The Roel deal


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SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA — What’s in a name? Shakespeare says, “a rose by any other name would smell as sweet.” Precisely, it matters if it’s the real name. It means a lot to have Rose as the name if you want the scent of a rose. That’s living up to the name, not complicated by any means, just due sweetness to the name.

Negros Oriental has a new governor, in a political sense, a boy-governor. Roel is his name. Roel is a Dutch boy name. It means “famous land.” Roel is short for Roeland — in English, Roland, Rowland in Germany, and Orlando in Italy. Song of Roland is an icon in literature. Song of Roland is the centerpiece of Matter of France, the legendary history of King Charlemagne and his Knights’ seven-year war against the Saracens in Spain. As the King’s right hand man, Roland fought with a sense of duty for his lord and ultimately for the Lord God. His bond with his King and with his men is love. A kind of love that he died for.

Roel is a real deal. The name has rich traditions in a number of European countries. As a matter for France is the Song of Roland; as a matter for Negros Oriental, the Song of Roel — the stirring of something big figuratively and literally speaking.

For all we know, with Roel at the helm of the provincial leadership, Negros Oriental may yet become a “famous land” to step out from the shadow of Negros Occidental. He is no ideal leader. But there is no denying, Roel is the new deal. He is for real.

As always, there is a yawning gap between dream and reality, intent and consequence.

A concerned citizen Lino Enojo rued that Roel is not yet equipped with strong leadership qualities. South Sea Resort Hotel Proprietor Baby T. Armogenia advised the new Governor to seek counsel from successful and highly respected members of the community. Two home-grown businessmen Tyrone Ramas Uypitching and Edward Du urged the boy Governor to just continue the programs of Governor Macias and Governor Perdices; while another homegrown businessman Roy T. Cang encouraged the boy leader to improve on the performance of his predecessors. Environmentalist Leo Mamicpic’s best advice is to let him be and allow Roel to do his job.

Taking in context, one after other, the well-intentioned counsels serve only to reinforce the public impression that Roel is a political novice not yet ready to take the mantle of provincial leadership, no different in its ramification on P-Noy’s catapult to the national presidency.

The IBP-Negros Oriental Governor Atty. Raymund Mercado prodded Roel to always put priority to the interest of the greater majority and rise above political patronage. 1st Dist. Rep. Josy Sy Limkaichong hewed along the same line. She dared Roel to become an exemplary servant and continue to raise the standard of politics in our province and strive to transform Negros Oriental to greater heights by making significant strides in good governance and economic development.

Plaza Ma Luisa Suites Proprietor Christy Locsin-Bollos wanted Roel to go to the municipalities and learn personally the needs of the people. GP Rehab Executive Director Analou Suan underscored the importance of NGO networking. Diocese of Dumaguete Judicial Vicar Fr. Gamaliel Tulabing prayed that Roel work hand in hand with the church’s effort towards moral recovery…for a genuine human development. Lorna Pena-Reyes Makil, a retired sociologist, noted that Roel as a Provincial Board Member in the 3rd District was very active in implementing his HELP. HELP is the acronym of his Health & Livelihood Programs and Projects. She inspired the Gen Xer governor to continue walking with God, listen to His counsel, and keep the faith. And the unsolicited advice from Dumaguete Councilor Manuel R. Arbon — let your good deeds and humble words be your form of prayer to God.

Remember the position seeks the man. Just like President Aquino. Just like Governor Perdices before him. To be a Governor is Roel’s destiny. There is no higher positioning than what is done by divine decree. Vox Dei, vox populi. God commands, man acts as an instrument of His will. But to earn the trust of his people, Roel must learn to listen, analyze, and synthesize their unsolicited advice. The power of good governance, the power of immersion, the power of networking, and the power of prayer are all here packaged in the unsolicited advices. Vox populi, vox Dei. There is always potent power in a united people — trusting and encouraging one another and building each other. Only then can his anointing as governor be deemed as dealt from heaven. Only then can he lay claim to an Ubuntu concept–I who I am because of who we all are. People power unleashed.

Let it be the Song of Roel. Let it reverberate and resonate among the Oriental Negrenses here in the Province and the world-wide web.

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