Posted on January 29, 2006 - Filed Under Think about It | Comments Off
Foreign interlopers TKO’d local tobacco!
By Jun Velasco
NEXT week, the province of Pangasinan will be the cynosure of eyes for the staging of sport competitions among young sporting heroes of the private schools all over the country.
Tasked to oversee the games is our education leader and neighbor columnist, Lyceum Northwestern University president Gonzalo Duque, president of the Private Schools Athletic Association of the Philippines.
It will be a tough challenge to our ability to host some 4,000 athletes, government and education officials and our sports-minded countrymen.
Pare Gons will surely have his hands full, and our sense of duty to a friend and colleague and to our province should prod us to ensure the PRISAA events’ success.
Gonzalo has documented in his Punch column the support of a number of friendly samaritans topped by Speaker Joe de Venecia, Gov. Victor Agbayani and the Sangguniang Panlalawigan headed by Vice Gov. Oscar Lambino, Mayor Benjie Lim and the Sangguniang Panlungsod headed by Vice Mayor Alvin Fernandez and others who have unselfishly responded to ensure the PRISAA events’ success.
Mayor Lim opted not to miss the event to show off Dagupan Bangus’ superiority in the world in culinary excellence by staging a Dagupan Kalutan to give the seven-day marathon a festive air. Fast emerging singing sensation Mocha Uson, who was our next-door neighbor on Amado street in the 80′s, will team up with Gary Valenciano to do an entertainment galore at the People’s Astrodome on February 8.
What sticks up like a sore thumb is the province’s proverbial lack of hotels and lodging houses for a big event like this. Gons and his hard-hitting team of Phil Celi, Seato Gonimil, Art Tangco, Manny Gatchalian and adviser Councilor Chito Samson have cracked out creative ideas including homestay strategies to beat the housing problems for 4,000 people.
In the past, “hell broke loose!” when some local organizations hosted national conventions in Dagupan City due to lack of hotel facilities. It’s true many hotels have appeared in our four cities and a few progressive towns in the province, but they were no match to the lodging needs of nationwide events.
Let’s support Gons and his team for doing a yeoman’s job, which Governor Agbayani aptly says, puts our hosting ability to a tough test. PRISAA circa 2006 is Pangasinan’s products showcase to the world, too.
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Will there be a Manny Pacquiao-Erik Morales III?
Many sports observers don’t think so. But let’s see, because over and above our world-class boxers’ thirst for fame, they too love the smell of money. And so, we predict a Pacquiao-Morales III.
It’s but fair, isn’t it? Each has one win, one loss, and a third fight should settle the score once and for all.
Those who scoof at a third encounter say that Morales’ crushing defeat might have sown terror in his heart to face Pacquiao.
What of it? Boxing, to Las Vegas and Madison Square mafia, is big business. Mark it, after Morales emerges from the hospital to heal his wounds, he would sign another contract for the third showdown, titled, “The Great Decision.”
We watched the boxing classic in Speaker Joe’s house, and there was no mistaking the pride in everyone’s face for Manny Pacquiao’s win. For a while, the country was united as one mind and one heart and one soul in Manny’s towering heroism. If we’d have more of that show of Filipino excellence, maybe all this put-down culture perfected to the hilt by self-seeking politicians would be wiped out from the face of the earth. What a dream! We dream to see that day, better still, we pray that day to come soon. Everyone is hungry of deliverance from you-know-what.
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Tobacco growers in the north including Pangasinan are restive and may pose a social problem because they “have lost” the market to foreigners.
Hear their lament through their spokesman, former Councilor Dominador “Boy” Rayos, who tearfully recounts how a multi-million business “has gone down to nothing”.
Many of our tobacco planters, Boy says, have shifted to rice and corn, but the “shift,” it appears, is in “not doing any good,” so they, our tobacco growers, a portrait of defeat, are already applying for jobs abroad. Is the situation beyond solution?
The solution is for government to subsidize our farmers, Boy Rayos insists, because the foreign market is just too unbeatable in the uneven playing field.
Our tobacco farmers need a saviour like Manny Pacquiao to knock out the foreign interlopers.