Celebrating our town fiesta via digital platform

WHAT MATTERS MOST - Atty. Josephus B. Jimenez - The Freeman

A Blessed Fiesta to all Rondahanons. We are proud Rondahanons all over the world. We join our town folks in celebrating our town fiesta tomorrow. We pray for deliverance from this pandemic and we call on all of you to join us in our Oratio Imperata for salvation from COVID-19 and all its deadly variants. May our Lady of Sorrows spare us from more pains and sadness.

The town of Ronda is smaller than its northern neighbors, Barili and Dumanjug. But it is famous for two things: so many professionals and so many tasty foods and delicacies. The Rondahanons are music lovers, hardworking farmers and fisherfolks, and although ours is one of the smallest towns, we have produced one governor and Cabinet member, Governor Francisco Emilio Famor Remotigue. We have a number of lawyers who have become judges, prosecutors, bureau directors, and undersecretaries. We are proud of our teachers and medical practitioners. Tomorrow is the fiesta of our patron saint, Our Lady of Sorrows.

I used to come home to celebrate this annual event and meet the good people of our town over delicious dinners and lunches with friends, relatives, and neighbors. Our humba is famous because our folks have learned to perfect the secret recipe of this delicious concoction out of pure pork from a well-chosen breed of pigs with organic food and clean ways of growing them up. Humba is tastier than lechon and the local chefs are very careful about the food's effects on the health of people. We also have our special rice cake or bibingka out of native rice and pure tuba.

Our town mayor, the young, dynamic and very hardworking Terence Mariano Blanco V, my compadre and cousin, has led the town with a sense of integrity, dedication, and hard work. He continues the tradition of devotion to public service started by his late father, Mayor Mariano Albero Blanco Sr., followed by his mother, the now 93-year-old Victoria Yap Blanco, and also by the late Mariano Y. Blanco III. The Blancos have been in the town leadership since after the EDSA Revolution years from 1986 onwards. There were a number of attempts to challenge their political leadership by richer and bigger clans, but they have failed.

This small town is also the home of the Villagonzalos, the Gimenas, the Gimarinos, the Villalons, the Maribaos, the Gabatans, the Requilmes, the Bucogs, the Layaguins, the Yaps, the Sias, the Kwongs, the Diamas, the Jumao-ases, the Famors and Blancos in Barangay Langin, Malalay, and Vive. We have a good number of lawyers and doctors, nurses, engineers, and accountants. Many professionals are now permanent residents of New York, California, Washington, Florida, Chicago, Texas, and Hawaii. Many Rondahanons are also working in Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Qatar, and the UAE, Others are OFWs in Hong Kong, Singapore, Taiwan, and even South Korea. We also have a number of seamen.

Because of the pandemic, the Rondahanons are celebrating our town fiesta via digital platform. We will see each other via Zoom. We shall cook our own humba ala Ronda and our Bibingka using tuba from our homegrown coconut tree in our lot in Metro Manila.

We can be together in spirit and in praying for the intercession of Our Lady for healing of our town and salvation of Rondahanons all over the world. Viva Fiesta de Ronda.

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