“Good news is rare these days, and every glittering ounce of it should be cherished and hoarded and worshipped and fondled like a priceless diamond.”—Hunter S. Thompson

ONE of the biggest and most unforgettable news we covered in Iloilo in the late 80s and early 90s was the spraying of water using a firetruck hose by the late Iloilo City mayor Rodolfo “Bagyo Roding” Ganzon of the combative city councilors, transforming into public bathroom the left portion (facing the Eagle Building) of the old Iloilo Freedom Grandstand in 1989.

The councilors, led by Rolando Dabao, Dan Dalido, German Gonzales, Larry Ong and Eduardo Peñaredondo and other bystanders, ended up literally drenched, their bravery had no match to Bagyo Roding’s fury.

As Bagyo Roding singlehandedly held the firetruck hose with both hands and aimed it at the plucky aldermen, reporters, who gathered on Mapa St., watched with bated breath. 

“Indi ya man ina pag papiswitan a. Pahugon ya lang na sila (No, he won’t pull the hose’s trigger. He only wants to threaten them),” the late Antonio “Tony” Laniog, reporting for the defunct dyBQ Radyo Budyong, quipped.     

“Ano nga indi man. Ara gina uyatan ya na ho (I bet he will really hit them because the water hose is now in his grip),” remarked the late dyFM Bombo Radyo Iloilo reporter and future city councilor Armand Parcon.

“Standby lang ta ara na sila gapalapit na (Let’s standby and watch as the group moves in),” the late Rene Porras of the defunct dyRP Radyo Tagring tolddriver-anchorman Tawtaw Cervantes.


Laniog was wrong; Parcon was right. As the city councilors approached the famed grandstand, Bagyo Roding frenziedly pulled the trigger and barked, “Hijo deputa, wala kamo respeto sa rule of law (Sanobabitch, you don’t have respect for the rule of law).”   

As the small delegation scampered into different directions, Gonzales, a former Martial Law inmate in the 70s, bemoaned, “Ipaylan ka namon kaso. Ma kakas ka gid (We will file a case and you’ll be removed from office).”

“Atras! Atras ta anay. Ga salig siya nga may dala siya bombero (Let’s retreat. He is being backed by a firetruck),” Ong, the source of all the trouble, appealed. 

The feud between Bagyo Roding and the “rebels” started when the mayor confiscated Ong’s office key in the Sangguniang Panglunsod. Ong, who supported Bagyo Roding’s rival, Engr. Timoteo “Nene” Consing, Jr., for mayor in the previous election, decided to hold office at Plaza Libertad. 

Together with fully armed security men, Bagyo Roding forcefully drove Ong, et al away from Plaza Libertad, thus the defiant Ong decided to hold office at the Freedom Grandstand.

However, before the group could reach the area, the determined Bagyo Roding ambushed them.

They filed charges of abuse of authority, intimidation, oppression, grave misconduct, disgraceful and immoral conduct, and culpable violation of the Constitution against Bagyo Roding.

On May 3, 1990, then Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) Secretary Luis T. Santos issued a preventive suspension against Bagyo Roding for another 60 days, the third time in 20 months, and designating Vice Mayor Mansueto “Mansing” Malabor as acting mayor.


INCOGNITO. The ancient Greeks and Romans knew that there were times when you didn’t want to be recognized. For example, according to Merriam-Webster, a myth tells how Zeus and Hermes visited a village incognito and asked for lodging. The apparently penniless travelers were turned away from every household except that of a poor elderly couple named Baucis and Philemon, who provided a room and a feast despite their own poverty. The Romans had a word that described someone or something unknown (like the gods in the tale): incognitus, a term that is the ancestor of our modern incognito. Cognitus is the past participle of the Latin verb cognoscere, which means “to know” and which also gives us recognize, among other words.

MARITES STORY FROM DAILY NEWS. Up until recently, Miley Cyrus “had no idea” about the wrecking ball effect her mother’s recent marriage to her younger sister’s ex-lover had on the once tight-knit clan. In August, Tish Cyrus, 56, married 54-year-old actor Dominic Purcell, who reportedly previously dated her 24-year-old daughter Noah Cyrus.

“Noah and Dominic were seeing each other in a friend with benefits way, off and on,” an unidentified source told People. The hunky “Prison Break” star and Noah Cyrus reportedly stopped seeing each other before her mother, whom the insider said was aware of the relationship, pursued Purcell.

(The author, who is now based in New York City, used to be the editor of two daily newspapers in Iloilo.—Ed)