Gubat Is For Life by Daniel Escurel Occeno (Sorsogon)

THE GREAT Gubat Town Fiesta just ended. Most of the tourists and former Gubat residences have left to go back to reside somewhere in the 7107 islands or overseas. It was a nice couple of weeks that started with the crowning of the Miss Teen Gubat 2011.

I know the school year just started in the Philippines, but I have not congratulated the Class of 2011 – The Year of the Rabbit. Many of you have found jobs and some are still looking, but CONGRATULATIONS on the success of getting your diploma.

I overheard a conversation with a familiar point. Many Gubat residences do not want to stay for life at Gubat, Sorsogon Philippines because Gubat does not offer a pension plan for life, meaning the private sector in the simplistic town providing jobs does hot have suitable pension plans for the brightest students and those capable of success to want to stay and live in Gubat for life.

Even if you get a job with the municipality or national government, your future security will not be as comfortable as if you had a job for most of your life working for a company similar to job opportunities offered in the United States so many go to Metro Manila or America, not for a job but to have the security for life from the pension plans provided by corporations.

For you new workers lucky enough to find a job in the Philippines, I would suggest taking P100 Philippines Pesos a month from your salary and dump it in an interest bearing account in a bank or even a saving and lending cooperative like Gubat St. Anthony Cooperative and let the money sit until you are of retirement age.

By the time you are sixty-two years old or sixty-five years old, you can at least buy food on the monthly interests without withdrawing any of the principal provided you deposited the P100 Philippines Pesos every month, religiously, like your life after sixty-two depended on it.

I do not know the specifics of the pension packages to entice the best workers offered by companies in the Philippines or by the University of the Philippines, but I have been promoting opening a mall (a large indoor shopping complex) somewhere in Gubat and a University of the Philippines – Gubat Campus, to create more jobs locally.

Starting a local Cable TV station for communication and production jobs would be a new venture and a major risk, but companies like SM Prime Holdings or LANDCO building a mall with corporate renters creating management and subordinates opportunities could offer pension packages.

Condominium housing developments could coincide with the mall.

The individual companies helping develop the town of Gubat can work with another corporate entity and can offer automatic withdrawals from salaries to provide the security net of a pension during retirement. Even the bare minimum salaried employees in the United States are offered a volunteer involvement for pensions for life because corporations can deal with the big volume of investors for the long-term.

The talk of Bicol University – Gubat extension campus expanding to Barangay Buenavista area has fizzled so I was hoping the University of the Philippines would take over the service of providing higher education in all of the Second District of the Sorsogon Province and the hiring of higher learning teaching opportunities for the local community.

The rumor of LCC Super Grocery Store and Jollibee and Mercury Drug expanding in Downtown Gubat has also fizzled.

The local college graduates living in-town could have walked to work and not to mention the students at the near by elementary school and national high school and the Bicol University extension college could have walked to eat at Jollibee, a sponsor of the Gubat Town Fiesta.

I was talking to my Aunt Fatima vacationing in Gubat for the town fiesta. On the drive from the airport she commented with: How come your stores are full of shoppers and the entire place of businesses are still open? In Michigan, at the downtown of cities and strip malls at the streets and mega corporate malls, many stores were closing because of the failing American economy.

I told her; we have a different world in our Sorsogon Province than most of the United States because we are less dependent on the automobile. With the skyrocketing gasoline prices in America, businesses needing business traffic from subdivision housing have to drive to patronage the downtown businesses and strip mall stores and corporate stores in mega malls.

In the Sorsogon Province those with jobs with individual spending income, their needs and demands still have to buy food and clothing. We have a foot traffic consumers spending income marketplace. The locals also use tricycles and jeepneys to travel about not really needing automobiles, but there are still thousands walking to shop at the food services and buy from stores in the downtown marketplaces throughout the province.

Other than the family reunions and the fiesta parties, the many parades were anticipated by the people, especially by the little ones.

The Independence Day Parade was highlighted at the end with a marching band competition at the Encinas Pavilion. It was won by Gubat North Central Elementary School and the Gubat National High School won the yearly dual competition with St. Anthony Academy High School.

St. Anthony Academy alumnae paraded with the theme “Let Mother Earth Smile Again”. I wanted to ask the successful graduates at the St. Anthony Academy High School if they would favor eclectic automobiles manufactured in the Philippines and if they would support the proposed electromagnetic high speed train services from Metro Manila to Sorsogon City, a forty-five minute jeepney ride from the town of Gubat.

The theme of the parade of Gubat National High School was “Integridad an Danon Ko” – loosely translated. Integrity is my support. Integrity is my help. What helps one is honesty and truthfulness or accuracy of one’s actions (integrity).

I am being honest with you; it was a nice Gubat Town Fiesta.

Original article.

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