Thursday, April 4, 2019

Hope For Baguio City


I knew today was going to be a very special day.

I just felt it in my bones after noting something on my computer before turning it off earlier.

By "accident", even as there are no accidents in my life, I noticed it was 4/4/2019 today.

The number four is very dear to my heart. In American Indian mythology, four signifies completion, for it refers to the four directions: North, South, East, and West.

You will see the significance of this particular number as my story unravels below.

And who do you know would drop by our area, thanks to my alert Mom's instincts?

It was Mrs. Arlene Magalong, the wife of Ret. Gen. Benjamin B. Magalong. The good general is running for Mayor of our beloved Baguio City, a city where my father, Dr. Cesar B. Casusi, chose to start his esteemed medical profession back at Baguio General Hospital in 1959.

The photo above shows, left to right: Mrs. Magalong, my Mom Lida Casusi, and Baguio gentleman Marvin G. Herrera who is running as City Councilor.

It was actually a cab driver who informed me about four (there again) days ago that the Ret. Gen. Magalong is running for Mayor.

He was especially excited at the prospect the general win at this election and he made no reservations at suggesting his passengers give the general their vote.

Like I said, nothing in my life happens by accident. It is all by design. Why else had I started this "Policy Changer" blog last 29 March 2019?

I knew what I was on to.

I wanted change and it had to start inside me first.

I honestly believe God led the kind and lovely Mrs. Magalong and her able group up our path so we may all connect and so I can write this article.

I have been ready for sometime now for something really worthwhile to write about. My whole life has led me to this particular day.

Everything was so cosmic and so perfect today. You know that thing about Divine Right Timing, right? Now I know it is all going as planned by our Creator for He knows my heart and of those He led up our path today. There is always great power in such "accidents".

God led up our driveway the very person my family and I liked, for the General was also a colleague of my late brother, Engr. Francisco V. Casusi, back at SLU Boy's High School. Mrs. Magalong spoke of how the general remembers my brother to have been good in painting. Eventually, my dear brother became a civil engineer.

Ret. Gen. Benjie Magalong was born 15 December 1960, only two months after my brother's 10 October 1960 birth date. I can imagine my brother celebrating the fact Mrs. Magalong and her efficient group were led up our path today. 

And perhaps, my late father and brother's hand are in this wonderful turn of circumstances today. If you have taken the path I have, of being in constant awe of things that somehow unwittingly connect, you will always welcome such turn of events for they carry much treasure in them.

And if my father was alive, I'd know exactly who he'd vote for. He likes truth, honesty, hard work, strength, courage and perseverance. The general would have gotten his vote.

I have chanced upon the general a couple of times before and he was always walking alone, always with a ready smile, so very quiet and humble, not calling attention to himself. But I knew he was the General Magalong my family knew. His rise as a public figure seemed almost meteoric, but of course, no one would know all the hard work it entailed. Only he, his family, and his men would know.

Another significant thing today concerning that 4/4/2019 date which beckoned its particular importance to me is the fact that Ret. Gen. Magalong honored the "fallen, but not forgotten SAF 44", but let him say it in his own words here:


" My greatest test as a leader came when I served as Chairman of the PNP Board of Inquiry on the Mamasapano Massacre. Despite strong pressures for us to spare some names from culpability, my colleagues and I remained steadfast and stood our ground for our people to know the truth and seek for justice to the fallen, but not forgotten SAF 44. Knowing that any further career promotion would be set aside, I calmly accepted the consequence, recognizing that I stood by the truth."
   -- Yours for a better Baguio,
       BENJAMIN "BENJIE" B. MAGALONG
(#5, "Marangal, Magaling, at Magalang")

To emphasize further the significance of this magical number four, it will interest you to know that it's been four years after that Mamasapano incident.

What other proof would you need of this cosmic and magnificent day of spiritual connections?

The "Warrior of the Spirit" path is the unpopular path I have taken to further the cause of my soul. I know the challenges at stake but I do not succumb to popular or peer pressure. As a journalist and independent thinker I purposely design my own life no matter the odds against my favor.

I write only things of worth. This article is a gift to the Magalong Group, given with all my heart and knowledge, and guided by Spirit as always.

 --If you wish to vote for Ret. Gen. Benjie B. Magalong as Mayor of Baguio City, he represents ballot #5.

-- If you wish to vote for Marvin G. Herrera as Baguio City Councilor, he represents ballot #28.

-- If you wish to vote for Ted Tan as Baguio City councilor, he represents ballot #45.

Facebook page of Team Magalong #BM4BM.
Soldier of Truth article by Apa Ongpin.

As a fitting end to this article, allow me to share a group photo of this hardworking Magalong group with my Mom.



(All photos by author.)