Rep. Anna York B. Sagum

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Tuesday, April 30, 2013

REPRESENTATIVE Anna York B. Sagum, the unbeaten flag bearer of the Puyat-Bondoc dynastic clan in the fourth district, is at the end of her last term as congresswoman.

The former St. Luke's Hospital pulmunologist has begun saying farewell to her constituents after a colorful nine-year stint. A teaching job awaits her at the UP College of Medicine.

Rep. Sagum loves to recount her distinguished record capped by a number of bills she has authored in along with multi-million pesos in public infrastructures in her area through her initiative. She prides in being the lone representative from Pampanga who voted for the RH Bill.


She concludes her report to the district by appealing to the electorate to throw their support to his brother former Rep. Juan Pablo "Rimpy" Bondoc, who is reclaiming his former seat.

Rimpy Bondoc had served his second term as congressman when he decided to run for governor. It was a mission to redeem his late father's loss in a bid for the Capitol.

He failed in his gubernatorial ambition, as did his father, the Madrid-educated Dr. Emigdio Bondoc, who served as undefeated congressman in the district. The late doctor perished in a road accident.

The fourth district is considered as an untitled domain of the Bondoc family. Not one of the various aspirants who fought the Bondocs had made a decent showing in over two decades of costly attempts in the game of thrones.

With Anna York's splendid performance, the consensus was that the lady physician was a better and more effective politician than his younger brother, a Harvard graduate (John F. Kennedy School of Governance) and a corporate executive.

"Dr. Anna was more congenial and approachable than her brother," according to local officials in the district. They described Rimpy as the typical technocrat-formal, stern, and business-like.

It is the familial, endearing qualities of Dr. Anna that now makes it difficult for aspirant, Candaba Mayor Jerry Pelayo, to overcome the built-in public acceptability and popularity of the Bondocs.

Jerry who loves going around with the monicker "John Lloyd" (a movie heartthrob) has yet to capture public imagination by his name-gimmick. Most difficult task of all is if the energetic and valuable mayor can demolish the legend of a dynastic family.

Providing a new bailiwick to the Bondocs is former San Luis town mayor Dr. Jay Sagum. His marriage to Anna York had legitimized her affinity to San Luis folk as their "daughter-in-law."

All that Rimpy has to do now is go around the district and reap the good will and public affection that his sister had developed by her sterling performance, "hell or high water." Of course, Dr. Anna has not solved the perennial flooding problem of the coastal towns in her turf, an old issue against her by her rivals in past elections.

Dr. Anna continues to woo and win the hearts of constituents by her narration of the ordeal and passion she underwent in the process of having a baby. In "Personalan," hosted by the famous Rey Yumang-Mau Aquino tandem, the congresswoman confessed how she and her physician husband joined the devotees who made "panata" to the Virgin by joining a street dancing festival in Obando, Bulacan.

"Miraculous," she described the result of their prayer-dancing before an icon known for blessing impecunious devotees and those desperate to land a wife or husband.

She recalled their trip to Obando. "Medical science can only do so much," the lawmaker attributes her successful pregnancy to their prayers culminating to a difficult in vitro fertilization protocol (IVF) in a New York clinic.

She explained her record of absences in Congress as her medical leave. She and Dr. Jay spent months in the Big Apple waiting for the results of the IVF job. She was kept under prolonged bed rest to avoid a miscarriage. The dutiful spouse did the housework and laundry, too.

It was when the zygote was declared viable that she returned to the Philippines. She was overjoyed and felt blessed, she added.

When then Rep. Rimpy was about to start his family, Dr. Anna took over from his brother so that he and his wife would have all the time for that purpose.

"Now that I am starting my own family, he would be taking over the congressional job," she described the siblings' synergy in the 'dynasty.' In San Luis, Baby Benjie is already called Baby Mayor, certainly a future leader in the District.

Shown on TV Ch.44 was the happy and contented middle-aged doctora while breastfeeding her child named Benjamin. The doting Dr. Jay is also pictured while carrying the handsome child. "He likes the idea of me breastfeeding. That saves him the task of holding the feeding bottle during unholy hours," she joked.

Mama Ray and pretty Mau's expert prodding on their outspoken and candid subject inspired the congresswoman to admit: "Just imagine how my family and friends had chided me for going almost 'round the world to find a future life partner. Nandito lang pala sa San Luis," she chuckled.

Now that is a heartwarming and folksy love story. Can the ersatz John Lloyd of Candaba come up with a romantic tale, possibly a tear-jerker, to resonate with the barrio folks? No more of the Ibon-Ebun stuff, just plain true to life drama in the swamplands.

Published in the Sun.Star Pampanga newspaper on May 01, 2013.


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