By By Fernan A. Gianan
Looking back at 1994
posted 14-Oct-2018  ·  
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The Tribune management and the Gianan family is one in expressing its heartfelt commiseration with the bereaved family of the late Governor Rosalie Alberto-Estacio, who succumbed to cardiac arrest last week.

RAE, as she was often named in the Tribune front pages, picked the Tribune founder, the late PBM Fredeswindo Gianan Sr., as her running mate for vice governor for the 1995 local elections. Unfortunately, her entire slate crumbled before the machinery of businessman Severo Alcantara. My father rarely left home for about two months after that crushing defeat and managed to get back into the Sangguniang Panlalawigan in 1998 before dying of pancreatic cancer two years later.

Manay Salie was a frequent visitor to our Rawis home and was a gracious and accommodating subject for the local media in those years, even when she was already out of office.


This writer happened to look up the copies of the Tribune for March 1994 to March 1995, as it roughly coincided with the last year in office of then Governor Rosalie Alberto-Estacio. There were notable events, aside from what occurred in the capitol, which made it to the pages of this paper.

Here are a few of them:

Long-time island resident Miharu Matzuzawa, who began the Twin Rock beach resort in Igang, died that year at age 59, along with former Vice Governor Rafael Villaluna, who was then 66.

It was on Oct. 10 that year that Msgr. Manolo de los Santos was installed as the second bishop of the Diocese of Virac.

Like in present times, GM Segundo Gianan Jr. and FICELCO directors were in the news, with the cooperative then facing criticism for various irregularities contained in an audit report from the National Electrification Administration (NEA). One of the department managers then was Engr, Raul Zafe, who is now the man in charge at Marinawa.

Launching an obviously failed campaign against “ending” that year was Senior Inspector Roberto Bernal, chief of police of the Virac police station. He, who would be held captive by the New People’s Army for months before being released, is now the officer-in-charge of the Surveillance and Screening Department of the Manila International Airport Authority (MIAA) and one of the resource persons in the probe of controversial partylist Congressman Aniceto Bertiz Jr.

In 1994, the DPWH Catanduanes Engineering District announced its budget for 1995, P85-million, which in this setting would not be even enough for a 500-meter concrete road.

And certainly the most bizarre story in that 52-week volume was the Aug. 17 discovery of a desecrated tomb, with the coffin pulled out and forced open. The corpse, which was just buried the day before, belonged to an elderly woman from Cavinitan, Virac. Her left thumb was stained with stamp-pad ink, which police said indicated someone used the woman’s thumb as a signature in a document.


Residents as well as boulevard goers are wondering why the contractor of the Sta. Cruz portion of the boulevard widening project is using substandard materials in the construction of the multi-million project.

As shown in the front-page photograph of this issue, the contractor has already dumped several truckloads of very small boulders, stones and muddy earth into the foundation of the boulevard expansion.

Under the specifications of the project being implemented by the DPWH regional office, the foundation is supposed to be made of huge boulders weighing at least 1,500 kilograms or 1.5 tons. Certainly, what was dumped there is ordinary boulders mixed with stones and clay.

To a lesser extent, the contractor of the other portion at San Pablo is also using small boulders and muddy earth mixed with torn roots and branches, which could make the foundation weaker in the event of storm surges.

This only pertains to the foundation and does not include other observations regarding the use of undersized reinforcing bars.

In contrast, the contractor of the rock causeway or breakwater that would protect Rawis and Sta. Cruz from dangerous storm surges is importing big boulders from Albay. The rocks are quarried from the rivers near Mayon volcano and brought here on board a barge.


THE CURSED DIAMOND. A woman was showing off to her friends.

“You see my new ring? This has the Harrison diamond. It’s worth an absolute fortune. Unfortunately though, it comes with a terrible curse.”

“Wow,” said one of her friends. “What is the curse?”

“Mr. Harrison.”

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