Lasting impressions

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By May Anne Cacdac

The Iron Maiden

Thursday, April 24, 2014

IT MAY have been fate which dictated my chance to enter the Mayor's Office on a holiday, Maundy Thursday to be exact, given the duty to wait for the convoy of the Baguio Correspondents and Broadcasters Club annual Lucky Summer Visitors.

I was with the bestie Jonathan Llanes and my kumpare Harley Palangchao of Baguio Midland Courier. Both are former presidents of the media club.

True to his nature, because I know this to be true as well, Mayor Mauricio Domogan was already there. He is always early for an appointment barring any inevitable circumstance. He was scheduled to receive the officers and the LSVs at 12 p.m. I checked my watch, it was 11:15.


I approached him to introduce myself and tell him it is my first time to enter his office.

I was expecting a little hostility. After all, the publication and I have been critical of some of this administration’s decisions.

But his handshake was warm. Relief there. And then courage took over. There are stories to write, after all. I ask for an interview and he obliges. My very first interview with you, I tell him.

Ugnayan with May Anne Cacdac, Harley dubbed it, when he posted a picture of the interview on Facebook. Indeed. It was an exclusive. A real exclusive contrary to what other networks or publications may claim as “exclusive.”
I did not expect the interview to be less than the man I have heard and seen countless times, whether from afar, on tv, or on radio.

Mayor Domogan is passionate about a lot of things and this passion is evident whenever he answers questions of media, from issues on governance, to his health, to his dislike for gambling and the more personal issues, which more often than not, prop up during elections.

And while, as I have mentioned above, I disagree with several of his past actions, I was bound to agree with many points he raised during my “exclusive.”

We can’t always disagree, can we?

The common denominator in my interview with the city’s chief executive was his call for unity – may it be for the proposed and already up and running BLISTT development and another stab at the region’s bid for autonomy.

His enthusiasm for both is almost palpable, tangible. Like it was almost another entity in the office with us, his unbridled and bold passion. His statements just as bold.

Yes, he’s always struck me as a man who doesn’t mince his words. And that 20 minute privilege of interviewing the city’s big boss, indeed, proved me right.

My story on his take on our nth shot at autonomy will follow. Just in time for the regional autonomy summit on Wednesday.

We hear the sirens of the coming LSV convoy and our interview is cut short. The visitors arrive and while we go through the ceremonies of this yearly BCBC project, I take the time to go through his personal collection displayed in a glass casing.

Very interesting items, I must say. He loves golf. That is very evident. And a sign that says, “What part of ‘No’ do you not understand?”
I guess he says this a lot.

I approach him before we left his office and thanked him. He said he was sorry the interview was cut short and again the firm and warm handshake.

We are bound by our jobs. And we each have a responsibility to the public.

We go about our days thinking about the implications of our actions and suffer the dire consequences of our wrong decisions.

Respect is earned, they say. And while I know I will not always agree with the man, the mayor has earned my respect.

And I can only pray I earned his even during that brief meeting.

Published in the Sun.Star Baguio newspaper on April 25, 2014.


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