Po­rac town bids farewell to ‘Mov­ing Up’ man

Sun.Star Pampanga - - FRONT PAGE - BY IAN OCAM PO FLORA Sun.Star Staff Re­porter

Se­na­tor Cyn­thia Vil­lar and Gov. Lilia Pineda sa­vor the fried cat­fish and as­sorted vegeta­bles with fer­mented fish pre­pared by Ka­pam­pan­gan Chef Sau Del Rosario dur­ing yes­ter­day’s Ka­pam­pan­gan Food Fest 2017 at Asean Con­ven­tion Cen­ter, Clark Freeport, Pam­panga. Look­ing on are De­part­ment of Tourism As­sis­tant Sec­re­tary Josephine Eden David and Re­gion 3 Di­rec­tor Caro­line Uy.—

Chris Navarro

PO­RAC — Former Mayor Quiel Amio Gam­boa was blessed with dash­ing good looks, an ami­able per­son­al­ity and po­lit­i­cal acu­men that en­abled him to win the hearts of his con­stituents who showed their love to the former, even af­ter many years of po­lit­i­cal sab­bat­i­cal, when they trooped to the fu­neral and necro­log­i­cal ser­vices for the former mayor.

Best known for coin­ing the slo­gan “Po­rac Mov­ing Up” in a time when the mu­nic­i­pal­ity had no idea of what a mu­nic­i­pal slo­gan was, Gam­boa proved that his po­lit­i­cal acu­men was way ahead of his con­tem­po­raries.

Gam­boa was born to par­ents Eugenia Ocampo Amio of Barangay Di­ladila in Santa Rita town and Manuel Gam­boa of Barangay Pu­lung San­tol in Po­rac. Both par­ents of Gam­boa came from landed fam­i­lies who owned con­sid­er­able home­steads in the two towns.

The late mayor fin­ished a de­gree in den­tistry and was among the pioneer prac­ti­tion­ers in the town where he op­er­ated a clinic. Early in his ca­reer he mar­ried Linda de Ausen, el­dest sis­ter to the late Board Mem­ber Edna de Ausen-David. The late Edna de Ausen-David was wife to the late Mayor Roy David. The Gam­boas and Davids would later share com­mon po­lit­i­cal paths that would di­verge and in­ter­twine.

Gam­boa started his po­lit­i­cal ca­reer as vice-mayor to the former Mayor Ce­ferino “Nonong” Lu­man­lan in the tur­bu­lent Mar­tial Law years. He would later join his sis­ter-in-law’s hus­band, David, as vice-mayor in 1988.

Gam­boa served as vice-mayor for three terms un­der David. It was dur­ing this time that the concept for the Po­rac Man­power Train­ing Cen­ter was con­ceived. It was in 1988 when the Po­rac Man­power Train­ing Cen­ter was es­tab­lished un­der the lead­er­ship of Gam­boa who was then a vice-mayor of this town, to­gether with former mayor David.

Since then, the fa­cil­ity has of­fered short cour­ses in ma­chine sewing, auto-me­chanic cour­ses, and elec­tronic re­pair short cour­ses, among oth­ers.

It was only af­ter David’s three terms that Gam­boa was able to take the may­oralty of the town. Gam­boa served as mayor from 1998 to 2007. Dur­ing this time he led the town’s fur­ther re­cov­ery from the dev­as­ta­tion of la­har from the 1991 Mt. Pi­natubo erup­tions un­der the slo­gan “Po­rac Mov­ing Up.” It was also dur­ing this time that the fledg­ling Po­rac Wa­ter Dis­trict be­gan op­er­a­tions. Gam­boa helped steer the di­rec­tion of the wa­ter dis­trict even of­fer­ing to pay the salaries of the em­ploy­ees dur­ing its early years of op­er­a­tions.

In his third term as mayor, cur­rent Mayor Con­dral­ito dela Cruz served as his vice-mayor. Af­ter a brief rest from his po­lit­i­cal stint, Gam­boa mounted a re­turn to the po­lit­i­cal arena but was hum­bled. By this time the po­lit­i­cal con­fig­u­ra­tion of the town had changed.

Even out of pol­i­tics, Gam­boa still main­tained po­lit­i­cal in­flu­ence in the town with his pa­tron­age be­ing sought by as­pir­ing politi­cians. Early this week, Gam­boa died from a lin­ger­ing ill­ness, he was 76.

Dela Cruz, on Wed­nes­day’s necro­log­i­cal ser­vices, hon­ored his po­lit­i­cal men­tor and friend for his con­tri­bu­tions to the town. Dela Cruz said that Po­rac owes a lot to Gam­boa and his pro­grams are still be­ing con­tin­ued to this day.

His nephew, Vice-Mayor Dex­ter David re­mem­bers Gam­boa to be a kind-hearted man who was al­ways ready to learn new things. He added that Gam­boa knew what self-sac­ri­fice meant in the field of pub­lic ser­vice.

Dur­ing Fri­day’s fu­neral march, dozens of sup­port­ers, pub­lic school teach­ers and ad­mir­ers of the former mayor paid their last re­spects. Gam­boa’s re­mains were in­terred at the memo­rial ceme­tery in Po­rac town. Po­rac’s “Mov­ing Up” man had fi­nally moved on. (Ed­i­tor’s note: The au­thor is a grand nephew of the late Mayor Gam­boa)

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Philippines

© PressReader. All rights reserved.