Thursday, August 7, 2008


A lot can be said about the current administration of President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo. But I do not want to deal with the issues. I attended the 2008 State of the Nation Address as a goodwill ambassador of Negros and at the same time take the opportunity to be in the same venue with some of the greatest leaders, lawmakers and newsmakers our generation would have.

The Plenary Hall of the Batasan Pambansa was the venue.

"After the release of their Certificates of Ancestral Domain, Rosario Camma, Bugkalot chieftain, and now mayor of Nagtipunan, Quirino Province helped his 15,000-member tribe develop irrigation, plant vegetables and corn and achieve food sufficiency. "

"In training, 7.74 million took technical and vocational courses over the last seven years, double the number in the previous 14 years. In 2007 alone, 1.7 million graduated. Among them are Jessica Barlomento now in Hanjin as supply officer, Shenve Catana, Marie Grace Comendador, and Marlyn Tusi, lady welders, congratulations."

"Rodney Berdin, age 13, of Barangay Rombang, Belison, Antique, who saved his mother, brother and sister from the raging waters of Sibalom River."

With the first lady of the Province of Catanduanes and my jolly seatmate Nancy Ong Cua.

With the ever lovely Senator Loren Legarda.

With the indefatigable Secretary of the Department of Agriculture, Honorable Arthur Yap

With the Chairman of the Philippine National Red Cross and former Tourism Secretary, Senator Richard Gordon

With Senator Migz Zubiri whose father hails from Bacolod City, Negros Occidental.

With Congressman Pablo Garcia, the father of the present Governor of Cebu, Gwen Garcia.

With social icon, Madam Baby Arenas.

With the "Big Man" of the day, Speaker of the House of Representatives Prospero Nograles.

With action star Senator Bong Revilla Jr.

With Tourism Secretary Ace Durano.

With Mr. Palengke Senator Mar Roxas.

With the Congresswoman representing the 1st District of Negros Oriental including Canlaon City, the big-hearted, ever gracious and supportive Hon. Jocelyn Limkaichong.

See if you can spot me. I come out a couple of times in this live video of the SONA.

For sure, attending the SONA was an opportunity of a lifetime. May my successors experience the same excitement and memories.

Proud to be a Negrense. Forever Hari ng Negros.