Posted in History, Places & Destinations, Politics, Prominent Bikolanos, Uncategorized, tagged Bicol Places, Bicol politics, Governors, Historical facts, Masbate on October 6, 2010 |
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Masbate is known as “the wild, wild west of the Philippines” and “the poor man sitting in the pot of gold”. Thanks to recent developments, the province is starting to shelve these names. Election observers for the May 2010 elections found Masbate to be relatively peaceful compared with the previous elections, and that the National Statistics Coordination Board noted Masbate “sliding in the list from being the poorest province in the country in the year 2000 with 70.2% poverty incidence to the 8th most poor in 2006 with 59.5%.“
Unknown to many, however, Masbate is one of the early settlements in the Bicol Region. Artifacts dating back to as early as 10th century were found in Kalanay (now Aroroy), and when Captain Luis Enriquez de Guzman anchored on the shores of Masbate in 1569, he found tiny settlements spread along the coasts engaged in flourishing trade with China – an explanation why there are a number of Chinoys in the island-province. Masbate is also said to be the place where the Christianization of the Bicol started.
In part because it is the source of class lumber for the construction of galleons during the Spanish period, Masbate was declared a province in 1864. In 1908, this was revoked and Masbate was annexed to Sorsogon. Masbate again became an independent province on February 1, 1922.
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Catanduanes was once a part of Albay. On October 26, 1945, it was emancipated from Albay and was declared an island-province by virtue of Commonwealth Act No. 687.
Based on records, gubernatorial elections for Catanduanes started in 1948. According to Prof. Alex De Guzman, when the island was still in transition to becoming a full-pledge province, it was headed by Lt. Governor Felipe Olesco Usero. The complete list of governors of Catanduanes from 1948 to present is as follows:
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Posted in History, Prominent Bikolanos, tagged 2010 elections, Albay, Albay District, Bicol, Bicol politics, Bicolano Figures, Imperial, Imperials, Politics on July 13, 2010 |
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In the early part of 2008, I wrote a paper for the Institute for Popular Democracy (which I also presented in the PPSA) on the decline of the Imperials of Albay Province. The paper concludes that if the clan will not reinvent itself and if the members of the clan’s later generation will not step their foot in politics, the clan will eventually lost its hold on local power.
Cong. Carlos "Papay" Imperial
Indeed, on April 11 this year, the clan’s political patriarch died and it signaled the death of the clan in local politics. He is Carlos “Papay” Imperial, the son of Domingo. Papay served as the Congressman of the Second District of Albay from 1965-1972; an Assemblyman from 1978-1984; and a Congressman again from 1987-2004. His wife, Norma, substituted for him to fill-in his term limits from 1998-2001.
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Because of the elections, I was in Bicol almost every other week. I used to travel by southroad as it’s both convenient and relaxing. It’s a bit expensive, though, especially if one considers gas and the toll fees. Maray sana ta dai pa nag-implementar kan 300% SLEX toll fee increase kan mga nakaaging bulan kundi sa June 30 pa. Maray na bakong maray dahil kaherak an mga commuters asin biyahero. Dagdag sa agony ang car maintenance especially passing the highway named after the father of budget secretary-now-elected Congressman Nonoy Andaya.
True to its name, Andaya Highway is really An Daya o madaya o dinaya dahil bigla ka na lang malulubak o kaya kaipuhan mong pumundo dahil dakul na parte an mga one way-one way sa kahalabaan kan Ragay asin Sipocot. For a driver, it’s really “panirang moment” as you were speeding on a clear road then suddenly you have to make a full stop. This easily damages car brakes and suspension.
Pero nata ta arog kaan an Madayang Highway? To note, repairs had started even in 2004 and 2005 but still, dai pa natatapos. Where’s the beef… err, budget? And Andaya the son is the DBM secretary? Ano yan?And the guts to call that Andaya Highway? Does that reflect the good Secretary-turned Congressman-elect?
Another portion of the Dinayang Highway taken First week of June 2010
Okay, assuming Nonoy Andaya only releases what has been allotted, where’s the allotment? Imposible naman na wara considering that Luis Villafuerte sat in the appropriations committee and yaon man si Datu Arroyo? Or the allotments were released pero naibulsa lang kan nakaaging eleksiyon? During the first semester of 2009, warang masyadong trabaho sa dinayang highway pero when the last quarter came, sunod-sunod na alagad usad-pagong. This continued until elections pero the other week, halos wara na naman na nagtatrarabaho. Doesn’t this mean something?
Well, iba-iba naman siguro ang mga tawo. But heck! Would you name a rotten highway in honor of your father? Or, would you boast your closeness to Malacanang (or claim that the President is your mother) and leave your yard as dirty as before? Kung sabagay, may kasabihan man nanggad palan: May kwarta sa basura.
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The recently concluded elections brought a double whammy to the Alfelor Clan, one of the major political forces in Camarines Sur. Felix “Nancing” Alfelor, Jr., lost his bid for provincial governor while his brother, and Emmanuel “Manny” Alfelor Sr., failed to catch the congressional seat by a very narrow margin. Hence the question: Where did the clan go wrong?
When Luis Villafuerte bolted from Palaka (Partido Lakas-Kampi) last year, a single whammy for the Alfelors was already written, at the least, on the sand. It should be noted that in 2007, the political stalwarts of the province — Alfelor, Andaya, and Villafuerte — formed a grand alliance similar to the “Alyansa kan Apat na Aguila” during the Marcos period. The 2007 alliance was intended to catapult the candidacy of Datu Arroyo and at the same time minimize election costs by not engaging in a political derby. The alliance was expected to go beyond the midterm elections that in 2008, political arrangements were already ironed out. However, when the Villafuertes expressed intent to join the Nationalist People’s Coalition and Partido Nacionalista of Villar, the well pressed political cloth got torned. Logically, this means the Villafuertes will be banging their heads against their former allies. And they did.
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