Celso, Beng and Erbie recollect fond memories of Ma’am Caling PDF Print E-mail
Friday, 04 January 2013 14:33

Mayor Celso Lobregat, Deputy House Speaker and District 1 Rep. Beng Climaco-Salazar and District 2 Rep. Erbie Fabian on Wednesday reminisced their fond memories with the late Mayor Maria Clara L. Lobregat during a program marking the latter’s 9th death anniversary.

“Ma’am Caling had touched the lives of so many people when she was alive and she continues to touch other people’s lives even after her death,” Lobregat said.

One example, he said, when Ma’am Caling died in 2004 Fabian, who was then the vice mayor, moved up to become the mayor while Climaco, being the No. 1 councilor, became the vice mayor.

He added Ma’am Caling’s death also opened the political doors to now outgoing Councilors Rudy Lim and Nonong Guingona.

The commemorative program was held Wednesday afternoon at Jardin Maria Clara in Pasonanca, where Ma’am Caling’s life-size statue elegantly stands out, overlooking the flower and butterfly gardens, which the late mayor had envisioned during her incumbency.

“Today, 9 years after, Ma’am Caling is up there, smiling and very happy because many of her visions for the city of Zamboanga are now being fulfilled and it is because we have two congresspersons who are very supportive of the mayor (himself),” Lobregat said.

“I was very fortunate because for my last two terms I had a very supportive vice mayor and all throughout 9 years we had a very clear majority members of the City Council,” he added, stressing that “all of these would not have been possible if the convergence of events did not happen.”

For her part, Congresswoman Climaco reminisced the time she spent with Ma’am Caling since her childhood.

“Ma’am Caling was the best godmother anyone could ever had, and in 1991 she asked me ‘Beng pwede ba tu ayuda kun el Zamboanga?’ and I responded to her call yes,” Climaco recalled, even as she urged people attending Ma’am Caling’s death anniversary to also respond to the same call.

“Pwede ba kita ayuda kun el Zamboanga? Our respond to Ma’am Caling’s call is a big yes,” Beng said.

Meanwhile, Cong. Fabian expressed elation over the people’s continued remembrance of Ma’am Caling.

“I am very happy that we all remember Mrs. Lobregat or Ma’am Caling very positively. I also had my time with her but I would rather keep it to myself, and I will always treasure those memories and I will never forget Ma’am Caling,” Fabian said.

“I always include Ma’am Caling in my prayer before I go to bed,” he added.

The program commemorating the late mayor’s 9th Death Anniversary was preceded by a mass at Pasonanca parish church. Also present during the activities were Police Regional Director PCSupt. Juanito Vaño, Vice Mayor Cesar Iturralde, City Police OIC Director Col. Edwin de Ocampo, members of the City Council, City Schools OIC Superintendent Pete Natividad, principals and heads of public schools, City department heads and representatives from different national and local government agencies, business sector, barangay sector and other organizations. —Vic Larato