Issue of October 15, 2017
Mt. Province

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Miner turned mayor urges students to ‘never give up’
by Harley F. Palangchao

CASH DONATION -- Baguio City Mayor Mauricio Domogan turned over P150,000 cash to the Lepanto National High School and LNHS Alumni Association for their various projects and programs when he graced the 65th Foundation Day of his alma mater in Mankayan, Benguet.  Receiving the donation were alumni president Lionzel Wanawan and LNHS principal Nestor Dalay-on with Lepanto Consolidated Mining Company Vice President and Resident Manager Thomas Consolacion witnessing the turnover.
-- Harley Palangchao

MANKAYAN, Benguet – One of the most accomplished mayors the Cordillera has urged parents and students of his alma mater to live by the advice of Great Britain’s famous leader Winston Churchill to never give up even in most difficult times.

“If I may borrow the advice of the former Great Britain leader, Sir Winston Churchill, I have some words of advice for you. Never give up! Never give up! Never, never, never give up,” said Baguio City Mayor Mauricio Domogan, in addressing the 65th Foundation Day of the Lepanto National High School in this mineral and vegetable-rich town.

A member of LNHS class 1965, Domogan shared the hardship in life he has gone through as a young student from a very poor family living in one of the bunkhouses of the mining company. He recalled he was one of three students who attended classes wearing short pants most of the time and a pair of slippers made from old tires.

The multi-awarded mayor, who has guided Baguio to what it is today for more than two decades, even shared his most embarrassing moment in high school. It was during the Junior-Senior Prom when his assigned lady partner marched with him in the procession not with her hand on his arm but on his sleeve by her fingertips.

That incident eventually became one of the rallying points for him to excel in academics and to earn a degree and there was no turning back.

Students, teachers and parents tried to fight back their tears when Domogan shared he did not attend his baccalaureate graduation rites in Baguio because he was working as a lowly miner deep in the tunnels of Lepanto Mining Consolidated Company in a bid to earn for his tuition when he decided to take up Law.

Domogan was a young miner before he pursued his law studies at the Baguio Colleges Foundation, now University of the Cordilleras and passed the Bar in 1973.

Consistent with his advice, the Domogan urged all students to stay away from the evils of men such as vices, saying they should take advantage of the benefits the mining company has been extending to them and their school.

He shared that countless poor families from the countryside whose parents decided to work in the mines were able to send their children to college and most of them were successful in their respective fields of endeavor.

The former miner turned city mayor acknowledged that his alma mater, along with other schools within mining communities in Benguet, has produced graduates occupying key positions both in the private and government sectors.

But Domogan warned students and parents that the benefits they enjoy should be reciprocated with hard work and dedication to invest for the future, as he recalled when almost 1,500 mine workers were retrenched in 1976. The mayor was the longest serving legal counsel of the Lepanto Employees Union and helped form the mines’ supervisory union.

He also shared how a lowly “mucker,” an assistant to a miner, pled to the mayor to vouch for him after the former and labor union leader were about to be terminated for infractions. The mayor helped the mucker, who was able to send his children to college.

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