Porac town bids farewell to ‘Moving Up’ man
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.—
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)