The winner takes it all
AS A MATTER OF FACT - Sara Soliven De Guzman (The Philippine Star) - May 20, 2019 - 12:00am

Congratulations to the winners. This election was indeed such a hayride. The unexpected happened even during the campaign period. This just goes to show that everything is unpredictable even if the surveys say otherwise. Now for those who lost, you already know the idiosyncrasies in the country. You already had a chance to improve government not even just once but maybe twice or thrice and you let those opportunities go. So stop bickering and accept your defeat.

And the winners are: Magic 12 in the senatorial bid: Cynthia Villar, Grace Poe, Bong Go, Pia Cayetano, Bato de la Rosa, Sonny Angara, Lito Lapid, Imee Marcos, Francis Tolentino, Koko Pimentel, Bong Revilla and Nancy Binay. In the local scene the following made it: Isko Moreno (Manila mayor), Francis Zamora (San Juan City mayor), Ronaldo Zamora (San Juan City representative), Imelda Aguilar and daughter April (mayor and vice mayor of Las Piñas City), Rex Gatchalian (Valenzuela mayor), Menchie Abalos (Mandaluyong City mayor), Kid Peña (Makati Representative), Abby Binay (Makati mayor), Antolin Oreta III (Malabon mayor), Joy Belmonte (Quezon City mayor), Vico Sotto (Pasig City Mayor), Lino Cayetano (Taguig Mayor), Jaime Fresnedi (Muntinlupa City mayor), Edwin Olivarez (Paranaque City mayor), Marcy Teodoro (Marikina City mayor), Toby Tiangco (Navotas Mayor), John Rey Tiangco (House Representative), Luis Campos Jr. (Makati 2nd district Representative).

In Luzon: Michael Marcos Keon and Toto Lazo (mayor and vice mayor of Laoag City), Benjamin Magalong (Baguio City mayor), Chavit Singson (mayor of Narvacan, Ilocos Sur), Bebong Gatchalian and Len Pineda (mayor and vice mayor of Malolos City), Marc Brian (Dagupan City mayor), Rolen Paulino Jr and Jong Cortez (mayor and vice mayor of Olongapo City), Lucilo Bayron (Puerto Princesa mayor), Gemma Lubigan ( Trece Martires City mayor), Juanito Victor “Jonvic” Remulla Jr (Cavite governor), Francis Escudero (Sorsogon governor), Restituto “Buboy” Fernandez (vice mayor –Polangui town in Albay), Ciriaco Gato Jr (Batanes representative), Gerandy Danao (Narra Town mayor – Palawan), Victor Perete (Daraga town mayor), Kristine Singson Meehan (Ilocos Sur 2nd District Representative), Noel Rosal and Robert Oscar Cristobal (mayor and vice mayor of Legazpi City), Antonio “Ony” Ferrer (General Trias mayor), and indigenous farmer Otol Odi (mayor Rizal town, Palawan).

In the Visayas: Jonas Cortes and Glenn Bercede ( mayor and vice mayor of Mandaue City, Cebu), Carlo and Mayel Martinez (mayor and vice mayor of Bogo City, Cebu) Iloilo City representative Jerry Treñas (Iloilo city mayor), Ahong Chan and Celsi Sitoy ( mayor and vice mayor of Lapu-Lapu City, Cebu), Paz Radaza (representative Moises Padilla town) Ella Garcia Yulo (Moises Padilla mayor), Gwendolyn Garcia (returns as Cebu governor Cebu City), Senator Loren Legarda (representative of the lone district of Antique), Arthur Yap (Bohol governor), defeating Duterte’s former Cabinet secretary Leoncio “Jun” Evasco Jr.

In Mindanao: Sara Duterte (Davao City mayor), Baste Duterte (Davao City vice mayor), Paolo Duterte (1st District of Davao City representative), Kaka Bag-ao (Dinagat Islands governor), Jose Maria “Joe” Zubiri Jr (Bukidnon governor), Zamboanga City Mayor Maria Isabelle “Beng” Climaco Salazar, Former House speaker Pantaleon Alvarez (reelected as Davao del Norte 1st District), and Representative Oscar Moreno wins as Cagayan de Oro City mayor.

The top 5 Party List are: ACT-CIS, Bayan Muna, Ako Bicol, CIBAC and Ang Probinsyano.

It’s funny how some candidates continue to contest the elections just because they lost. In the first place we already know that the Comelec voting machines are questionable and unreliable but why didn’t anyone lift a finger to contest or complain? Why did you still run? Remember you had your chance to change something in this country. Why didn’t you do it before?

Here’s hoping that the magic 12 will start improving and creating laws that will help this country instead of celebrating personalities. Here’s hoping that the House of Representatives will start thinking of country. Here’s hoping that the mayors clean up their cities and make their environments beautiful, functional and safe for the people. Here’s hoping that government becomes more professional in their services and actions.

The ABBA song Winner Takes It All, reminds me of some candidates who have shown us more weakness than strength. In times of defeat, we must show the best of ourselves instead of the worst. This is your destiny. So, for the winners, I pray that you do your best. Put your best foot forward. For the ones who lost, do something productive. Don’t just bum around, wallow in your grief of losing and wait for the next elections. So here goes: I don’t want to talk/ about the things we’ve gone through/ though it’s hurting me,/now it’s history. I’ve played all my cards/ and that’s what you’ve done too. Nothing more to say. No more ace to play. The winner takes it all! The loser standing small. Beside the victory, that’s her destiny.

As my dad Maximo V. Soliven would often quip, “The show is over! Let’s get this country going in land, air and sea.”

*      *      *

Erratum: A few weeks ago, I wrote about structural integrity. I would like to clarify that a house designed by a civil engineer or architect has a higher chance of not collapsing during an earthquake compared to one constructed by a mere carpenter or mason. Of course this is obvious but I may have not made it clear in my previous column. Please take note that only licensed engineers can do the structural design of a building. He should sign the civil engineering plans with his license number indicated. His license can be suspended or revoked if he makes the wrong calculations and designs.

An architect, on the other hand, is limited to doing architectural designs. A mason and/or carpenter cannot legally design and build a house. The structure they do have no architectural and engineering plans and without a building permit.

In order to ensure the structural integrity of a building, you must first do a soil boring test prior to construction. The structural design will depend on the results of the soil boring tests. Soil conditions can vary even within the same land area. This is so simple, yet not done! More so in areas where soil condition is dubious like those prone to liquefaction. Yes, this may be basic to contractors, engineers and architects but not to laymen like us.

Since the Philippines is an earthquake prone country, we need to strengthen the structures around. Are the structures able to stand intensity 7 earthquake? Will there ever be an intensity 8, 9 or 10 earthquake? Up to what intensity can our homes, schools, hospitals, office buildings and condominiums handle?

This is the best time to check the structural integrity of homes and buildings. Start by knowing the strength of the foundation of the structures: footings, columns and beams. The quality of steel bars and concrete are vital. It is best to use ready-mix concrete delivered by trucks and have the compression strength tested. Steel bars used should be at 3,000 psi.

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