Dynastic families are biggest losers
SHOOTING STRAIGHT - Valeriano Avila (The Freeman) - May 16, 2019 - 12:00am

LONDON — It was truly a stunning victory for those supporting President Duterte and his political allies against the once-vaunted Liberal Party (LP) which has been in power over 30 years now. But in the end, the Filipino people have learned their bitter lessons from those political bigwigs who resort to false information, political pressure or intimidation just to stay in power and steal from the government coffers.

I understand that Vice Mayor Isko Moreno, whom I had dinner a couple of months ago, won his mayoralty bid against the impregnable Mayor Joseph Estrada. Erap’s sons also lost. The Osmeña family, Mayor Tomas, former senator Serge, and Mayor John Henry, also lost. There is new politics in the air. And the return of Gwen Garcia to the Capitol is something to look forward to.

In what I call the biggest surprise of these elections, former Liloan mayor Vincent Franco “Duke” Frasco was elected representative of Cebu’s Fifth District, which is composed of the city of Danao and towns of Borbon, Carmen, Catmon, Compostela, Liloan, Pilar, Poro, San Francisco, Sogod, and Tudela. This is the first time in 70 years the district will no longer be represented by a Durano in Congress.

That’s even before the year I was born! Congrats not only to Duke, but also to his wife, Liloan’s reelected Mayor Christina Garcia-Frasco, and their three young children. If you’ve been to Liloan lately, it has begun to look brighter and better than the old days. This is what happens when new blood comes into political power and removes the old dynastic families from politics.

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Being in London as a tourist and writing about my trip resulted in three emailed commentaries. First was from Mr. Roger Garnham, who wrote a positive commentary about my being in his old hometown. And the other was from Michael Luder, who now lives in Negros Oriental and wanted me to touch on London’s inequality and its lawlessness and high murder rate. I won’t comment on inequality because you have royalty on top of the English people, but lawlessness is a reality.

Last Tuesday, someone picked my wallet and I can’t tell if it was during my visit to Buckingham Palace or elsewhere. Thankfully, only my driver’s license was the important document there and a few dollars, as I also had a separate bag for important papers. When I was in Rome 15 years ago, a teenage girl tried to rip off my wallet inside my jacket. They say that the Philippines is a dangerous place, but being pickpocketed was something that never happened to me. So, yes, since the European Union (EU) allowed Middle Eastern immigrants there, lawlessness has become a part of life in Europe.

Meanwhile last Tuesday, we went on a bus tour to Windsor Castle, where Kate Middleton who married Prince William the Duke of Cambridge resides with their three children. Nope, we also didn’t bump into Archie Harrison Mountbatten of his parents, Prince Harry and Megan Merkle in Windsor, although I asked if the first photos of their baby was done in the very hall we were allowed to see. And yes, it was there they presented their baby. Windsor Palace after all is the favorite hangout of the royals.

Then we toured the famous City of Bath, which was founded by the Romans. Bath still has a fully working Roman spa, thanks to the plentiful supply of water there. Then a visit to the magnificent abbey in Bath, where people are buried on the floor and on the walls of the church. Finally, an hour away was the ancient monument called Stonehenge. To be completely honest about it, the Stonehenge,  while considered one of the Seven Wonders of the World, was never in my bucket list.

One thing I’m learning from this trip is that from our AirBnB, it is a 15-minute walk to the train station and when we arrived at a certain destination, it was another long walk. When I learned that taking the Uber car cost much less than taking the train, we decided to use the services of Uber. Tomorrow, we go to the Imperial War Museum.

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For email responses to this article, write to vsbobita@gmail.com. His columns can be accessed through www.philstar.com.

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