>> Monday, December 24, 2007

New face, new hope

Christmas means Christ’s Mass, the annual Christian festival observed every Dec. 25 in Western Churches including the Philippines to commemorate the birth of Jesus Christ. It is a public holiday in Christian countries, usually marked by the exchange of gifts – tokens of the gifts of the three wise men to the infant Jesus. Christmastide lasts from Dec. 25 to Jan. 6 (Epiphany).

It’s the season of hope and cheer. When all the brickbats have been hurled, the gripes aired and the criticisms exhausted, Filipinos will have to admit, even if grudgingly, that is has in fact been a year of hopes partly fulfilled for the country. It’s Christmas time and the living as relatively easy. Christmas lights and lanterns of all shapes compete for attention on the streets, office buildings and homes and nobody’s admonishing the public to conserve energy.

All the malls and supermarkets are packed with people buying clothes, shoes and food on the table for the grand Noche Buena and gifts. Everyone is wishing for peace. Peace is starting to become a Christmas tradition at least for government troops and communist rebels. Let us bear in mind that being humble and real counts a lot in the proper evaluation of Christmas virtues. ***
A woman destined to lead and to serve is no other than the first lady chief executive of the town of Dingras, Hon. Marineth Romero-Gamboa. Gifted with pleasant personality, intelligence, resoluteness and ability to work for the public, this rising leader in the eastern part of Ilocos Norte has an aim of bringing glory and honor to the Rice Granary of Ilocandia. One of her projects is on agriculture wherein farmers of Dingras are beneficiaries. With her master plan on tourism, she expanded the nature of the agri – tourism project that can bring the One Barangay, One Project in the municipality a success.

Under the supervision of the municipal tourism council, a women’s organization has also been actively helped in promoting tourism activities to show oneness of spirit under the battle cry “New face, new hope”—the banner of the present administration. Mayor Gamboa was a seasoned businesswoman before she decided to enter the world of politics. She was executive vice president of Water Plus Group of Companies.

Aside from indulging in the water industry, she also proved her mettle in managing various restaurants and had been in the world of show business. The film industry enamored her and being inclined into the Arts, she became one of the league’s well-respected producers. She is planning to sponsor an acting workshop for the Sangguniang Bayan to discover their skills and potentials in the arts. Deserving the acclamation being the best in Sports in Region I, Gamboa believes that Ilocos Norte can produce good actors and actresses including singers if only they put much time and effort in their God-given talents. She lamented political killings in the countryside. She said that if someone has the guts to kill a politician, how much more an ordinary citizen? Gamboa is open to reconciliation for the sake of unity and oneness.
Dingras is the hometown of the Florence Nightingale of the Philippines in the person of the late heroine Josefa Llanes Escoda. Many of its sons and daughters are well-known in their respective field. I would mention the name of Mayor Marineth Gamboa as one among the gifted daughters of this town.
The gruesome killing of Laoag City legal officer Jose “Pepoe” Pastor, former member of the Sangguniang Panlungsod in Laoag and brilliant legal practitioner, shocked the entire province of Ilocos Norte. To be killed in a broad daylight is unusual situation. The killer might have, concealed himself in entering the lawyer’s office unseen by the people. The killing of Pastor is now one of the many unresolved slays. If we could only summoned the spirits of the departed to pinpoint the masterminds, then the police would not err in filing cases against criminals. ***
The 71st foundation Anniversary of Sta. Rosa Academy was celebrated with a theme, “cultivating a culture of peace.” Most Rev. Sergio Lasam Utleg, D.D. was its crowning guest and speaker. The king, Steven Kyle IV 1 (Mr. SRA 2007) and Queen Karren Nichole I (Ms. SRA 2007) marched to their throne which highlighted the occasion.


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