I HAD A chance encounter with the incumbent mayor of San Juan City, Metro Manila, Madam Guia Gomez while having coffee at Hotel del Rio last Saturday.
Already in her late 70s, the matriarch of San Juan still looks lovely. Hers is a natural beauty, truly Filipina.
Without a trace of makeup, Gomez looks stunning as I approached her table for a brief interview regarding her son, Sen. Joseph Victor “JV” Ejercito.
I introduced myself as a distant relative of a former entertainment writer, Ms. Norma L. Japitana who happened to be her bosom friend years back in the early ‘70s. The intro was enough for her to relax and become accommodating throughout the 30-minute interview.
She was accompanied by an all-female staff while enjoying with gusto her favorite native delicacy suman-latik (sticky rice pudding with sweet coconut on top) wrapped in banana leaf complimented by a fresh fruit juice.
In between she would talk about the good old days with friend Norma J., whom she had not seen for decades. She swears to meet her again once she’s back to Manila. Good old friends must never lose the opportunity of rekindling ties. Friends are priceless treasures we should constantly keep for we may never pass through the same route again as we continue our life’s journey before we retire to a life of everlasting peace. No one can tell until when and where would our last stop be.
It was also exactly the same day of my interview with Gomez when popular comedian Chokoleit, Jonathan Aguilar Garcia, 46, in real life, joined his Creator moments after his standup comedy skit was over. He complained of chest pain and found difficulty breathing. He struggle backstage after his performance.
He was brought right away to a hospital but to no avail. The hospital management released it official medical report that the actor died due to Pulmonary Edema.
Meanwhile, Mayor Guia Gomez is helping his son Sen. JV Ejercito in his reelection bid. She did the initiative of visiting the city and province of Iloilo to appeal to fellow Ilonggos to help her son once again.
For the information of the public, the younger Ejercito was the author and principal sponsor of the Universal Health Care Law which was recently signed by President Rodrigo Duterte. JV vowed to extend health-related projects to the Ilonggos with whom he has a soft spot, his mother’s family being Ilonggos from Bacolod City, Negros Occidental.
Just recently, Sen. JV Ejercito led the groundbreaking rites for the P600-million Heart and Lung Center of the Western Visayas Medical Center (WVMC). And as if this isn’t enough, he also unveiled the project perspective of the P300-million Heart, Lung and Kidney Institute of the West Visayas State University Medical Center (WVSUMC) in Iloilo City. It was a hectic activity done almost simultaneously, one after the other in a day.
This is his way of giving back to the people. Suffice to say, his act of benevolence is inherently natural for the senator, just like his mom Guia Gomez who is loved and respected by her constituents as chief executive of San Juan.
Gomez, a “graduating” mayor, will be leaving a legacy sans of corruption. Truly, Sen. Joseph Victor “JV” Ejercito is his mother’s son. (firstname.lastname@example.org/PN)