It was June 27, 1992 when I married a former classmate and just yesterday, June 27, 2013, my principal, Mayor Eduardo B. Gadiano took his oath for his second term of office as mayor of the biggest municipality, as far land area, in the country and the only first class municipality in Occidental Mindoro. Because of the oath taking ceremonies, I spent my 21st wedding anniversary not with my wife but with my co-employees at LGU-Sablayan, the five newly-elected and re-elected members of the legislative board who have also sworn-in to office, namely Celso Salgado, Obet Dawates, Lhuz Ani, Manny Tadeo and Philip Urieta, their relatives, friends and visitors from all over, who witnessed the affair including barangay officials. While enjoying the socialization and solidarity part of the occasion where food, song and spirit were served at the Sikatuna Hotel Function Room in San Jose, my wife was minding her thesis back home. It’s about child-rearing and academic performance of her pupils, by the way.
Technically speaking, vows and oaths are not the same. A vow is usually used to describe a mutual promise to your wife (and husband) like in my case. An oath, specifically oath of office is usually more of something we swear to do for a group of people. Both events for me do not have much difference and the formal definition is pretty much the same.
Three pastors and a priest led the opening ecumenical prayer yesterday. Oath taking usually ends with the words “So help me, God”. Indeed, an oath usually signifies our hope and admittance that we can do nothing without the intercession of the Almighty. Not unlike a marriage vow. An oath of office is a prayer, a promise and a covenant, both to the Lord and to the laws of the land and the Constitution. We make our public officials take an oath because of the substantial consequences of their tasks and duties ahead. During oath takings, society makes the person on the stand call God as their witness that they will tell the truth. The administering officer is just a conduit to the oath. Oaths give us, witnesses and the general public, important assurance or hope and reliance to God.
Ms. Memviluz Baurile of DILG-Occidental Mindoro rendered her speech that no doubt fully graced the oath taking. She is the head of a DILG’s provincial cluster of towns which includes Sablayan. The oath taking ceremonies conjoin with the Comprehensive Development Planning Workshop initiated by our Municipal Planning and Development Office (MPDO) which was attended by Vice-Mayor Andy Dangeros, Councilors Nancy Landicho, Ruben Dangupon, Conchita Dimaculangan, Obet Lim and Glenda Aguilar. Municipal Administrator Alfredo R. Ventura led the recitation of Pledge of Commitment of public servants and likewise shared some inspirational insights to us employees during the inaugural ceremonies.
Yesterday was Mayor Ed Gadiano’s second oath of office as local chief executive. In his Inaugural Speech he thanked his partners in the local government for making our town on top of the map in various socio-political dimensions. He, too, enumerated what we have accomplished in past three years, honors and awards that can be summed up by winning the Regional Gawad Pamana ng Lahi for the municipal category given by DILG Mimaropa, and the readiness to the challenges ahead. He openly declared that under his watch he will strive to make Sablayan the economic and political center of Occidental Mindoro. I need not to enumerate the achievements garnered by Sablayan in just three years under the leadership of those in the executive and legislative branches of the local government unit. But one thing I am certain, in his previous term, Mayor Ed did not lie under oath!
So, needless to say, I came home late last night and greeted my wife a happy anniversary and gave her a comforting shoulder massage while narrating what happened in the short but meaningful ceremony capturing its solemnity and lightness.
She gave me pleasant words and a smile that downs me through the years and then, ... we had our moment…
(Photo : Anjhun Manzano File)