BECAUSE of the widespread brownout that was felt even far beyond the bounds of Baguio City, unexpectedly much less ears came to hear. But that did not deter the invited guest of honor and speaker from expressing his heart out, to the focused edification of those who heard him. Even the master of ceremonies, he said, was mastered to attention and spent time gathering the pieces of golden nuggets that fell from the mouth of the speaker.

The scenario described above took place in the very auditorium of the BARP Center at Upper Buhagan Road, Cresencia Village Barangay, this City; last Saturday morning, March 24, 2018.

To cut the story short, he hit the nail on the head in getting audience attention and rapport by bringing to fore a topic that much concern them at present, namely the concrete hardships, the trials of one’s life. For the BARP members who faithfully came that morning for their monthly general assembly meeting (yes, meeting supposed to be but seems never is, for absence of scheduled open forum), it was great consolation to hear words of encouragement in the face of great odds. The speaker relayed in perfect good taste concrete events of his life that tread the proverbial route of “rags to riches” despite great odds.

He told of the difficulties of going to school because of not only financial constraints but mental limitations at early childhood which prompted his father to tell him, “Tulungannac laengen nga agmula (help me to plant)” in their farm garden. But then through hard work and focus, he finished elementary then patiently high school.

He did not mention if he was able to finish four-year college. But, to his own surprise, because of the basic education that he was able to attain, he in time tried to run for kagawad, and was welcome to win. He tried his best to serve therein and run for barangay captain and won, then tried vice mayor and won again. The more he tried his best and people prevailed upon him to try for mayor and now he is mayor.

He told of other interesting lesson-teaching incidents of his life but unfortunately cannot be all accommodated here. Suffice it to say that he told his worth imitating service resume in a sincerely entertaining manner despite predicaments.

We become believers in fortune or luck but come to realize that after all is said and done, luck does not come just like magic but must be preceded by hard effort and work and belief in a Superhuman Manager to whom faith, hope and love must be directed.

I believe in God, he said, I always start with a prayer (to Him) and end with a prayer (of thanksgiving and praise). Believe we the speaker; he was and is no other than exemplary Mayor Ignacio R. Rivera of Tuba, a neighboring municipality here in southern Benguet. Salamat, po, Mayor!

For the BARP members especially the officers, who lent their ears to him, it must have been a heavenly-sent message.

BARP is somehow at its crossroads for the moment. No doubt about that, trials it is experiencing is useless denying, but they are subject to being overcome. The causes are not at all organizational.

They are just behavioral, especially of officers on top of the authority pyramid. Go on retreat this Holy Week to change conduct and behavior.

Follow the civic and moral designs traced by the Divine Architect and the building that is you and the BARP Center will gonna be alright! Thank you again, Mayor Rivera, having come to show and you have for your timely leadership words backed by example, good for the young ones and once upon a time.