June 14, 2024

Someone is turning 80 years old on April 25, and he is a VIP. The VIP here does not stand for very important person. For the celebrator, that is an understatement.
An overused term that is not commensurate with his unique personality. Instead, it stands for Very Important Pablito. There is no other Pablito more prominent in Baguio City than Pablito V. Sanidad, Sr.
Born in Narvacan, Ilocos Sur on April 25, 1944, but raised in Baguio City, Sir Pablito is a certified winner. He is one of those creations of God who seems to attract success in whatever field he ventures into. From the moment he was born, he was destined for greatness. His journey reflects the brilliance of a man who has had more than his share of fulfilled triumphs in life.
Even in his family, he is gifted with one that is the envy of many a father. He is married to a lovely wife, the former Susan Fianza. He is blessed with four children, namely Pablito, Jr. a lawyer; Sandra Susana, a physician; Pablo, also a lawyer and the municipal administrator of Narvacan; and Noelle, also a lawyer.
A multi-faceted person with unlimited skills, talent, and intelligence, Sir Pablito juggles as an educator, a practicing lawyer, and a politician with maximum yet excellent results.
As an educator, he taught for more than 20 years with the College of Law at the (then) Baguio Colleges Foundation (BCF) bringing with him a résumé that includes an eighth place finish in the 1975 Bar examination, until he retired.
His retirement from the BCF, though, did not end his career in the academe. He took the gargantuan challenge of rehabilitating and revitalizing a college of law that was in its infancy stage. He accepted his appointment to be the dean of the School of Law at the University of Baguio.
Under his mentorship, the UB School of Law gained traction and found its path to be among the respected law schools in the country. His policy upped the standard of teaching, resulting in the miraculous increase in the number of students who succeeded in hurdling the Bar.
As a dean, he was as much admired as he was loved by both his students and his faculty. For this, he was nominated to be among the top law deans in the Philippines. He could have done more if not for his deanship being untimely curtailed by another calling of equal importance.
Sir Pablito is cut out to be a politician. It is in his DNA and he has the pedigree to show for it. His father, Pablo, was a politician-cum-legislator. There was no other way for him to go but to follow his father’s footsteps. Not only did he follow, he, in fact, overshadowed what his father achieved.
As a true-blue Baguio boy, Sir Pablito volunteered his public service to the people of Baguio City by casting his lot to be elected as mayor. Due to the unfair perception that he is an elitist owing to his mestizo look, and a poise that betrays his age, he ironically lost. To this day, he is branded by his supporters as the “best mayor that Baguio City never had.”
Still, his defeat in the mayoralty race for Baguio City did not diminish his aspirations to be a public servant. He remains unfazed and unbowed. He is many things but not a quitter. Indeed, you cannot put a good man down.
And so, instead of pushing his luck too hard in Baguio City, he went home and ran for the position of mayor in his hometown, Narvacan. True enough, his candidacy was warmly endorsed and he won. For the second term, he is unchallenged as mayor. Narvacan’s gain is Baguio’s loss.
Nevertheless, Sir Pablito did not totally abandon his ties with the people of Baguio. He retained his law office at Laperal Building and continues to serve his clients with the best legal service there is this side of the country.
In the legal practice, Sir Pablito remains to be the yardstick. He is the ultimate “de campanilla” and although there are others who sprouted, he will always be the “primus inter pares” – first among equals.
As Sir Pablito celebrates his 80th birthday, I wish him well and pray that he will have the strongest body and steadiness of mind to continue sharing his time and talent to those who need him the most, which is aplenty. He will forever be a blessing to Narvacan, Baguio, and all other places and people whose hearts and minds he touched.
Happy birthday, Sir Pablito.