THE people of this town are called Mexicanos, but not to be mistaken to the Spanish speaking Mejicanos where in the early years Emiliano Zapata was hailed as a hero. This is the other Mexico, the home of Mexican boxers whose best ring fighters were subdued by our people champ, Manny "Pacman" Pacquiao. The Mexico I am writing about is a municipality in Pampanga and home to hospitable, respectful and awesome people.
Hometown of my late Cumpareng Ram Mercado, former Daily Express Editor Ernie Tolentino, House of Representatives Deputy Speaker Aurelio "Dong" Gonzales, actress Amy Austria and actor Rio Vinson. Let's add the famous families who were originally from Mexico town like the Lazatins, Panlilios and Hizons.
There is lavish praise on the today's leader, the indefatigable Mayor Teddy C. Tumang who is also known as the father of well-known couturier Mak Tumang whose creations are worn by Philippine beauties in international pageants like that beautiful red dress paraded by Miss Universe Catriona Gray. The celebrated Mak is now one of the most sought fashion designers in the country today.
As a testament to his leadership, a post in one Facebook account which has 1.8K likes with 815 positive comments, "Tumang is the man behind Mexico's success and countless achievements. He is the man who gave his heart and self for the love and service to his fellow Mexicanos."
The unprecedented growth of the town and growing by leaps and bounds, is for all to see. Progress of the town is accelerating and given few more years it will become a city, by his calculations. The investment keeps pouring in. The town is witnessing business activities never witnessed before. Example. Panipuan, an outlying barangay, Far from the poblacion of the town will be hosting a supermarket and several buildings are now under construction just off the North Luzon Expressway (NLEX). The town's unprecedented growth under his watch made him unbeaten in his many political outings.
Tumang is spritely young at 57 and spiritedly focused on his many undertakings. For all intents and purposes, he can't be said he hails from an illustrious family rather was born to common rural folks. His mother Dolores, whom Teddy described as the most beautiful woman in the whole wide world married twice and is a product of his mother's second marriage to Pablo, a farmer and overseas worker. The family lived a simple life in barangay San Miguel just like any ordinary rural folks.
He graduated from Pampanga High School and wasn't able to finish his college studies at the Assumption College in the City of San Fernando where he took AB English because politics beckon. He was elected barangay chairman in 2002 and was elected the president of the Association of Barangay Captains. Only two years as a village chieftain and still warming his seat and was still trying to learn ropes, so to speak, when he join the mayoral race in 2004 and beat then incumbent Mayor Ernesto Punzalan. He served for three terms. He run for a seat in the provincial board and won as an independent which was quite a feat. After three years at the provincial Capitol, he reclaimed his seat at the municipio after beating the incumbent Roy Manalastas.
It is said that among all virtues of man, it is the act of giving that is the most deeply connected to happiness. That's how Mayor Teddy Tumang is best described. He is happy serving his people, and in return his constituency are happy.