THE first time I got to see Atty. Ed Pamintuan was way back when I was in preschool. My father took us to Baguio to meet with some important people. We slept overnight in a house with the large group. Among the crowd was human rights lawyer Edgardo Pamintuan. When the dawn broke out, I was asked by my parents to recite a declamation in front of those adult people. And so, I complied.
Little did I know that Atty. Pamintuan has put a small can near me. And after every piece of vehement oratory, I would hear the clinking of coins being dropped inside the can. I started to get excited and I went on and on. When I saw that the can is almost full of coins, i stopped, went to the room, and began to count my earnings.
My second meeting with EdPam was quite different because I was already in high school and I was sound asleep. Days before my father died, Mayor EdPam visited Dr. JoPel at the hospital. When I woke up, my mom (Glo Banal Pelayo) told me about the mayor's visit.
Our third meeting was a blissful one. It was my wedding day and he's one of our principal sponsors. He brought along the elegant Tita Miniang Pamintuan and my kumpadre, Edu Pamintuan. Secretary EdPam gave a speech and initiated the toast.
Our fourth meeting was when I was already a TV reporter. He was a cabinet member of President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo and I got to interview him numerous times. At one time, Sec. EdPam texted me that if I get to interview PGMA again that I should mention who my father was and he made me aware of her possible reaction. The opportunity came, I got to interview the president again and when I mentioned former social welfare secretary Jose Pelayo, her eyes glittered as EdPam predicted.
In May of 2010, Atty. Edgardo Pamintuan won his 3rd mayorship in Angeles City. And this was start of my strong friendship with EdPam. My tenure under the Pamintuan administration was an experience like no other. I began to realize as time goes on that the man is pure. His compassion and dedication to service is contagious.
EdPam has the gift to comprehend matters swiftly and he enchances this quality by listening to the people. Not all leaders know how to listen.
He does not skip the basic. During our meeting with Governor Vilma Santos of Batangas last 2012 in Clark, EdPam shared a secret to the actress-turned-politician about starting from the basics in governance. Some officials tend to overthink and forget to deliver the basic services.
When EdPam excused himself in the meeting, I stayed with Governor Vi for an on-cam interview. She brought her whole department and provincial heads for a workshop for building a strategic team for better governance. During her speech, she went impromptu and shared what Mayor EdPam has said to her earlier.
Another good trait that I'm still developing to learn from him is that he easily forgives to those who had wronged him. People came and went off. Some tried to abuse his kindness but EdPam has been bestowed with the ability to grant pardon with ease. He is no saint but that particular distinguishing attribute to a certain degree is divine.
I will miss so many things about my time as EdPam's spokesperson. I will miss the press conferences and interviews by my colleagues. I will miss representing him in various activities, programs and occasions. I will certainly miss speaking formally on his behalf, the flag ceremonies during Mondays, broadcasting on the radio thrice weekly, writing speeches for him, the smell of the office, the soda crackers for Monday brunch, canteen's Sulak, the people inside and outside the core group, the campaign periods, and the announcement of suspension of classes. I will definitely miss serving the people with EdPam.
To my team in Partido Abe Kapampangan, thank you for the opportunity and for the friendship.
It has been a great honor and pleasure serving with EdPam for the city of Angeles. I will cherish it for the rest of my life.