21 April 2007

A vote for Abang Mabulo

READER Alfredo Mariano sent me a note this morning about an email he read from the blog of the fearless Ellen Tordesillas. I am reproducing it in full.

I am not a Bicolano nor a voter of District 1 Camarines Sur but if I could vote for one person, I would vote for Mayor Sabas "Abang" Mabulo who is running for the congressional seat of Camarines Sur District 1 against the Presidential son, Dato Arroyo, who is not a Bicolano and has no public service experience. This is borne out of my experience of Abang Mabulo -- a person who leads me to believe that hope still exists in our country.

I was introduced to Kuya Abang while I was in college during a gathering of the Christian Life Community (CLC). Nine years ago I managed a video production about CLC members who were good role models. One of them was Kuya Abang who was our model for honest public service. As I uploaded his video online recently, I was very touched to see that the man I knew in the video back then is still very much the same man whom I know now.

He is still a man of competence. As I interacted with him in the CLC, I realized that he is a competent leader in the NGO he managed, a skill that was confirmed later on when he became "One of the Ten Most Outstanding Mayors in the Philippines in 2002".

Last year when I visited his town in San Fernando, we traveled on the road that he started to build in 1998 and it was a phenomenal experience. This is the man who was able to link the farms in the mountainous area of San Fernando to the market places in the lowlands through a participative approach. He had very meager financial resources for this road. But he got the Bicolanos in the nearby communities to help build the road. Not only was he able to build a road, he also employed his fellow Bicolanos. Now that is ingenious!

He is very much still a man of character. Truly a man of faith, I witnessed him discern with us in the community whether or not it was the greater good to offer himself as an option in this election. He is a man of integrity and courage even when all indicators point to hopelessness. He is a three-time recipient of the "Parangal sa Marangal" by the Krusadang Bayan Laban sa Jueteng. Kuya Abang is someone I admire and hope to someday be like as a person of commitment.

Many people say that his fight is not practical at all. After all, he is fighting the President’s son who has the political machinery and the financial and human resources to boot while he has a measly P200,000 for his campaign fund. But in the midst of its seeming impracticality is a fight for values and virtues that he believes in -- values and virtues that we as responsible Filipinos and committed persons try to live each day.

All of us are constantly invited to discern the greater good. From where I stand it is certainly Abang Mabulo, our alternative to the politics of patronage.

For more information about Abang Mabulo, please check out the Christian Life Community’s webpage for Abang at http://www.abang4congress.bravehost.com/.

Tinnah dela Rosa
Member, Christian Life Community
124A Esteban Abada St. Loyola Heights, Q.C.
I hope the entire First District will take heed.