EUPHORIA. The winners and followers are all smiles. Those who didn't make it stayed home. Others who still have some funds left for their favorite destinations, not necessarily to lick their wounds but reflect and keep solving what went wrong. Life is like that. There are people who can take defeat graciously. And there are people who can be magnanimous in victory.
Unsolicited advice to the winners and followers: Remain humble. Be like the palay grown on those rice fields. "Nung kapilan ya mabunga karin ya duduko king gabun." It's when the palay has more of the golden grain that it will kneel on the ground. Power is only transitory.
Two friends of mine from the Wednesday Club, Romy Pecson of Magalang and Antonio "TJ" Rodriguez of Capas, are now in contrasting situation. Romy won by 27 votes against the incumbent Mayor Malu Lacson. On the other hand, TJ was handed his second defeat by Mayor Reynaldo Catacutan. In the last two Wednesdays of the month of May, both hosted a fellowship. Romy brought a Johnny Walker Blue Label whiskey and two bottles of not too expensive French red wine. The dinner served at the fabulous Mr. Choi's Garden resto of Royce Hotel and Casino inside Clark Freeport livened the evening. We raised our glasses for a victory toast. But I tell you, Romy never went to bragging about his successful comeback but only told us his experience.
TJ is one of the many Tarlaqueños who I was able to make as a friend. He was born to wealth. His mother, Aling Gloria, is one successful rice trader in Capas. She never agreed on TJ entering politics. But when her persuasion didn't work, like any other mother, she went supporting him all the way. TJ served one term and he did accomplish many things for his town. Last Wednesday, he hosted us a delicious dinner at the family-owned Matam-ih restaurant also inside Clark Freeport. It was one unforgettable dinner with inimitable Engr. Rico Guilas cracking jokes and seconded by Congressman Rey Umali look-alike Joseph Policarpio, while the rest of us cracking crabs and balat lechon. There was not a hint of sadness on TJ's face. He took his defeat graciously. You may want to ask Ferdie Beltran, Atoy De La Cruz, Manny Alfonso and Ric Limjoco who were part of the group that evening.
It was many years in the making why Jing Capil defeated Vice Mayor Dexter David and former Pampanga Governor Mark Lapid. Dexter's family is one of the richest in Porac. His lola Servillana "Atsing Biling" Lumanlan David was a successful businesswoman who established the first rural bank of the town. His father, the late Roy David, was a well-loved town executive. His sister Fritzie is Nanay Baby Pineda's constant companion. Dexter did well as vice mayor. Mark Lapid even invited Vice Ganda and Coco Martin of the popular Probinsiyano TV series. It didn't work. He was a poor third. Jing prepared steadily for the mayoral post. He is called the medicine man. He gave medicine to most people who needed it and even to those who didn't need it. He solidified his resources and planned carefully with chosen ward leaders.
In my book, the three most successful political comebacks in the last mayoral elections were scored by Rene Maglanque of Candaba, Bobong Flores of Macabebe and Romy Pecson of Magalang. Flores is the most senior in years among Pampanga mayors. The Pampanga Mayors League (PML) will be electing their new officials. Anyone among the three is qualified. Or maybe Mabalacat City Mayor Cris Garbo can be asked to serve as head of the league.