My Two Centavo Worth v.09.06.09

BUTTERFLIES IN THE STOMACH. I barely slept the night before the opening of the Tuna Festival.  I had butterflies, dragonflies, lizards and maybe a couple of cockroaches in my stomach.  I knew I have covered all my bases and I felt we are better organized now.  But you know how Murphy’s Law is.  If anything will go wrong it will.  The commitments from the participating schools for the Mardi Gras Competition somehow helped ease the tension.  So there I was nibbling on my nails hoping that the next day’s opening will go on smoothly.  And smoothly the festival ran.  There were hitches – albeit minor ones and there was a lot of emotions involved but most of them are in the right place.  I think it would be safe to say that differences aside, we all share the strong attachment to this beautiful place we fondly call GENSAN.

-ooOoo-

BOX OFFICE HIT. I promised myself to attend every event lined up for this year’s Tuna Festival.  My main purpose was to personally get the feel of the people attending the events.  I was immensely satisfied with the grand opening ceremony – what with the colorful contingents that  added pomp and pageantry.  The succeeding events floored me.  I have never seen such huge turnout ever since I’ve handled our city’s fiesta.  They were all certified box-office hits, to use the pun.  The Miss GenSan pageant which have been a barometer for other beauty contests once again delivered.  The show was sleek, fast-paced and classy.  The overflowing crowd at Gaisano Mall atrium was visibly impressed.   Thanks, Direk Dino.  I got goose bumps just thinking about the young people who filled the Oval Plaza grounds every night.  San Miguel Brewery’s Barkada Zone and Coca-Cola’s Open Happiness Zone were both big crowd-drawers.  Even the Coral Carnival was enjoying brisk business too.  The Flea Market traders and the Food Court operators only had one comment:  “Ibang-iba talaga dito sa GenSan!  Malakas ang bentahan at talo ang ibang bayan!”  Need I say more?

-ooOoo-

MAGANDANG GENSAN! For the first time, the hotel operators are complaining of too many guests and not too many rooms.   Hotel reservations were made a month before and they kept pouring in even during the festival.  It helped that the Tuna Congress was held here again.  But surprisingly, even after the congress, it was still difficult to book a room.  Visitors from other towns and municipalities were observed.  Blogs about the festival generated a lot of media mileage for GenSan so much so that despite the economic doldrums, corporate sponsorships was impressive.  I couldn’t help but recall what DOT Region XII Director Sohura Dimaampao said to us in 2003.  She was all praises with the efforts that the private sector is doing for GenSan’s tourism industry.    She admired our determination and dedication in getting things done in these parts.  Mommy Sohura will be missed.  When the 5-minute fireworks display capped the celebration yesterday, I said to myself:  Magandang Gensan!  We definitely have arrived!

-ooOoo-

ONLY IN GENSAN. For how can you run a major fiesta with two of the biggest telecommunication companies as sponsor?  Smart and Globe.  Globe and Smart.  Both companies each delivered whopping successes during their assigned days.  Kamikazee for Smart and Slapshock for Globe.  Walang mahulugang karayom sa loob ng Oval Plaza.  Then there’s the Kapuso and Kapamilya support.  Newcomer GMA 7’s efforts was warmer.  Their approach was like a breath of fresh air.   Bringing Mark Herras to the Charter Anniversary program was a stroke of genius.  ABS CBN though already entrenched in Gensan would have to shape up now with competition around.  This is a good thing for Gensan.  It will get more interesting in the days to come.

-ooOoo-

OF MENTORS & TORMENTORS. Text messages of congratulations began pouring in even before the fireworks display.  When Mayor Jun and First Lady Rose warmly embraced me, I just took in their warmth and sincerity.  I could easily wallow on success but that’s not my style.  I am taking this opportunity to thank Rey Billena who has been my mentor since my Kalilangan days.  Thanks, Rey, for keeping faith in me.  For standing by me through thick and thin, my heartfelt gratitude to Gensan Chamber President Jan Ced.   To my sparring partner, Pilar Afuang, we definitely are like two peas in a pod.  Thanks for sharing your friendship with me.  My gratitude extends to the Gensan Chamber Secretariat Edna and Eric Simon, Sheng, Jingle and Terry.  Your stars shone the brightest since Day 1.  I have a lot more to acknowledge but I prefer that they remain anonymous.  To my tormentors, I offer my hand of peace.  We may have disagreements but what the heck, the Tuna Festival is over and done with.  It’s time to buckle down to work for there are a lot of things that need some brushing up.  Daghang Salamat sa tanan.

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