On the evening of February 5, I attended and observed the big-time birthday party of former Parañaque City Mayor Florencio “Jun” Bernabe who turned 71 and he showed no signs of slowing down.
The party was held at the multi-purpose facilities of Tahanan Village in Parañaque City which attracted some thousands of guests that include villagers (including those from BF Homes subdivision), business owners/managers, politicians, government workers and the like.
Bernabe did not just celebrate his birthday. He is also running for Mayor in the May 2019 local elections and this explains why his teammates were present during the party such as his running-mate Jeremy Marquez (former Barangay BF Homes chairman) and the many candidates running for seats in District 1 and District 2 of the City Council of Parañaque.
To put things in perspective for those who are not familiar with Bernabe, he comes from a family that has a long history of public service in the history of Parañaque. Jun Bernabe first entered politics in 1998 and served as City Vice Mayor for six years (1998-2004). Then he served as City Mayor for three straight terms (note: 1 term is 3 years) from 2004 to 2013.
During his time as Mayor, Bernabe launched several city projects that not only helped the development of the city but also did so while following national laws. His administration won several awards and citations that are too many to list down in this post. Unlike recent times, Parañaque under his leadership was found to be very competitive with other cities.
What is most notable is the fact that Mayor Bernabe was named as Outstanding Mayor in 2006 with attention paid to his leadership, fiscal management and administrative style that boosted the locality’s finances through efficient tax collection. That award was won during his first term as mayor and so it was no surprise that he went on to get re-elected to serve the maximum of 3 consecutive terms.
Back to the birthday party, Ilocos Norte Governor and candidate for Senator Imee Marcos arrived big time and was warmly received by Bernabe and the guests. This was the first I ever saw a Marcos in person. She expressed her support for Bernabe’s candidacy and the mayor returned the favor to support her run for the Philippine Senate. Here in the Philippines, voters nationwide get to vote for candidates for the Senate.
Shortly after, former Senator (and current Congresswoman) Pia Cayetano arrived at the party and was warmly received. Like Marcos, she expressed her support for Bernabe and expressed her family’s connection with Parañaque. She is running again for Senator this May.
Finally, I can confirm that the party was very lively. Guests reached out to the public servants and some celebrities. The band hired played very lively music and there was a special presentation celebrating Mayor Bernabe’s birthday.
Can Bernabe and his election team win big this May to change the tone at Parañaque City Hall? We will find out soon enough.
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