The six great governors from the south
WHAT MATTERS MOST - Atty. Josephus B. Jimenez (The Freeman) - October 11, 2020 - 12:00am

Today's town fiesta in Dumanjug is an occasion to remember the great Dumanjuganons who built this town into the most progressive LGU in southwestern Cebu, constituting the seventh congressional district. This is the only town in the whole province of Cebu that produced no less than four governors already. No other town has that rare honor and distinction.

From 1907 to 1912, a very brilliant, daring, and passionate Dumanjuganon, Don Dionisio Abella Jakosalem was elected as the fourth governor of Cebu, following Don Julio Llorente from Argao who was governor from 1899 to 1901, and Don Juan F. Climaco from 1902 to 1906, then Don Sergio Osmeña Sr. from 1906 to 1907. From 1995 to 2004, Pablo Paras Garcia, from Bitoon, Dumanjug, was elected governor for three terms. He was followed by his eldest daughter, Gwendolyn who was elected from 2004 to 2013, also for three terms. The interruption due to term limit was from 2013 to 2019 when Governor Hilario P. Davide III took over. In 2019, Governor Gwen came back and former governor Junjun Davide was elected vice governor.

The leaders of Dumanjug all came from the same roots and they were really related to each other by blood or affinity. I recall that one of the most durable leaders of this town was the late Jose Macoy, mayor from 1938 to 1942. He was followed from 1942 to 1943 by a lawyer, Jose Amadora, who later became city fiscal of Cebu. Then Silvano Jakosalem took over from 1943 to 1944, and Luciano Lucero from 1945 to 1946. Then Jose Macoy came back and he was the mayor for the longest time from 1946 to 1963. Guntrano Gica, the grandfather of the incumbent mayor, took over from 1964 to 1967, followed by the lawyer son of the first Amadora, Atty. Romeo Amadora, from 1968 to 1971.

Mayor Tomas Garcia, younger brother of Noy Pabling and uncle of Governor Gwen, took over from 1972 to 1987. He was followed by an officer-in-charge when Cory Aquino took over from the deposed Marcos, Salvador Saromines, until another Amadora lawyer took over, cousin of Romeo, Melecio L. Amadora from 1988 to 1990. He was followed by Leon Avila in 1990 to 1991 and Atty. Teodolo Q. Opsima from 1992 to 2001. Cesar Baricuatro was elected and held office from 2001 to 2010. He was followed by the brother of Governor Gwen, the late Nelson Gamaliel F. Garcia. In 2019, Mayor Gungun won over Nelson and holds office until today.

If the Garcias and the Gicas can unite and help Dumanjug to progress more, then there are high hopes that this town will become a first-class municipality, and even a future city. It has all the potential wherewithal and the fundamental economic infrastructures, and the leadership. I hope and pray that this fiesta will trigger the reconciliation of all political factions for the ultimate good for all Dumanjuganons.

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