Family Day 

      Christians celebrate “family day” today commemorating Joseph’s triumphant liberation of his family from King Herod’s “death squad”. The latter searched for Baby Jesus whom the oracle foretold to be the King of all Kings. Afraid of the awesome powers this “new-born” King may have, Herod ordered the killing of all infants on site, hoping to stop this infant-King from challenging his reign.

      Acting like a good father of the family, Joseph saved his family, Jesus and Mary, from the onslaught of a desperate king.

       It is from this heroic stand that Filipino families draw its inspiration in taking care of every member of its family. From Joseph’s example we came to regard fathers (or mothers) as the protector of the children who’s always concern is the welfare of the family. Thereafter, civilizations affectionately use the term “father or mother” to mean protector, inventor, provider, savior, succor, etc., etc., ad infinitum, whenever it refers to a person or a person’s act of benevolence.

       Quite interestingly, tagaBulans refer to Mayor Baby De Castro, as “May” and to her first gentleman as, “Pay”, perhaps with so much hope that their  chosen “surrogate parents” will deliver them from all hunger or at least tide them over to brighter future.

        With the operation of the new bus terminal in Fabrica, however, De Castro’s “surrogate” children are reconsidering the use of this moniker. “Padusa ugang ini si Rosa”, says one disgruntled commuter who complained of the higher fare he had to pay a tricycle ride from the poblacion to the terminal.

       A businessman who arrived from Manila expressed a similar gripe. After loading his luggage on the tricycle, its driver would not leave until there were at least four passengers, saying a single passenger’s fare could not pay for the gas a trip to the poblacion would consume. To the dismay of the businessman, he had to wait for another hour till another bus arrives so his (tricycle) driver could gather three more passengers.

       Porters who live in the poblacion also complain of the added expense of paying for their daily trip to Fabrica and back home.

       “Kada pagkadto mi sa terminal mapamasahe kami sin P14.00, iban ini sa kikitaon mi sa pag-baggage, kun may makontrata kami na pasahero. Kaso lang, kada naabot na bus, halos tulo o lima man lang an nagaarabot hale sa Manila, pagbabarahinon mi pa ini na mga baggage boys. Kun wara suwerte, mauli kami wara ngani kita, naggagastos pa kami sa pamasahe magdayo lang sin pag-baggage”, said one porter, “Samantalang san yadto lang sa poblacion an barabaan san pasahero, baklay lang nakatrabaho na kami”, he added.

        “Hanggang alas-otso man lang an arabutan san hale si Manila, pagkatapos sini wara na biyahe, balik naman kami sa poblacion basi maka-baggage naman sin mga epektos na indidiskarga san mga trak sa mga panindahan”, another one explained, “Diyo-diyo na ngani an kita namo, iibanan pa sin pamasahe makaabot lang sa Fabrika, nano an luwas namo? Rutoy! Marasapa ini si Pay mao ni May kay inpapasakitan ugang kami. Padusa talaga ini si Rosa, an sadiri lang nira an iniisip”, he concluded.

         In civil law, a person’s diligence is always equated to that of a “good father of the family”. Meaning, a good father of the family will always think of his children’s welfare over and above his own. But in the case of this controversial terminal, the conjugal concern of these “mother and father” of Bulan seems to be for their own family only, unmindful of the hardships their project has brought to the people especially to those who could barely survive their hand-to-mouth existence.

      Bad enough that our local government could hardly provide new jobs and/or opportunites for the growing number of starving families in Bulan, Her Highness Marie-Antoinette would rather “give them cake” or worse an overpriced Centralized Bus Terminal the only discernible benefit of which is raising the real estate value of De Castro’s agricultural land.

       And if you think that is all, this P80 million peso infrastructure project will soon be the exclusive private property of Geming and Rosa De Castro the moment they (Geming and Rosa) themselves decide to use this property for purposes OTHER than a bus terminal. A condition they so conveniently slipped right under the noses of our honorable members of the Sanguniang Bayan (with the exception of only one, Kagawad Roberto “Bobby” Que) providing for the reversion of the “donated” property to its original owners, the heirs of Manuel G. De Castro, foremost of whom is Geming and Mayor Rosa De Castro.

       In the spirit of the season, I tried to desist from writing a “gloomy” piece like this.

       However, we all know that Jesus Christ, who was sent by His Father, came not to sing praises to those who are comfortably entrenched in power, but to expose them as mere pretenders to the throne. His mission is to teach them that real power comes not from exploiting the weak, but in serving the needy. In giving rather than receiving. In making us all realize, that a good father of the family does not “abuse his children so as not to demoralize them”.

        May we all have a meaningful new year!