Fiesta funds, and 2 exemplary women
By Gonzalo Duque
TWO exemplary women.
We start with our beloved Manang Letty Ramos Shahani, former senator and sister of former President Fidel V. Ramos.
We had a grand time with her last week when we visited her at her unique Filipiniana farm home in Barangay Tulong in Urdaneta City.
The house made of indigenous materials from San Carlos City is unpretentious, very homely meaning it makes you feel “at home,” but it has a beautiful soul and, to us, an extremely beautiful architecture which was done by a famous architect, Bobby Manusca.
Here is an exemplary woman-leader, international jetsetter, brilliant senator who has opted to live in peace and tranquility, and if you ask us, in admirable style. She says she loves to live with the simple barrio folk.
She treated us to a glass of her favourite carabao milk and even gave some to us when we gestured to pay, she said she was giving it for free.
Thank you, Manang.
We discovered that whenever she talked to the barrio folk about entrepreneurship she felt that her audience was anxious probably thinking she was making a religious or spiritual sermon and so she would admonish them to explain that she just wanted to inculcate self-reliance and the entrepreneurial spirit in their lives.
Her wisdom is indeed contaminating or contagious. BTW, we owe her our having become vice governor of the province during the presidency of Pnoy’s mother, the late Corazon Aquino. It was Manang Letty who endorsed our candidacy for vice governor. Our governor at the time was the late Aguedo Ferrer Agbayani.
Thank you Manang, thank you for being our gracious host and thank you for just being yourself and for the memories.
* * * *
The other woman who made our day last week during our visit in Villasis was its charming mayor Dita Abrenica, wife of former Mayor Nato Abrenica.
From our view window we found both couple model mayors in honesty and integrity in the art of governance.
The town which has only P100 million peso budget was able to construct a new legislative building and a library and museum singly from the net proceeds (P20 million their town fiesta).
Saksakkey ya pista tan, mga agagui?
Don’t forget that Villasis is a small town but it was able to put up big buildings from purely fiesta funds.
While writing this, we remember our paper’s relentless demand for accounting of funds from many fiestas that came and went in Dagupan City.
We thought that considering our size and the many multi-million sponsors that helped fund our fiestas, our city officials should have been able to construct a new city hall.
Angapo ni anggan natan.
But we are extremely sad to say that mayor Benjie Lim never likes to make an accounting of many city collections including city fiesta funds; they must have reached hundreds of millions of pesos by now.
We don’t like to think for example that Councilor Redford Mejia who was
No motekteken tayo, pigara lan piyesta so limmabas? Ermen ya tuloy, anggapo nin balot so ginawan public accounting. Under the circumstances can’t help but declare matatakew iray angimaneho na piyesta ed Daguopan!
Everytime we see those giant streamers about Dagupan City Fiesta as “inspired by people,” ay singa makakauta tayo.
Niyay tepet: Where did the fiesta proceeds go? Katon kabaleyan tan kasiyudadan, you cannot blame us for being critical against this city administration for its lack of transparency.
Back to Dita Abrenica, we ask her if their Sangggunian passed an ordinance requiring accounting for fiesta proceeds. She said there is none but she merely continued what her husband, former mayor Nato started, to make transparent public accounting of the fiesta proceeds. Former mayor Monching Morden of the same town said he also observed transparency regarding fiesta funds. Here you see a rivalry for honest accounting about fiesta funds.
In Dagupan City there seems to be a rivalry for dishonesty in not making public accounting of fiesta funds.
So, sicayo ran bumobotos, no etdan da kayo na kwarta, alayo labat, balet depakan yo raya, ta matatakew ira. Agda iratan nanlingetan!