Having reviewed the history of the Town of Sto. Tomas, Pampanga, I got curious where the former parish priests are now. So when I started, I had to search from the beginning: the establishment of the church in Poblacion. Though started by secular priests, the first parish priest was Augustinian Friar Guillermo Gomez Masnou. After spending time to Google him, I was dumbfounded when I found out how he had a mistress: Patricia Mercado of Sto. Tomas! Not only did he father a child, he fathered six of them. Yes, six!
Perhaps to hide this from the townspeople, or because of exactly this reason, Fray Guillermo moved to Angeles City and had a house built for Patricia Mercado to stay in. This is now know as Bale Herencia at the corner of Sto. Rosario and Lacan Dula Streets, which is now declared one of eight Important Cultural Properties by the National Museum of the Philippines in Angeles.
Now, I lived in Angeles City for four years and always passed by this old building. I knew it was historically significant to Angeles but I never knew until now that it had this connection to our little town. Perhaps to the older generation, it might be known but to the young ones, it is best we share this with them.
In the four years I stayed in Angeles, I felt that I was a simple farmtown boy making it in the big city. Little did I know that people from Sto. Tomas, Pampanga had such an impact to Angeles City’s history. Maybe we could do the same again, albeit in a more positive way.
I told myself previously not to involve myself with these things again since more and more people are now on social media and electricity and internet connection has greatly improved in reliability during these times. However, perhaps for posterity’s sake, I’m posting some facebook posts I’ve seen so far regarding the status of the Sto. Tomas-Minalin Tail Dike.
Most recently and of great note, in my opinion is this one from Renzelle Rueda showcasing how the Bayanihan spirit remains alive despite the trying times in our beloved Balen Santo Tomas.
I just think because the LGU has a personally-managed page and doesn’t have a professional social media manager employed, posts aren’t as techy or social media-friendly. They tend to be long-winded and more narrative than straight to the point. Of course, even on a national level, some government agencies’ social media accounts are no different. Only exception, perhaps, is MMDA who use social media wisely. They even get to produce viral content!
So, in order to lend a helping hand by making constructive criticisms, I posted this on Facebook: A one-image template that could be used to disseminate information important to the citizens:
Class suspension – very important to parents specially in the morning.
Dike status – I opted to put a color status next to it so you are immediately informed what the status is, though the color status/warning level is non-existent at the moment. As long as the LGU says it’s “Normal” (whatever that means), I’d put green as a safe color. I would love to have warning color levels though, depending on the water level of the dike.
Flooded areas/roads – to note whether roads are passable and share the status of the depth of waters in areas affected by flooding.
It didn’t get much attention but it doesn’t really matter. My only objective is to create positive and constructive suggestions that will help instead of hinder spreading of information.
I’ve seen posts on Facebook from some of my friends who have already visited the place. Lumanog Farmville Restaurant and Resort just recently opened (October 24 this year to be exact) in San Bartolome in our beloved town of Sto. Tomas, Pampanga. I haven’t been there personally but it looks promising. The location is ideal for those who want to get away from the busy streets along MacArthur Hi-way and have a more laid-back atmosphere than the more prominent ‘ihaw-ihaw’ restaurants in San Matias. It’s about 20 minutes away from City of San Fernando and because of less traffic, getting there is a breeze.
This is not a paid advertisement nor a review of the resort. But I think this is one good indicator that the town is progressing as more business are being put up and gaining popularity outside the barangays and the townspeople. Let’s face it, Sto. Tomas is famous because of mostly 1. Flooding, 2. Pottery, 3. Caskets, 4. AUV assembly. There is little to no tourism in the town except during Lent and most of the event happens on Easter Sunday. This new business venture is unique and a welcome development in the town, personally speaking. I hope that this will bring more income for the town and help bring jobs and tourists to Sto. Tomas.
Lumanog Farmville Resort and Restaurant is on Facebook. Rates posted below are from their FB page as well.
It’s been 4 years already since the inception of this Festival and it seems it has gained some mileage and perhaps because everyone now owns a DSLR and takes tons of photographs of the event. I will be compiling some (not all) of the online presence of the coverage of the event as well as the Easter Sunday procession that is a unique tradition for Tomasinos.