Zambo City marks ‘Dia de Ma’am Caling’ PDF Print E-mail
Monday, 27 April 2015 13:34

Mayor Beng Climaco, District I Congressman Celso Lobregat and Vice Mayor Cesar Iturralde led the commemoration of ‘Dia de Mam Caling’ Sunday marking the 94th birth anniversary of the late Mayor Maria Clara Lorenzo Lobregat, the first woman chief executive of Zamboanga.

The commemoration kicked off with a mass at the Holy Trinity Parish in Pasonanca followed by the opening of the exhibit of Mam Caling’s memorabilia at the Museo de Zamboanga in Pasonanca and the wreath laying and simple yet meaningful program at the Jardin Maria Clara. The activity is based on Ordinance 278 which declares April 26 of every year as Dia di Mam Caling.

Mayor Climaco thanked all those who turned up and joined in the series of activities saying it is a show of love for a very wonderful lady, who was a leader and exemplary woman.  “She also taught me to be a woman, she taught me that I should fight and always to remember that I am a woman—that was Mam Caling Lobregat.”

She rekindled fond memories with the late mayor especially during the latter’s birthday celebrations where she lavished her guests with food and entertainment.

District I Congressman Celso Lobregat, eldest son of the late Mam Caling in his message during the program, presented some mementos of his mother that included publications and personal effects like chaleco and tshirts used during election campaigns to remind everyone of the compassionate, tough, amiable, assertive and independent woman and leader that Mam Caling was.

He cited Mam Caling’s strong advocacy for the coconut industry that led to the implementation of the Cocofed scholarship program, the complete scholarship grant ever implemented in the country; advocacy to protect and defend the city’s sovereignty and integrity through her fight against the inclusion of Zamboanga in the Southern Philippines Council for Peace and development (SPCPD), one of the activities resulting from the peace agreement signed by the government and the Moro National Liberation Front during the administration of then President Fidel Ramos and several other advocacies.

“Everybody has his own fond memories of Mam Caling but perhaps I will say Mam Caling was a very compassionate, very caring person but at the same time she was courageous. She was very amiable but was very assertive when she needed to make a stand on issues, she was very independent,” Cong. Lobregat added.     For his part, Vice Mayor Iturralde in his welcome message said  Mam Caling was “many things, a leader and a mentor.” “For many of us, she was larger than life because when she became this City’s first woman chief executive, she became a mother to us all.”

“Mam Caling’s life and the impact it had on ours, is something that we all treasure. WE continue to remember her, and today, we celebrate not only her birth anniversary, but also the fact that Zamboanga City was lucky to have known the woman that was Mam Caling,” Iturralde added.

Also present during the commemorative activities were the members of the City Council, department heads, executive directors from regional line agencies, NGOs, civic organizations, police and military agencies, barangay sector, education sector and the other members of the Lobregat family to include Joemar, Ditas and Ignacio. — Sheila Covarrubias