Where in the world is this town called Ronda?
WHAT MATTERS MOST - Atty. Josephus Jimenez (The Freeman) - September 12, 2019 - 12:00am

It has always been a question that people ask me in Manila and abroad, where is Ronda, and how do we get there? The name sounds exciting and evokes deep emotions from the soulful Spanish song “Noche de Ronda”.

Two days ago in Singapore, I gave a lecture to some government and labor officials from Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam. I was introduced by the conference director as the “renowned labor expert and international lecturer from Ronda, Cebu, Philippines.” During cocktails that same afternoon some government honchos from ASEAN asked me: “Where is that town called Ronda?” Today, I am here in my beloved hometown, giving a lecture to town officials and personnel. A few days before our fiesta, I am contemplating how to tell people about my town.

The truth is there are at least two places in the world called Ronda. In October, my family and I will tour Europe and our first two countries are Portugal and Spain. I will make sure we detour to a city atop a mountain in Malaga, Spain. It is the original Ronda, located in the deep gorge called El Tajo. Spanning the gorge is a stone bridge called Puente Nuevo. Its most famous tourist attraction is Plaza de Toros, an 18th-century bullring. If we come from Seville, we shall take a bus and pass through the dangerous roads along Costa del Sol, then traverse the ranges of Pena delos Enamorados and pass through the mysterious Cueva del Gato.

The Ronda in Spain is a city with a population of 34,000 and an area of 481.31 square kilometers. My hometown in southwestern Cebu is Ronda, (population 22,000), some 81 kilometers southwest from Cebu City. It is bound in the north by the much bigger, third-class town of Dumanjug (population, 52,000), and in the south by the tiny town of Alcantara (population, 15,000). To the west is the Tañon Strait towards Guihulngan City, Negros Oriental. To the east are the mountain barangays of the biggest town in Cebu, Argao, the town of my birth, a first-class municipality in the 2nd District, (population, 75,900).

Ronda has an area of only 57.10 square kilometers, only about one eighth in size compared to the Ronda in Spain. Ronda is the town of the Blancos. The town mayor since the 1980s has always been a Blanco; the mother Victoria, the son Mariano III, and the youngest son Terence. The Blanco leadership was only interrupted for one term by one multi-millionaire, Esteban Sia. The Blancos are my kin from our village in Langin. Ronda is also the town of the Villagonzalo, Gimena, Maribao, Villalon, Chiong, Yap, Sia, Yee, Gimarino, Bucog, Zuasola, Bacutot, Taypin, Jumao-as, Ibarbia, Requilme, Diama, Birondo, Carreon, Famor, and Remotigue clans. This town has produced a provincial governor, Emilio Francisco Famor Remotigue.

If you want to come to our fiesta, you can pass through Talisay, Minglanilla, Naga, and San Fernando. In Carcar, turn right to Barili, then to Dumanjug. After 15 minutes you will reach Ronda. You may also take a left from Carcar and pass by Sibonga, then to Taloot, Argao, then turn right to the new provincial road passing through the paradise of former chief justice Jun Davide, Colawin. Then from there, about an hour you will reach Ronda, through the Kinakursan junction in Malalay, near Langin, then all the way to our town. Ronda is our own paradise too, where people love each other and eat torta, humba, and bibingka as if its just a normal treat each day. Come and join us this weekend.

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