I REMEMBER then City of San Fernando Mayor Edwin Santiago declared in his inaugural speech "Fernandino First." Whether it was meant to impress the Fernandinos or he really meant it, it was good sound byte. "All jobs and benefits of social services are exclusively for the residents only," he said emphatically.
It was not really meant an exclusion of non-Fernandinos. Most businessmen who do business in the city aren't from San Fernando. I can presume that most business owners in San Fernando are not residents of the city. Just recently, I had dinner at Ningnangan, owned by a former mayor of Sto. Tomas. I asked one of their working staff where their hired workers were recruited. He said from all over. Another new mall in the heart of the city is Jenra Mall of the Tan family of Angeles City. Some workers hired were from Angeles.
What I could suggest to Mayor Edsa is for him to start looking in interconnecting Sto. Tomas, Bacolor, Mexico, Angeles and other local government units to make Pampanga an ‘inclusive growth center'. I heard this idea from Tessie Sy Coson in a private talk with her during a recess in her PamCham guesting recently at LausGroup Event Centre.
When he was still at the helm, and before Mayor Cris Garbo succeeded him, Mabalacat City Mayor Marino Morales was dreaming big. He would want Mabalacat to be the Makati of the north. Not bad for a dream. It is alright to dream. Dreaming is strictly non-revenue, as they say. When he was town mayor he kept dreaming that Mabalacat will become a city, and it was realized. He was so persistent and focused. So the town morphed .But there times also that we should be practical, and to know what is realizable. Garbo now is attending to many social services. He wanted to help and be loved by his constituents. And he is succeeding. The latest I've gathered is that if ever Morales will make a political comeback, he will settle as vice mayor and maybe a running mate of Garbo, because the latter is so sure in getting a reelection. As a matter of fact, many Morales so-called "loyalists" though not all already switched their loyalty to Garbo.
Former Angeles City Councilor Irineo 'Bong' Alvaro, Jr. is now in the money. In his garage are latest models of BMWs. He is now a partner of BB International, a Taiwan company engaged in hotel and casino business. Hotel Midori casino where Alvaro is involved is making hefty profits. Eaglesky on line gambling operations is making bundles. Now some political leaders of Bong Alvaro are urging his return to public service. There are talks that he is eyeing the congressional seat or be in the Angeles City mayoral race, if ever elections be held in 2019. (You know this Duterte government is unpredictable. He may impose a revolutionary government or a Federal system may re-schedule an election). Back to Alvaro. No doubt he is a good material. He has a doctorate degree and is an experienced local legislator. Approachable and remained humble despite his new found status.
Former Congressman Carmelo Lazatin's timetable was upset as the barangay elections were postponed for the second time. He already moved his precinct registration from barangay San Jose to Balibago and suited up ready to battle against the wife of incumbent Barangay Captain Tony Mamac. His running for a barangay position is a preparation for taking another shot at city hall. No way he will hang up his gloves even after his defeat in the 2013 Angeles City elections.
When the bell ring, my Cumpareng Tarzan is ready to jump and come swinging. Public service is already in his bones and veins.
Published in the SunStar Pampanga newspaper on November 10, 2017.
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