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Thursday, 13 September 2018 14:52

BEHIND  THE  LINES

BY BOB JALDON

Los Angeles, CA. — Something kicked my head at 2 a.m. (Sept. 11) that jerked me up and made me browse through my iPad for the latest FB posts. True enough, 36 photos of Lope Iringan’s advanced birthday celebration at the Rigodon, Palmeras in Sta. Maria were posted where all the Noble’s men were present. I would have made it there to serenade him with James Tailor’s “You’ve got a friend.”

Like Grammy-awardee Sharon James, Epol is battling with a brave heart pancreatic infection. A year ago (Sept. 12), the day that this wicked affliction was discovered, I could hear him tell his hundreds of friends, some coming from the likes of St. John, about his dreaded ailment. As I looked closely at the photos on FB, I saw timidity in his lazy eyes as his closest mingled around him. “Don’t look so sad,” Lope, it’s never going to be over for the Great Architect is watching over you “for the good times.” If the purpose in life is simply to help on the purpose of the universe, as George Bernard Shaw puts it, then Lope has served the purpose of his life, especially the “widow’s son”.

As Nathaniel Hawthorne  said that “every individual has a place to fill in the world,” “Lope has chosen to be man’s  best bet — an altar boy, a working student, clear-eyed businessman, a transcendent Rotarian, a preeminent mason, an extraordinary individual, a soldier in God’s army — touching the lives of the impoverished.

Years ago, our Rotary club (east) was dying, left with only seven members, six of them senior citizens. Lope invited the six holdouts to lunch at the shutdown Lantaka Hotel. He insisted that the East shouldn’t just fade away like MacArthur. Upon his behest, we regrouped and recruited six more and from then on the East grew to immeasurable heights.

Lope has achieved so much greatness, the envy of most, for he was just a simple and humble Ibanag who migrated to Zamboanga with only a small maleta and earned his riches there.

Happy birthday, dear friend.

STRANGE TIMES

It is not political abnormality to listen to critics decrying about the state of affairs of a city that has long suffered even before September 9, 2013 — from the demoralizing law and order conditions, infrastructure inadequacy, titanic traffic, odious uncollected garbage, filthy sidewalks to disrespectful, uncultured people. It is not normal for a sitting mayor to degrade the critical media. It is, however, normal to listen to the opposition and their lackeys attack the duly-constituted authorities with baseless, proof-less accusations of graft and corruption now that the filling of the certificates of candidacy is fast approaching. Certainly, there is nothing abnormal about these times.

But I’m an optimist. We have had more horrific times, detestable conditions caused by the wretched, sickening political back-stabbing by candidates, and accusations and counter-accusations of payoffs, kickback and bribery.

We need to shake off these distractions and take us out of this slumber and focus on what’s really coming to us in the next 10 years, maybe less. Zamboanga will undergo a political transformation long predicted to be so by the legendary Cesar C. Climaco. At the moment, though highly visible, I do not see any effort by the present local dispensation to respond to this transfiguration.

It’s bad enough that we haven’t been able to solve our traffic mess. Methinks the ambitious P2.6 billion skyway that will stream along Camins road won’t solve the traffic problem because we’re talking only about one single road that traverses Veterans Ave. in the east and Jaldon street towards the west. The monstrous traffic is everywhere! But because I’m an optimist, we’ll see what good it might bring.

Make no mistake. We’re all for heavy infrastructure because it employs people. We cannot backtrack on any grandiose infrastructure plan, whether perceived by a congressman or diagrammed by the mayor. History will account if our present leaders made the right choices. But to succeed NOW, everybody deciding for our future will have to opt in, not fight.

Zamboangueños and those assimilated should embrace the plan for prosperity. But that won’t happen unless our leaders embrace each other and pursue their mission together to accomplish a common goal: DEVELOPMENT. Does that make sense?