PAMPANGA

Sangil: Ninang Gloria of Sto. Tomas

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SANTO Tomas's constituency experienced a dramatic change since Gloria "Ninang" Ronquillo assumed the mayorship and is busy now presiding in the speedier growth of the town. She is a consummate worker. She, like the well loved former Governor now Vice Governor Lilia "Nanay Baby" Pineda who sincerely cares for the poor, focuses more attention on the underprivileged sector though not overlooking her priorities to the other tasks. She is persevering and hands-on individual who wouldn't mind to walk an extra mile to achieve her desired goal.

"The archetype of the woman runs deep in the human psyche." That's how I describe gutsy women of courage. Ninang Gloria fits the description. She doesn't run away from a challenge. She was twice vice mayor of the town, once during the time of Lito Naguit and under John Sambo whom she trounced in the 2019 mayoral elections. Sambo, who is a protege of Congressman Rimpy Bondoc, only served one term. Despite the personal campaign of Bondoc, Sambo had a sorry loss. He was the sitting mayor when Ninang Gloria engaged him in the battle for Sto. Tomas. According to my sources from the town, Sambo didn't have a friendly relationship with several workers in the municipal government.

"Maybe it was his indifference and totally ignored the municipal council in those three years that caused his defeat," a highly regarded businessman in the town told me in of our afternoon coffee session. The other elected officials weren't treated well and many times were disrespected, he added. Seemingly, there was a drastic change in Sambo. I personally noticed that too. He was one time a member of Monday Club, a fellowship group in Angeles City. He frequently attended the fellowships. He was a nice and simple fellow as I knew him then. When he became mayor, I tried contacting him for an interview but failed to return my calls and messages. Sometimes, not only Sambo, but many succumbed to transitory power. My opinion is that many may have been unhinged to the fact that as elected officials they are there to serve and humility is mandatory and not an option.

Ninang Gloria was never a private woman. She was thrust into the political limelight when her late husband Romy aka Ninong was elected mayor of the town. People remember she was on his side in the service of the townspeople. Those times were her years of awakening. She now realized that it is her fate to be the Ninang of her constituents. She must be the parent to the youth of the town and be the caretaker of the old and the less privileged. That's embedded in her psyche and feels it in her heart. She knows her way to people. More so now that she is the mayor. She deals face to face to people each problem that is brought to her. She makes promises and she delivered them as she discharges her functions on "what's available and to the best of my abilities." She has no selfishness in her body. She makes constant visits and consultations are being made. Her being upright and treating everyone as equal, even to the lowliest employee in the municipio made her so popular among workers there.

According to the grapevines, Sambo may stage a comeback but Ninang is ready to meet him head-on. Political analysts are one in saying that Sambo was the sitting mayor backed up the powerful congressman of the district in the last elections, yet they weren't able to stop Ninang in giving the former a beating. Ninang is has still the backing of three popular former mayors of Sto. Tomas and several sectors, observers are saying.


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