By By Pablo A. Tariman
posted 1-Dec-2018  ·  
749 views  ·   0 comments  ·  
Congressman Cesar V. Sarmiento and brother Jorge with family and friends at White Space. The new challenge is difficult but they are one on this together.

I like going to get-togethers where I have the chance to see province-mates after many years.

More than seeing familiar faces, I like to hear the island dialect, the ones not defined by the alphabet and are often the butt of joke from mainlanders.

By visiting the island more often lately, I realized I could speak it naturally like I did many years back. With it comes the sense of humor that can only come from being part of this island.  It is a bit quaint, these jokes, but when you hear them once again enunciated by townmates, you feel a sense of belonging and a sense of oneness.

Thus, when I went to the get-together hosted by Cong. Cesar V. Sarmiento and his older brother Jorge (“Kuya Boy” to the family) at White Space in Makati, you once more see and feel the ties that bind between family members, between townmates and between friends from the island and beyond.

I saw a familiar face named Bam Aquino who turned out to be the son of the late Sen. Butch Aquino for whom I worked for briefly. When he learned I also knew his aunt, the filmmaker Lupita Kashiwara, he asked for a selfie with me.

But then the occasion was a chance to see up close how siblings, how father and son and mother and daughter relate to each other.

Between Cong. Cesar and Kuya Boy (elder brother Jorge), you see spontaneous support and indeed they were there to ask friends and islanders in the city to rally behind their new journey in the coming elections. “It’s going to be a tough journey,” Jorge “Kuya Boy” admitted. The stakes are high and one thing more he doesn’t expect to duplicate the legislative feat of his younger brother. But he will try his best. At this point, he’d say in the island dialect, “Igua tabi ning palacpac sa parteng ini” and the audience would break into mirthful applause.

Wife Wawie and daughter Mika were there too and it is easy to see they respect the decision of the patriarch. Son Jorge Franco was there too busy with the ceremony and once in a while, you see him wondering what this whole thing was all about. It is what good sons worry about when their father embarks on a difficult challenge.

When the occasion ended in picture taking, once more you see the ties that bind and what islanders go through when challenged by new agenda for the island.

When the islanders go to the polls in May next year, they will certainly remember this family and the island virtues they managed to keep close to their heart through thick and thin.

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