From Dagupan to Saliwan City
By Gonzalo Duque
BAY Area, California – As soon as we arrived here last Sunday we noticed a new look in American society, from west to east. Matamlay. Gloomy.
What you hear daily from most people including our kabaleyans, are like these: nagsara na si Uncle Arce, nag-cost-cutting si Max store, uuwi na ng Pinas si Joe.
Matalag la ray maimis ya totoo.
Bankruptcy is the name of the game. Many businesses have either declared bankruptcy or announced inability to sustain operations. It’s the height of the real estate depression.
Pittsburgh is on the threshold of bankruptcy.
In San Bernardino, Concord, Harrisburg, Vallejo, Pennsylvania, the Mammoth Lakes, they are all bankrupt, kaput! We wondered if our friend Mayor Bogs Esteves’ Milpitas shares the same fate. Not yet. Thank God. We heard he is moving heaven and earth to stay put or turn things around. Good luck, pare!
If the trend continues, we see another catastrophe. Many will be going back to the Philippines and gamble their lives with guarded hopes.
While sympathizing with our kababayan here, our thoughts go back to our local situation there. We seem less depressed. Why? Because we’ve been in the worst of times. And we Filipinos have a gift that won’t let us down – our incorrigible sense of humor.
Sayang nga at wala na si Dolphy. He has made us alive, joyful though we are mostly in bad times.
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Back in the Philippines, our headline now is the death of Dolphy. With his demise, we felt a part of ourselves died, too. He was a symbol of humility, humor and life.
What touched us most about him was when he was offered the vice presidential slot in the last elections. His repartee: “It’s easy to win, sigurado akong manalo, e ano ang gagawin ko?”
What a guy! What humility!
His humility is beyond compare. He is now at peace with the Lord. Let’s pray for his soul.
Our thoughts went to our politicians. Mga makasarili, self- aggrandizement ang inaatupag. Kawawa ang mga ito pagdating ng panahon. They won’t be loved or remembered like Dolphy. People will spit on their graves. We don’t like to be like them, di ba?
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We heard Mayor Benjie Lim is mad at us. Halata naman e. That evening when we greeted him warmly and he shot back at us with his, “sino ka ba?” was the height of ungentlemanly arrogance. Pinabayaan na natin, but our son Nanoy could not get past the scene. We were asked about it here in the Bay Area. We tried to downplay it, but Dagupenos here know how to size up things.
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Bagong mayaman lang yan, sabi nila dahil kay FVR at sa Duty Free at pulitika. Sana maraming lumingon sa past niya, they say.
We heard he is taking our column items personally like his unfulfilled Dagupan garbage fiasco.
Actually, we don’t care. Our citymates are suffering from this garbage problem. However, he tries to deodorize his incompetence thru other schemes, he will only succeed temporarily because people can be bought.
We heard he even used his usual trick “money” on the Sangguniang Panlungsod to oust Vice Mayor Belen Fernandez this early. His barkers are mouthing his striking line. “Eleksyon la, eleksyon la…”
Well, we say to him. You may have the billions, you can buy most people because that’s what they are, “for sale!” But deep inside you is the voice of conscience. If it is not right, if it is crooked, it won’t stick.
Say advice tayod sika Vice Mayor Belen, agka tangaw tangaw no say kalabann mo tuso. If you have the aces, go to the Ombudsman.
By the way, what happened to Councilor Alfie Fernandez? His recent actuation umaalalay na kay Benjie seems to give us one conclusion: BSL and former Mayor Al Fernandez must be cooking something.
Kawawang Belen. Kawawang Dagupan.