The closest I got to Noy Pabling was when he was Cebu governor and Dr. Aguido Magdadaro invited me to the opening of his private school in Poro town in the Camotes group of islands. The good doctor had invited the governor to the activity, which was historic for a town that only has the virtually neglected Camotes Visayan Institute for a school of learning. The other media people and I, together with Noy Pabling, rode a fast craft. That gave us ample time to talk about many things. But I was interested only in nothing but Camotes.
The growth of Camotes as a tourism hub was still a few years away and so the talk was about how to help speed up that growth. Poro was still in the lead then as the entry point and center of the islands, unlike now when that distinction is increasingly being seized by San Francisco town. Noy Pabling talked about the needs of the islands to spur investments, including the presence of a bank. Poro was the suggested location.
But this column is not about Camotes but about Noy Pabling. The man belongs to the golden era of Cebu politics when Cebuano politicians became big names in Philippine politics. We had at that time the Osmeña brothers, Sonny and Lito; Hilario Davide; Marcelo Fernan; Ernesto Herrera; Eduardo Gullas; Antonio Cuenco; the Duranos of the fifth district; Junnie Martinez and his wife Clavel of the fourth district; the Kintanars of the second district; Raul del Mar; and the others.
Noy Pabling is among the more respected in the legislature and gained the tag of “constitutionalist” for his knowledge of the law. His shoes are too big to fill for any successor. He is also what one may call a true blue Bisayista. Maayong pagpanaw, Noy Pabling, ug akong pahasubo sa pamilya. And will there be another golden era in Cebu politics? I don’t know. We can’t even put a Cebuano to the Senate now.
My son finally got his second Sinovac dose yesterday. While we were waiting for his turn, he admitted feeling nervous. I told him to calm down because with him not encountering any problem with the first dose, there is no reason the second dose would be different. But my son, who is in first year college, is at an age wherein he sucks in all available information out there. He read about the deaths of relatives in San Francisco in the Camotes group of islands and in Inayawan in Cebu City. Plus there is currently in social media an overload of disinformation on vaccines and vaccination.
But administering the second jab is always smoother than the first because health workers and the vaccinees have learned lessons from the first dose effort. We went home early and are currently further observing him for any side effects. This means only our youngest son is the unvaccinated one in the family. I am looking forward to the time when it would be the turn of the young ones so that our protection from the virus would be more solid. In the meantime, we are continuing to follow the minimum protocols.