I was very delighted to be among the LDS Church leaders and managers who paid a courtesy visit yesterday to the incumbent Mayor of Urdaneta City, the Honorable Amadeo Gregorio E. “Bobom” Perez IV.
Prior to the meeting, I know Mayor Bobom not personally - but by reputation learned through my frequent road trips to this fast rising metropolis in the province of Pangasinan.
For Urdanetanians, Mayor Bobom is a first termer city Mayor who has a long history of politics in his sleeves being the son of the former Mayor of Urdaneta, Amadeo Gregorio Perez Jr. He is noted for his work habit of working more than eight hours a day, a person who loves the environment through his anti-littering campaigns among many other zealous policies on environmental concerns and living simply (even making rounds at the market to buy the same kilo of fish he loves) when he wasn't yet Urdaneta City's chief!.
And the reputation gets even better! Now, I know a true public servant!
As we entered this City Chief's Office at the second floor of the old Urdaneta City Hall, I readily noticed the name plate on his desk (Amadeo Gregorio E. “Bobom” Perez IV - Public Servant). Yea, it is sans the word "Honorable" which other politicos sadly and self-servingly attaches to their names but far from truth.
But not Mayor Bobom. A few seconds later, I was face to face with a city Mayor who is very accommodating, easy-going nature, genuinely humble and down to earth. No need for prior appointments if you need to talk to him. As long as he is in his office, then you wil surely be able to come to him. This explains why our almost impromptu courtesy visit! Reminded me of the scripture where our Saviour Jesus Christ himself said: "Whosoever will be great among you,let him be your minister; And whosoever will be chief among you, let him be your servant"(Matthew 20: 26-27)
I totally enjoyed talking to Mayor Bobom. I see a very pleasant person. Dependable. Reasonable. Incorruptible. Honorable. To him I say, Mayor, you are simply Urdaneta's BEST!
And now, let me tell you about Urdaneta's BEAST! The carabao or the “beast of burden” for its strength, determination and resiliency and Urdaneta's fitting symbol being the "Cattle Capital of the Philippines"!
Since May 4, 2011, the carabao serves as a landmark attracting attention from passersby at the intersection going to the old Urdaneta City Hall.
Asked about why a landmark, Mayor Bobom relates: “It flashed instantly to my mind when the idea about the landmark came. When our constituents and visitors will come into the city, they will see the landmark reminding them that this city has really gone far of its development and transformation”.
Inscripted on the bronze carabao statue is message by the sculptor artist Ram Mamalio entitled “Metamorphosis”- “This sculpture symbolizes Urdaneta’s strong economy, its stability, its modernization. It also symbolizes the uncommon resolve of Urdanetanians, their abiding resilience in trying times, their heroic readiness to face challenges, constantly adapting to the ebb and flow of inconstant economic tides through good governance.”