This is my maiden issue with SUBIC BAY NEWS. Due to the pandemic, I belong to the restricted generation, (born early) that authorities wanted saved, alive but prohibited to move around.

For a guy who has in public circulation as a roving journalist of more than six decades, I find the isolation a harsh punishment. As a journalist I enjoyed being a free bird and then suddenly labeled as “ vulnerable “ citizen confined to house isolation and “quarantine”.

While I am fully vaccinated courtesy of former Olongapo City Mayor Rolen C. Paulino and City Health Officer Dr. Doods Bustamante , my movement has not been adjusted to the pre-pandemic era.

Hence, my orbit sphere is limited to SBFZ and Olongapo. With border crossing to other towns of Zambales and Bataan due to Convid spread prevention I refrained from traveling far beyond the perimeter fence of the former US Naval Base.

One thing the pandemic taught me was culinary pursuits and caring for my half breed dog as housemate and walking companion. Living at the SBFZ housing facilities is no longer cheap. The available transport services is via taxi as the public transport service provided by Auto Kid and that of Evelyn Castro takes long.

Food prices at the various Carienderias operating in town have jacked up prices. About six months ago, with P50 budget I could enjoy breakfast or lunch but now with the pork shortage and vegetables, I have to shell out P70 to enjoy my meal. OH what a sudden change of life style. Moreover, only through Facebook that I read most of my colleagues in media and business contacts and clients are enjoying heavenly environment, thanks to the corona virus.

Road to City hall

While the elections of new officials is on May 2022, the political season started immediately after the filing of candidacy early this month. As of this writing there are three mayoralty aspirants for the post occupied by lawyer Rolen Paulino Jr., who is seeking re-election. Rolen Sr. said he will complete his tenure as Grand Master of the Free & Accepted Masons Fraternity next year which cover, aside from the Philippines, includes Guam Island and Micronesia.

What is interesting to note is that several individuals are interested in serving the people of this former US Navy liberty town? An unknown personality but Olongapo born businessman wants to become Mayor in the company of some celebrities who aspire to serve as public servants. Mrs. Anne Gordon, widow of the late Bong Gordon who was the major opponent of Rolen Jr., for the city post job three years ago is again seeking the people’s vote. A moneyed events promoter, a certain Arnold Vegafria threw his hat into the mayoralty race together with Gordon Heights Barangay chair Echie Ponge, who is reportedly a Barangay philanthropist?

This elder observer found out that J. B. Magsaysay, former SBMA director and son of the late Zambales governor Vicente Magsaysay was responsible for the Vegafria lineup with of course Mitos Masaysay, JB’s wife as the banner candidate for Congress of the 1st district of Zambales.
The Magsaysay camp decided to give the Paulino’s opposition this election as the incumbents are allied with the Khonghun family and which the Castillejos based political clan wants dethroned with Mitos’ Congress comeback. More on the political happening soon.

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