Manila City Hall, Manila, January 15, 2020. On a clear day following two two hazy days of gray overcast skies due to Taal Volcano’s impending eruption, PGBh did their own storming by visiting Manila Mayor Isko Moreno.

Accompanied by Governor Art Yap who facilitated the meeting, Yap thanked the good Mayor for making time from his busy schedule to meet and welcome PGBh employees and offered to return the favor by inviting Mayor Moreno and City officials to visit Bohol in return.

Spending close to 45 minutes with the PGBh employees, Mayor Moreno revealed that he is fully Visayan by blood since his father is from Antique and his mother is from Samar. But since he was born in Manila, Mayor Moreno did not learn how to speak in his mother Visayan tongue anymore. Still he proudly declared that he was wholly Visayan. Beyond proudly declaring he is of Visayan stock, Mayor Isko reminded all present that at the end of the day, what is important is the color of our skin and that is our “kayumanggi” feature.

In an archipelago of islands, Mayor Isko extolled love of our country and ignoring those who have nothing to say but criticisms of our work. In fact, he calls these hecklers and non-contributors as “mga me-ma” “mga may masabi lang.” “Pare-pareho lang ang kutis nating lahat…mga kayumanggi tayo.” That is the reason he says that we must sacrifice for each other and “move-on”.

Mayor Isko, despite being a battle scarred politician, is at the end of the day, a normal person, who also gets hurt and it is clear in his statements. But he maintains a good positive attitude and reminded the group not to mind all criticisms because there are just people who have nothing to do but make criticisms everyday and would wish for nothing more than to tie “rubber bands” on our feet so we cannot progress and move. He says that these people will not move on simply because: “they want our position. They want to be where we are. They want to have what we have.” These are the people, he says, that must be ignored.

But of the many lessons and advice he imparted, the most stirring is what he told the PGBh employees about: “change”. Mayor Isko says that all want change. We all want change. But the question is: what have we done to contribute to this change ourselves? That is the big question we must ask everyday. “Mag-munimuni tayo Kung anong pag-babago ang ating nagawa para sa bayan sa pag-daan nang bawat araw.”

The PGBh employees were initially star struck with Mayor Isko from how the media has portrayed him, but at the end of the interaction, the PGBh employees felt they knew him more beyond the media packaging that is “Mayor Isko Moreno. “ With the thoughts he imparted which can clearly be used to serve the people of Bohol, it was more clear why he is called “Man of the People” and why the City of Manila is today experiencing a great re-awakening. The PGBh employees could only wish him the best and take home the inspiration to do their best even better for the people of Bohol.