CAPTION: Outgoing councilor Jonjie Rodriguez (6th from left, 2nd line) takes a photo with his colleagues and employees of the City Council during the testimonial dinner for him and colleagues Rolando Amurao and Vice Mayor Luis Marcaida III on June 25. In the photo with him were (L-R) Councilors Matthew Mendoza, Roy Ventura, Henry Gadiano, Nesario Awat, Victor Oliveros, incoming Vice Mayor Nancy Socrates, ex-officio councilor Mika Magbanua, Jimmy Carbonell, and Jimbo Maristela. (Photo courtesy of Margie Lagrada)

An evening of storytelling and reminiscing was enjoyed over a testimonial dinner by a crowd of City Council members, employees, and special guests at a hotel in Puerto Princesa for outgoing officials on Tuesday night.

The special event was held to honor the services and achievements of outgoing councilors Rolando Amurao and Modesto Rodriguez II and vice mayor Luis Marcaida III whose last day in the office is on June 30.

All three were given mementos, including their portraits signed by each member of the 15th City Council.

In his speech, Rodriguez who is considered as a good-humored councilor said the commendation through an approved resolution he received from his colleagues during their 146th session and his last will be most memorable because it has all their signatures.

“Iyong commendation na ibinigay ninyo kahapon normal lang sa akin ‘yon, sa miyembro ng konseho marami tayong binibigyan niyan. Pero iba pala kapag ikaw ‘yong tatanggap ng commendation. Iyong resolution na ‘yon ilalagay ko sa aking kuwarto kung saan ako natutulog, not only because of the title and whereases, but also to always remember the names of those who authored that particular resolution. Proud na proud po ako,” said Rodriguez.

On the other hand, Amurao and Marcaida were unable to attend the dinner affair in their honor.

Incoming city vice mayor Maria Nancy Socrates, who will take oath on June 30, quoted Ralph Waldo Emerson in her speech and said, “The purpose of life is not to be happy. It is to be useful, to be honorable, to be compassionate, to have it make some difference that you have lived and lived well”.

Socrates said she learned from Amurao the value of time as he exhibited dedication in his work being a city councilor.

She said Amurao was always the earliest one to show up at the City Hall, coming to his office by 6 a.m.

“Of course si Konsehal Jonjie po kami ay magkasama sa aming asosasyon, iyong asosasyon na tanghali na gumising, kaya ngayon wala na akong kakampi, mukhang gusto nilang ipalipat ulit sa alas-nuwebe [ng umaga] ‘yong session. Pero take note, studies have shown, that those who sleep late and, of course, wake up late are smarter and more creative. Tingin ko tama ‘yon,” Socrates said, joking with the crowd and Rodriguez.

Meanwhile, Socrates said she admired the “resilience, humility, and patience” of Marcaida.