Ilonggos at the fore

Two big news stories placed Iloilo in the national limelight this week: the first was the appointment of His Excellency, Most Reverend Msgr. Jose Palma of Dingle, Iloilo, as the new Archbishop of Cebu to replace His Eminence, Ricardo Cardinal Vidal, upon his retirement. The other is the buy-out of a 70%-controlling interest of the Ilonggo food chain, Mang Inasal, by the Jollibee Food Corp. for P3 billion.

Ilonggos have always achieved great heights in every field of endeavor. In politics, we have two prominent Senators: Franklin M. Drilon and Miriam Defensor Santiago. In the House of Representatives, 2nd termer Rep. Niel Tupas Jr. (5th district, Iloilo) is emerging as another important political figure with his battle to proceed with the impeachment of Ombudsman Merceditas Gutierrez.

In business, particularly media, we have the Lopez family-controlled ABS-CBN network and Bombo Radyo Network of Dr. Roger Florete. In the flour business, the Uygongcos are giving the traditional giants stiff competition. Indeed, there is hardly a business, profession or field where an Ilonggo isn’t among the trend-setters. In literature, arts, music, we are also there.

This is yet another moment to feel proud about being an Ilonggo.