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I THINK it’s time to call Mayor John [Bongat]’s attention. As people continue to drag the name of the city into these online squabbles, it’s Naga and the people that suffer. It’s high time perhaps that Mayor John issues an official call, a plea to stop mentioning the name of the city in hashtags and other appellations that concern current political hullabaloo.
The city government must make a stand and this stand must not be for any party but the city. We do disservice to our provenances when we disregard the dignity of their names. Likewise, it also should not be done to Davao or Laoag or any other place. This was the reason why I suggested to counter NagaLeaks with #NagaLoves. The people are the real owners of this city which we have always considered as the “Heart of Bikol” and described as “maogma” (happy). Let us not let any useless brouhahas founded on malice and political bickering take this privilege from us.
Carlos Ojeda Aureus wrote an entire collection of short stories (“Nagueños,” AdNU Press, 2011) that manifest a Nagueño’s intimate relationship with his city. Respected writers—some are young, some, full of recollections—have written essays and poems immortalizing their memories and experiences in this beautiful, heartfelt place (“The Naga We Know,” Anvil, 2013). Its history (“Naga: The Birth and Rebirth of a City,” City Gov’t of Naga, 2003), written by the eminent historian Dr. Danny Gerona, introduces to us not just a great city, but more so, a great people.
Let us remember that in one way or another, we are all Nagueños. Let us not use the city’s name—itself rich in history—in vain.
VICTOR DENNIS TINO NIERVA