Playing with Fire

Bayambang tower a world attraction

By Gonzalo Duque

CHRISTOPHER “Bong” Go should be a sure winner in the Senate derby.

            Ha, wala sa top 12? Natural, kasi bagito sa pulitika .

            But his rise in the ratings is consistent, progressive and dramatic.

            Dopesters say not many know that Bong Go is the alter ago of President Duterte.

            But in a short while, magsu-surface yan, and that’s it.

            Bong Go will skyrocket to the top.

            Wanna bet?

            We are always asked, “Ano ba mayroon si Pangulo at popular?” Well, like we always said, he is totoong tao, not plastic. And a doer!

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It started a fantastic rumor – this ongoing construction of the 51-meter Saint Vincent Ferrer Prayer Park in a 13-hectare lot in Barangay Bani in Bayambang town. It’s  jointly spearheaded by the church and the Kasama Kita Sa Barangay Foundation, Inc.

Once finished, it is higher than the Statue of Liberty in New York.

 Better take a quick trip to the progressive town, and in a few more days, the prayer park would be completed and as envisioned by the Catholic faithful in the town led by Mayor Cesar T. Quiambao, it will be one of the world’s tourist, if not religious attractions!

            Credit the man behind it, Mayor Quiambao, better addressed as CTQ, the small handsome lad of this historic town who made good in Manila after finishing a business course at the University of the East in the 60’s.

            Truth to tell, CTQ was high school buddy of Rep. Amado T. Espino Jr. – both were front-runners in their class 65 batch, with Spines ahead by a slot.

            How are they now, we mean, the classmates?

            Ok, we defer on that intriguing subject because politics has reared its ugly head, we’d rather give way to the fantastic eco-tourism if not religious project – the rise of the biggest religious edifice in these parts.

             CTQ, the man who built the revolutionary skyway in Metro Manila and the other revolutionary scheme, LTO’s multi-billion computerization system the Stradcom, has dramatically crushed bureaucratic red tape in the delivery of service and reduced  corruption in the transport agency!

            Bayambanguenos heaved a sigh of relief when the  entrepreneur decided to come home to Bayambang — which was declared the 5th Capital of the Republic by virtue of General Emilio Aguinaldo’s holding camp in the town in 1898.

            When he ran for mayor and won,things began to perk up in the town, so much so that talks have begun to spread that the town would become a city soon.

            But cityhood isn’t CTQ’s priority but the delivery of basic services which for a long time suffered from well, you know, graft and corruption.

            With Quiambao at the helm of Bayambang’s LGU, all the setbacks and government shenanigans have been dramatically reduced, thus paving the way for unimpeded progress.

            People who have visited the town are full of ohs and ahs.

            Of late, however, the town, the province, and the nation were rocked by a sad ominously disturbing development: the assassination of former Councilor Levin Uy, along with Cesar Salosagcol who miraculously survived. This column has decided to leave this ugly chapter in Bayambang’s life to the authorities in light of its sensitive implications.

            Certain wags ask: is Uy’s killing the sad effect of the town’s unprecedented progress? Pray and hope that it’s not.

            Let’s just doff our hats to the fantastic growth and development, and that God in his mysterious ways would allow justice to prevail soon and allow the town to attain its niche in the community of progressive LGU’s worldwide!

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Historic Lingayen played host to the 74th Gulf Landing Anniversary and the 12th Veterans Day on January 9, with Fr. Jerry Orbos officiating and Congressman Zajid Mangundadatu, Gov. Pogi Espino III, Cong. Spines, Cong. Pol Bataoil, now a candidate for Lingayen mayor, Vice Gov. Ferdie Calimlim and other luminaries in attendance.

            As usual, Fr. Orbos’ homily was very touching, while that of Cong Zajid, who is a senatorial bet ignited the patriotic feelings of the audience.

            Father Jerry recalled his battle with cancer stressing that “all things happen for a reason and being alive is a new day and a chance to fulfill a mission from the Almighty.

            For his part, Gov. Espino cited the veterans and Pangasinenses continuing sacrifice in “shared development endeavors.”

            Hmmm… its seems may isang tao na dapat naroon  – si Mayor Iday Castaneda!  She was noticed by her absence.

            On the other hand, Cong. Pol was most visible.

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