Biyernes, Enero 1, 2016

Our congressmen are better than Zambales' solons

By Mortz C. Ortigoza

In my more than a decade stint as media practitioner, the bursting birthday party hosted by a politician that I attended was the one by then House Speaker Joe de Venecia in early 2000s in Dagupan City and the one in 2011 at the high-end Golden Bay Sea Food Restaurant in Pasay City when he was no longer the top whip of Congress.
Six lanes MacArthur Highways at Urdaneta City in Pangasinan.
This happened through the intercession of former Congressman
Mark Cojuangco (5th District, Pangasinan) to the national 

At his sprawling residence in Dagupan  I saw five or seven roasted calves chopped by the waiters for his literally hungry constituents at the 4th Congressional District to devour and for many of them to ‘balkot” (Pangasinan derisived term for those who wrapped and bring the food home) while the elites, mostly government officials who ingratiate with the Speaker for promotion and favour,  rubbed elbows and patted the backs of each other at the corner as they waited for the rabble rousing top man of the Arroyo Administration descended from the white helicopter he leased from Manila.
His other birthday that was held at the Golden Bay Sea Food Restaurant in Manila saw only the invited elites of the society while the “illeterate Unwashed of the Society” who loved to “balkot” were conspicously absent.
The elites were composed of former President Fidel V. Ramos, many members of Congress who were closed when he was the Speaker, diplomatic community like the U.S and Chinese Ambassadors to the Philippines, lady solons brought by de Venecia's wife Rep. Gina, the members of the media elite like Larry Henares, whom President Ramos introduced to me as half-Ilonggo-half-Pangasinense, and other illustrious members of the opinion section of the national dailies.
As you know the Speaker loved to mingle and discuss with media men worth their salt as he was a journalism graduate of the elite Ateneo de Manila.
All these parties were held for a day or six hours.

Two days and Two Nights Party

Here was the ostentatious party of a politician I attended recently  where for the first time, son of a gun,  all the residents of the entire province were literally invited for a two days bacchanalian feast for people to eat the roasted calves, prawn , ox tongues, fried chicken, variety of tropical fruits served in small plates, others from breakfast, lunch, and dinner at the swanky ground covered by three giant make shift tents that covered hundreds of people sitting on white cloth covered plastic chair and surrounded a red mantled round tables. While they gorged the free foods, bands, one of them the famous Manila pop group Free Style, actors Christian Bautista and Kim Chiu  and stand up comedians entertained them.
I, my son Nico, and broadcaster Harold Barcelona were in another building that hosted the VIP visitors watching the shows and pyrotechnic display as we contented ourselves with the same foods eaten by the governor’s constituents except those sushi bar that provided nigirizushi, makizushi, temaki, other Japanese rice delicacies, where I heartily mixed with Silver Swan, kalamansi, and the hot wasabi paste, served to us by a Bulacan based caterer.