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Sunday, 08 May 2016 15:02



San Jose, CA. — What’s been said, has been said. All the mudslinging, mischief accurately directed to and by the rivals seeking employment only taxpayers could offer — after all, we pay their salaries, allowances, traveling expenses to Manila and God-knows-where — come to an end.

Today, as was yesterday, everybody remains calm, riveted to a spot to dwell upon what had happened the last 45 days. Were the candidates melancholic as the New Orleans blues and jazz bands along Bourbon Street? Or, were those grueling days overly-theatrical as to amuse rather than vex the characters and behaviors of the protagonists? Only boxers do that during weigh-ins.

We should admire, though, how Mr. Celso L. Lobregat ran his well-orchestrated offense, classic as always, colorful and bombastic. He led his Red Shirts to the finish line, but still wondering if he got his message of honestly, truth, unity and continuity across the electorate’s brains.

Former padre, Monsi de la Cruz, who prides himself as a servant-leader, charged into the political ring for the third time, ever personable although less magnetic than his three-peater opponent. Excellent in the field of education as he self-financed a school that caters to poor, homegrown youngsters, he believes that education can create a community of scholars and lay the foundation for economic advancement.

Cesar “Junie” Climaco, the sober medical practitioner who renounced his American citizenship, ala Grace Poe, to run for the second time, is dogmatic as ever that even his first cousin couldn’t stop him and his ambitious run with only the name of his legendary father, Cesar, as his primary weapon. We were introduced seven years ago by my cousin, Rolly Simeon, during breakfast one very hot day in Phoenix, Arizona.

Mannix Dalipe, three-time councilor and one-time vice mayor, thinks he can make Zamboanga great again. His father was a helicopter pilot of President Marcos before he joined politics. Mannix is figuratively fighting Russia, China and Syria put together.

Mrs. Lilia Nuno, a descendant of a Chinese merchant who found a land of promise together with four other Chinese traders, one of them my grandfather, in the late 1800s, ran a decent, respectful campaign to retain her seat in congress. Silently, she has worked for the purchase of the properties of the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) still standing on the hills of Cabatangan as if teasing the people.

Retired police General Mario B. Yanga, the broad-minded lawman who embraced the courage to face a formidable foe, is a puritan, a moralist who was never in the take when he was police chief. He doesn’t have a machiavellian plan to run City Hall, only his amiable intent to serve.

Lastly, Mrs. Ma. Isabel G. Climaco-Salazar. Is she what Henry Wadsworth Longfellow describes? “Most people would succeed in small things if they were not troubled with great ambitions.” Politics is like cancer, a malignant growth in the head. In the 1920s, it was defined as “Hitlerism”. In Latin, cancer means “crab”. Despite the troubles and obstacles that weren’t her doing, she rose from the ruins and turned it into a battle cry.

Because today is Sunday, we shall pray instead of campaign. The rudeness stops. The healing starts. Tomorrow is the day of agony or ecstasy. All shall be friends again.