I have been going around lately and it would seem that the city is getting back to its feet. The economic doldrums has somehow ebbed as evidenced by the daily shoppers at Gaisano and KCC malls. Even Fitmart is reporting brisk sales. The restaurants that I’ve been to are enjoying good business – even the coffee shops are making a killing at the cash register. When I tried to book a room in one of the leading hotels, I was told that they were booked solid for the month. The other hotels and pension and lodging houses have reported an average of 85% occupancy rate. I also learned that expansion plans are in the offing for East Asia Royale Hotel. In fact, the Bartolomes are planning to duplicate their popular water resort in Batangas right smack in Lagao. Excitement is also building up with the opening of the huge Robinson’s Mall in October. And we’re not even talking about the entry of SM yet. And there’s the Microtel Inn which will begin construction soon. What about the ECA Buildings along National Highway? Check it out and you’ll feel like you’re in a highly urbanized center like Makati. Residents, young and old alike have been patronizing the Lagao Food Arcade nightly such that seating is almost impossible by 7:30pm. Can you feel it? In 2008, the Bankers’ Association reported total peso deposits of 14 billion pesos, a jump from 2007’s 11 billion pesos. The Tuna Industry may be economically challenged but the other industries are whopping it up. That is why, during our organizational meeting of the Tuna Festival Council, we were hell-bent of ensuring that this year’s festivities will be grander than before. Can you feel it? If you don’t, boy, you’re in for a big surprise.