PLAIN & SIMPLE| Creating a new Digos

THIS is a bit of history on Digos. Once I lived in this town, the capital of Davao del Sur. Dry and almost sleepy, Digos was a town left unknown by development. Then Mayor Jun Llanos, who called me “gaw” led the city well.  But with meager resource, Digos under him had a hard time developing.

I knew Mayor Jun because  Joseph Penas, the news editor of the Cordial , the student publication of Cor Jesu College that I edited introduced me to the mayor. Joseph was the KB official of the town and it gave him an automatic position in the LGU. Joseph represented the youth in the Sangunian.

That was many years ago. Today Joseph Penas is now the mayor of Digos which is now a city. How time flies and how fate brings us to where we are now.

Joseph Penas inched his way to his political ladder patient and consistent. He was elected councilor at a young age, became vice mayor for three terms and became member of the board of Davao del Sur before he became mayor of Digos city.

While in politics, Joseph studied his commerce degree in Cor Jesu. After graduating, he took the CPA exam and passed it. Not content with being a CPA, he enrolled in the law school, took the bar and passed it. He became a CPA-Lawyer, a preparation that brought him to where he is now – Mayor of Digos City.

The rest is history for Joseph in that part of his life.

Today he is given the task to lead the city. Under him, a new Digos is born. It may not be whirling with so much economic activity, but Digos is a vibrant community with new infrastructures and malls.

Mayor Penas made it his drive to rally the people of Digos to do more, a mindset he developed through the years. He believes that people must have a mindset to guide him to do more in life.

With Abante Digos all over the city down to the barangays, Joseph wants people to level up.

Though he is now the mayaor of a fast growing city, Joseph remains very ordinary and humble. People from all walks of life can go near him, talk to him, discuss stories with him just like before.

Still the approachable guy when he was in college and living in  Barangay Goma, Mayor Penas did not allow power to consume him and control him. Pedicab drivers would always say “maayo si mayor can dali ra maduol ug managad”.  This despite the fact that in the province if you are a CPA Lawyer, you are already somebody. Plus being the mayaor at that.

I was 3rd year in college when I met Joseph, a first year commerce student who played a lot of basketball. I enjoyed his company because he loved sports and he was easy to talk to.

But at that time, I already saw his leadership potentials. In fact, when I gathered the 15 leaders of Cor Jesu, Joseph was one of them. Leadership was innate in him and he enjoyed leading. That was something unique in him.

I write this column because I am simply impressed with him. He was under me in the Cordinal. I was the EIC and I appointed him the news editor. I guided him in  campus journalism and I asked him to write about an NGO with two working Americans.

Joseph was very simple and I knew he was brilliant. That was why when they told me that Joseph was now a CPA Lawyer, I was not surprised. And when friends in  Digos told me that he now was and is the mayor of Digos, I was not surprised either.

In the last election, Joseph defeated his ninong  Gov Dodo Cagas with a wide margin. Now he is in his last term. For sure people will remember his leadership, his kind and simple personality and his unusual friendly character.

As a leader, Joseph will surely go through greater heights.  As a politician, He is destined for more positions of  power to serve the people.

Posted in Opinion