Issue of September 27, 2015

Baguio Day Anniversary Issue
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In the shoes of a cash–strapped candidate; Santig’s take on Magale’s Sydney victory

With just weeks left before the filing of certificates of candidacy for local and national positions, I went the rounds talking to a few local prospects as to how they hoped to nail down a local post comes the day of reckoning by May next year.

One said he has already been going the rounds for maximum exposure, especially where there are gatherings. Early birds catch many worms, one said.

Smile your best and don’t hesitate to be there, invited or un-invited, especially during KBLR or kasal, binyag, libing andreunion, said one. This one said it is best to time one’s appearance during lunch when you can have free chow and meet more people.

And perchance if I arrived at a person’s wake, I was told to approach the coffin only when a VIP (preferably a governor or a councilor) goes ahead and then position myself immediately behind him just as he deposits his donation in the box.

With the pen, I was told to write my name immediately after the VIP’s name then add a bracket to enclose his name and mine to indicate that his donation came from the two of us then join in the singing or in the story telling as if nothing happened. It is no crime, I was assured.

Then if I was to attend mass at the San Jose Church or at the Sacred Heart Church, I was told to time my appearance just as the ongoing mass ends in time for the next mass. This way, you can get to meet twice as many people as you want and get to greet them uncles and aunties in your Sunday’s best.

Then if I could borrow an old Volkswagon, I was told to ride about the Valley at a speed not faster than a pony’s leisurely stride. With windows fully open, I was told to make sure people get to notice. Here and there, I should stop where people gather and make the motion of buying something at the local store and get to comment on the weather or at the garbage collection in a bid to strike a conversation.

Along Km. 3, the advice is to wave at the houses across the Balili River not in appreciation of how they hung their laundry but in the hope of being spotted by locals. One former governor told me it was good practice, only he overdid it one time when he mistook a grove of brightly-colored sunflowers swaying in the early morning sun for a group of villagers along the highway and promptly waved back. He said his hand seemed to be waving sometimes in his sleep.

Then to make sure to meet all the organizations in town, from the Knights of Columbus, Guardians, sports clubs, clans, senior citizens, ethno-linguistic regional groups, farmers groups, civic organizations to dung dealers – not only once but time and again just so to get your message across. And that is only for starters.

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Carlo Magale of the La Trinidad-based Highland Boxing Gym certainly made quite an impression in Australia when he knocked out Australian champion Davy Browne, Jr. in the 12th round to tuck away the World Boxing Council super featherweight belt.

Unfortunately for the boxing world, the Aussie lapsed into coma and expired days after at a Sydney hospital.

In the post mortem, Magale who stands barely 5’ 3” as against Browne who spotted him by five inches, felt the fight should have been discontinued in the 11th round after his opponent received a heavy barrage of lethal punches, some of them on the head.

Eric Santig, who accompanied Magale to Sydney, said Browne was practically leading going to the last three rounds and that he had the better of exchanges in most of the rounds.

Eric said that for every five of Browne’s punches that hit their mark, Magale could only counter with two.

But Eric said Magale’s accumulated punches appeared to have weakened the Australian as the fight went the penultimate rounds. Sensing this, Eric urged his fighter to go all-out for a knockout which he did. No one expected the aftermath of the fight to take a tragic twist days after.

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