Issue of April 14, 2019
Mt. Province

Panagbenga Flower Festival
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An Ibaloy, an Ilocano, and an Ifontok

The Ibaloy is Pam Cariño, great granddaughter of Mateo Cariño and Ortega Bayosa, granddaughter of the late businessman and lawyer Enrique Cariño Sr. (Enrique Jr. is her dad) who was also at one time the provincial attorney of Benguet.

Pam’s mother, my auntie Pacita, was a well-known social figure during her time, and I have memories of her driving all the way from their Dimasalang residence to visit me in Diliman, tucking in a P20 bill in my breastpocket before leaving.

In her 30s, Pam is a tireless civic worker with a bleeding heart for the poor and oppressed, particularly her own kin and blood suffering from the apathy and neglect of today’s political leaders.

A dreamer who wants to make a difference, her causes range from providing free education for streetchildren, and cheaper if not free medicine for the elderly and others with health concerns.

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The Ilocano, Jonathan Asprec Vergara, an unassuming young man who inherited his father’s humble traits and hardworking style of leadership, will surely be a big asset to the city government if elected councilor.

A civil engineer by profession, the city’s infrastructure problems is mostly in his thoughts, and deplores that road improvements are being used as parking areas, depriving other motorists from making use of the road.

He has also come up with plans on how to ease if not solve the traffic mess, putting up parking buildings in strategic areas, and dreams of making Baguio a better place to live in, in line with his dad’s legacy.

Jonathan’s flaw, if it can be called that, is that he is not a politician, but he fits exactly the kind of public servant that Baguio badly needs at this time.

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The Ifontok is a dear and old friend, a lawyer who travels from north to south of the country, bravely defending migrant Cordillerans from the might and oppression of the rich and powerful.

A magna cum laude Law graduate, it is about time for Marvin Yang-ed to try his hand in politics, and his fighting style, once he gets to the city council, will be good for Baguio.

Watch out for Marvin, all ye politicians trying to pull the wool over the eyes of an unsuspecting public.

Carnivals, fairs, “pinagbibingay,” and all other money making schemes will not get past Marvin.

Go get them, pards.

* * * * * * * * * *

The interesting vice mayoralty race:

Two moneyed candidates, a veteran politician, and two more – one, the hope and future of the ever proud Ibaloy nation, the other the last hope of all Baguio lovers and concerned citizens.

Whatever, the winner will be determined by voters under age 30, the INC notwithstanding.

Councilors Michael Lawana and Faustino Olowan, whose candidacies appear to be bankrolled by their own respective pockets (Lawana’s pocket is said to be deeper) have pollsters saying that the fight for the no. 2 highest position in City Hall come down to them, which Elmer Datuin scoffs at, claiming that his record of public service will overcome logistics (Elmer, actually, is himself loaded) and the well-oiled money machine of the two.

But if you listen closely to the silent majority, the only choices are the two poor candidates, Peter Fianza and Rene Cortes. Indeed lacking in logistics, their big hearts fighting for causes that transcends politics, will win the day for them.

True, in today’s world, the bad outnumber the good, proof of which are our present crop of politicians, but if neither Peter or Rene will get elected, we get the government that we deserve.

Even during my Diliman days, my interest in art was confined to attending sessions at the school of Fine Arts when a coed would pose in the nude during painting classes, but I take pride in getting a grade of 1.5 in Humanities under the much loved but much feared professor Virgie Moreno, but that was as far as my knowledge of the arts went.

Truth to tell, the only Art(s) I know are buried six feet beneath the ground, or running for an elective positon, if not running a restaurant.

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I take note of the fact that today’s younger set of Chinese are not keen in taking over their forebears business, preferring to pursue their own professional careers here and abroad.

Curiously, I do not know of any Chinese named Charlie “Atong” Picasso, or Chongloy Rembrandt.

But combining talent and imagination coupled with hero worship, the works of Jed Steven Cunanan make for a successful mix of a different kind of art that appeal to both young and old.

Who can forget Clark Kent and Tim Tyler, Superman and Captain Marvel respectively, or Wonder Woman in her see-through seater silver plane, or Adam West as Batman, who wore his underwear over his pants, garbed in an outfit of cloth, not hard rubber or metal.

But those were the days. Congratulations and thank you, Jed Steven C – the first I saw of you were half a foot shorter than I, and now you tower over me – for bringing back the memories, that once upon a time heroes ruled the planet, fighting evil and villains.

Now is our turn to avenge a long suffering Filipino people.

Calling Captain America, the Hulk, Batman, Superman, and whole bunch of Avengers! Let’s give Rodrigo and SN a good fight, and China too!


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