodriguez and Susan Yap of the second congressional district of Tarlac, together with Magalang Mayor Romy Pecson and Mabalacat businessman Joseph Policarpio were seated, and sampling the delicious lechon baka and some boiled crabs.

We all laughed out loud (LOL) as we kidded ourselves that we should be eating oatmeal instead of the 'killing me softly' fares. And we laughed even more when I provoked each to make assessment of the PNoy administration. Different opinions as expected.

OCA's VIEWS -- 'I am against charter change and won't agree even to the proposal of my colleagues, even those of Speaker Sonny Belmonte to amend some economic provisions'. 'President Noynoy is not in favor of extending his term, and didn't come from him that idea but was a result of a leading question thrown to Secretary Mar Roxas, and his answer was quoted out of context by an enterprising reporter'.

'Liberal Party will draft Mar Roxas as our presidential candidate, and though Jojo Binay is a close friend, I don't think he will pursue the straight path advocacy of the current administration'.

BONO's VIEWS- The day before, while having my favorite brew at the Starbucks at Marquee, I chanced on former Assemblyman Homobono Adaza, and inevitably we talked about politics.

In summary, his views. 'Cory Aquino's administration was a calamity, and Noynoy's administration is catastrophe'. The rest of the discussion was about aging gracefully.

Published in the Sun.Star Pampanga newspaper on August 21, 2014.

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