In politics, as in golf, “it’s not how you drive but the way you arrive.” Tuting as city mayor once entertained his media friends at his office with this golf aphorism. As every golfer knows tee shot is just a small part of the game. Golfers know better that iron play, wedge shots, chips and putting are far more important than hitting monster 300+ yard drives. Approach shots to the green and how individuals play them are more important than aiming for a hole-in-one or even for an eagle with monster drives. To his media friends at that moment in time, siyempre, kay Tuting, iba ang dating.
Little did we know that after more than a decade he would give flesh to what where intended as mere frivolous words. During the local elections in May this year, Tuting pitched a drive for the provincial vice-gubernatorial post. He won but arrived at the provincial capitol as the Governor in accord with the rule of succession following the death of Gov. Emilio Macias II. In five minutes, Agustin Tuting Perdices successively took his oath of office as Vice Governor and Governor of Negros Oriental respectively. In doing so, Gov A. Perdices has created an aura all by himself. He is governor, not by intent, but by consequence. The son also rises.
For quite a time, Tuting lived under a long shadow cast by his more illustrious father Gov. Mariano Perdices who for a time served also as Mayor of the City of Dumaguete. Katsila as his Dad was endearingly called by his constituents built a sports coliseum in the mid-1960’s later known as the Mariano Perdices Coliseum. With the Coliseum, Dumaguete became one of the sport centers in the country culminated by the holding of the national athletic meets wherein local baseball players showed that they are a power to reckon with.
As city mayor Tuting, where three previous mayors failed, built the city public market. Though it towers higher than the disappearing original buildings of Perdices Coliseum, it dwarfs in its national impact his father had created with the sports coliseum.
Besides, he was yet to become governor if he ever wished to step out from his dad’s long shadow. The drive for the governorship proved elusive. Two compleat politicians stood in his way–Dodo Macias and George Arnaiz. His indecisiveness proved disastrous to his political ambition underscoring to his loyal friends and followers that this is where he needs the political charisma of his father.
By fate’s twist and turn, Tuting is now Governor. Maybe in suffering the consequence of his indecision, he was still pursuing, still achieving. With a heart for any fate, he took Henry Wadsworth Longfellow’s advice to learn to labor and to wait.
Now he is casting his fate with another son of an illustrious father and mother. Following President Pnoy’s lead, Perdices has formed Task Force Kasaligan to stamp out illegal drugs and Jueteng in Negros Oriental. Now he is taking sure-footed steps as the Oriental Negrenses celebrate the October Buglasan Festival–to celebrate their forefathers’ lifestyles to give luster and sheen to the present times.
One thing plus one thing equals Tuting. Seems to be a useless and meaningless prattle. No, not at all. That’s Tuting’s magic mantra for voters to remember him by. Once again, “it’s not how you drive but the way you arrive.” With God’s grace Perdices is standing ready and alert for God’s plan.