Rep. Bem Noel: ‘Tacloban, YES to 2013!’
Because time itself is like a spiral, something special happens on your birthday each year: The same energy that God invested in you at birth is present once again. ~Menachem Mendel Schneerson
TACLOBAN CITY – A mix crowd of politicians, members of the academe, youth groups, classmates, members of the association of pedicab drivers and motorcycle drivers, friends from the tri-media, An Waray board of directors, Manila entertainers, among others, are the well-wishers of the well-loved An Waray solon Florencio “Bem” Noel who turned 46th last June 17. They came to thank him for the many projects he has done that uplifted the lives of the Warays and the rest of the people in Eastern Visayas!
Of course the lovely wifey, Malabon Rep. Jaye Lacson-Noel and three children Niño, Kiko and Toni, helped the celebrator entertained the almost 3,000 guests that filled the Leyte National High School Gymnasium and the tents put up outside the gym. Wow, parang victory party, hindi birthday party, gushed a friendJ
(I am happy to know Cong. Jaye, daughter of Gen. Regino Lacson of Malabon, is a great supporter of the Philippine Red Cross. She funded the total renovation of the Red Cross building in the Malabon Chapter to the tune of P2 million and many other Red Cross projects).
So touching was the message of his daughter Toni – a future ballerina – when it’s her turn to greet his dad: “I am Toni Noel, dad’s princess! I would just like to say madamo na salamat ha iyo nga tanan for coming over to celebrate my Dad’s birthday. I love you Daddy and I know you will be a great mayor for Tacloban,” to the resounding applause of the crowd.
Unknown to many, Cong. Bem as close friends call him, is a doting father. He always accompanies Toni and the rest of the family every year to watch his princess, as Toni and friends at Hallili Ballet Dance School perform special ballet dance number in Disneyland, Anaheim, CA, USA. She has already performed in Hong Kong, United Kingdom among others.
Reps. Bem and Jaye were so lovey-dovey during the birthday party. They just recently celebrated their 18th year of blissful marriage.
Leyte Gov. Jericho “Icot” Petilla, Palo Mayor Matin Petilla, Tacloban Vice Mayor Antoni shared their birthday messages. There were 97 other mayors from all over the region among the thousands of well-wishers.
Because I was not feeling well that day I left early. Eventologist Bert Malate said that a phone patch from House Speaker Sonny Belmonte and Sen. Francis ‘Chiz’ Escudero surprised Bem, who almost lost his smile when he learned they cannot come as the private plane wasn’t given clearance to take off due to the very bad weather in Manila.
Barangay Naton Movement Kapitans (Kaps) sang a birthday tribute song for CongBem through the song ‘Basta’t Kasama Kita’. A total of 87 came up the stage to serenade and the female Kaps went down to fetch the birthday man and offered single stem Holland red and white roses. They also unwrapped a charcoal painting of the celebrator as a token. The art piece was done by Lino Borgueta.
After the tribute song, the crowd was mesmerized as the giant cake was presented to the birthday man while he was busy thanking the Kaps upstage. The giant cake, carried through a table on wheels, passed through the center aisle whose 46 candles glared amidst the dim-lit gymnasium. When he blew his birthday candles, he purposely left one candle to symbolize there is still light of hope for the City of Tacloban.
Former City Mayor Uldarico Mate also shared his birthday message. He emphasized to CongBem on continuing the legacy of leadership for Taclobanons because only a legitimate Taclobanon can love and respect a fellow Taclobanon.
Noel thanked Mayor Mate and the rest of the well-wishers and accepted the challenge and said: ‘Tacloban, YES to 2013!” that received a standing ovation! Rep. Neil Benedict Montejo, his colleague and best friend forever, nod in approval. Earlier Rep. Neil sang “Awit ng Barkada” recalling funny childhood anecdotes and how they formed the An Waray party-list and became the public servants that they are today.
It was the biggest party of a politico in this side of the region. Former Makati City Councilor Rico J. Puno, the original “kilabot ng mga kolehiyala,” Baby Boobsie and local bands entertained the crowd. Big clans in Tacloban – the Noels, Montejos, Mates, Arteches – attended the party.
Also among the well-wishers were members of the Barangay ni Nanay and Barangay Naton.
More happy years and good health Rep. Bem Noel! Cheers!
Love, Laugh and Live! Om shanti!
By: Vicky Arnaiz
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