LITTLE as it may seem but this town is big in a lot of things.

Sto. Tomas, Pampanga is not a dot on the province's map nor it is a dwarf when compared to neighbor San Fernando, the capital and highly-urbanized premier city.

With only 22 square kilometers of land area, this town is big in a lot of aspects. For one, its cottage industries are entirely unique to its self - caskets, poultry and eggs, and pottery. You can never find these altogether thriving in any other town but only in this under-rated but growing 4th class municipality.

Updates on President Benigno Aquino III's presidency

Just how big are these livelihood sources? Well, for one -- the casket making -- make up for the Central Luzon's (yes, that's right not only the province but the entire region) need for the unwanted and often-considered unsightly product for the dead.

But caskets, no matter how morbid they are, are sourced almost exclusively here with 70 percent of the total supply coming from here. To give you a clearer picture: about 300 families are into casket making, each producing about 80 caskets a month. That's about 24,000 in total every month.

Just how big this small town's produce are you asked once again? It's as huge as serving as being one of the chief reasons why residents have food on their tables, clothes on their backs, shelter on their roofs. That is just the abhorred casket making. As to other industries? I tell you that the figures are handsome that they are good for the sustenance of more than 37,000 people here.

With these products unique to this town, I wonder no more why Mayor Joselito Naguit is pushing for an adoption of certain products for each of the seven villages in his municipality. If the national government has its OTOP (One Town, One Product), Naguit envisions a similar One Barangay, One Product. This is an idea that could very well make the town thrive even more in its socio-economic standing.

When successful, Sto. Tomas could even be better off than other Pampanga towns that largely depend on spillover effects from major investment destinations like Clark and Subic.

Mayor Naguit himself is no little man in creating socio-economic opportunities. As a businessman that once engaged in pottery, he has that entrepreneurial savvy and leadership. His meteoric rise to mayorship in just a matter of eight years could attest to that.

The mayor's no non-sense ideas coupled by what he has accomplished in his first term gave him a fresh mandate last May - overwhelmingly at that -- with almost a seemingly inexistent opposition in the results of the mayoral elections. He won by about 13,000 votes over his closest rival.

In his first term, Naguit wasted no time in seeking to build (literally and physically at that) a better town. New and rehabilitated roads implemented in his first term reached about 15 kilometers in length. All of those vital links in all seven barangays.

There were also new school buildings and classrooms that were built through the funds of the town as well as from benefactors and donors. Various social services, health, environment and agriculture projects were also implemented.

Among them are the distribution of 3,500 Philhealth Cards for indigents, scholarships, maintenance of birthing station, regulated garbage collection, street lights, distribution of fingerlings and palay seeds, the list goes on.

Oh not only the usual do-goodies, Mayor Naguit went a little farther than what ordinary local chief executives would do. He upped the stotomaspampanga.com website and a municipal wi-fi provision -- two cyber undertaking that connects the town to the rest of the world at the touch of a finger. Rarely do other mayors get to explore and maximize the power of the web.

Mayor Naguit knows the importance of cyber corridor too well.

He did not only bring the town to the world via Cyber connection. He also brought the Philippine President (Gloria Arroyo) to this municipality - the first one to do so in the town's 58 years (history has it that Sto. Tomas was detached from nearby Minalin town 212 years ago).

Not to forget, of course, is the town's cultural renaissance through the recent holding of Sabuaga festival - a new flower-scattering festivity. Sto Tomas is also known for its Sampaguitas lest I forget.

As he has gotten a new mandate, Naguit has under his sleeves sensible plans and programs. Already, he has inaugurated the first Sto. Tomas Evacuation and Multi Purpose Hall, acquired new mobile patrol cars for the local police, opened the Northville 12 early Childhood Care Development and Health Center and granted scholarship for 700 high school students.

He is pursuing the rehabilitation of that Compac Building along Macarthur Highway at the entry point to Sto. Tomas that houses court rooms, police station and other government offices. Already, he has sought and gotten support of Governor Lilia Pineda as well as Senator Francis Pangilinan whose lineage could be traced to Sto. Tomas. See, the mayor does not only spend personal resources in helping build vital facilities. He is well networked too with people who could help.

With all that he has done and would be doing, Mayor Naguit appears headed to break a myth in this town's historic past that no mayor had been given three consecutive terms. He could prove doomsayers wrong soon.

I am no believer of jinx and bad strings here but what I believe is that good men -politicos or not - are sent aloft in pedestals and power with their sheer hard work, commitment and determination.

Mayor Naguit is headed for that place, rightfully.