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PIA Press Release
2009/10/21

Commentary: The forgotten figure

By Rodrigo S. Victoria

Palo, Leyte (21 October) -- His getup is too recognizable with his all white Americana attire which resembles the color of his hair during his presence in the 65th Leyte Gulf Landings Anniversary. He was there at the Tacloban Airport early yesterday not as part of the welcoming party but maybe just to let the welcoming crowd know that he was there for reason that he himself only knows.

He was one of the added attractions that captivated the curious eyes of the big crowd who witnessed yesterday's celebration in Candahug, Palo, Leyte. However, despite his captivating presence, nobody cares the one time big political figurehead in Eastern Visayas who is best remembered for his political sorties in his political kingdom via a chopper.

But yesterday was a very contrasting picture due to a former high official who served Leyte province and who in the past played an important role in the same celebration. That former big political kingpin who dared to walk through despite the heavy rains enveloping the affair was the former Governor of Leyte - Benjamin "Kokoy" Romualdez.

The VIPs including his son who represents the First District of Leyte who were on stage and the master of ceremony too who hails from this province did not even care to take notice of his presence despite the determination and resiliency of the old man to withstand the heavy rains that day. Though he might be waiting for even a little recognition silently but nothing happened because nobody cares to even say "hi there Mr. Romualdez." Anyway, there's always a protocol to follow in every presidential visit that is strictly observed and maybe he is not part of the show.

One cannot blame anybody or point a finger to someone for the short memory of the Leytenos or the people in Eastern Visayas despite his considerable contributions to the development of the province and of region 8 as a whole albeit his attachments to several questionable government transactions in the past which make headlines even at present, for it seems now an integral part of the Filipino unique culture though how bad or great one has done - of being forgetful.

If the grand old man's charisma and aura fade in the memory of the people in this part of the country known for giving due recognition of his contribution, perhaps it would be better to give a pat on ourselves in order to remind us that there are people in our midst that deserves not forgetting. (PIA-Biliran) [top]

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