Speaker 'Dangas', Tolosano Visionary

Speaker 'Dangas', Tolosano Visionary

Jul 9, 2024, 7:15 AM
Ray L. Junia

Ray L. Junia


At the West Philippine Sea, "Monster" vs. Magbanua, battle of the ships. "Monster” is the ship. Magbanua is sheep.

Happy Birthday (July 2), Madame Romualdez Marcos. Looking not her age at 95, she is like a work of miracles and, indeed, an inspiration.

I grew up in the town that Madame Imelda also calls her own. My ancestral home was a block away from the Romualdez's home of Colonel Migueling.

Imelda had a big family. If my memory serves me right, among her brothers, Kokoy (former governor of Leyte and ambassador to the USA), Bejo (was into shipbuilding) and Armando. Two sisters, one developed Harrison Plaza and another on hotel operations. There were two others, I think.

She had half sisters. One was Dr. Lourdes Romualdez, our ever helpful town doctora who I always thought would hurt me with injections. She was some kind of family doctor to all. We loved her. We also feared her.


Madame Imelda sang well. My mother, who was the town soprano, would tell us. She and Imelda would alternate singing the town’s "hymno" on fiesta procession that would stop for the song at our ancestral home.

The Romualdez family was musically inclined. The iconic song "Kun Harapit and Adlaw Matunod" was composed by Imelda’s grandfather, Sr. Nonoy. The same Sr. Nonoy wrote Tolosa hymno for the fiesta that either my nanay or Imelda would sing. A Ronquillo lady, leading the church choir, would also sometimes sing the hymno.

But before Imelda became the most popular Romualdez, there was Speaker Daniel Romualdez. Most of us, kids, in the town that time called him “dangas”, jokingly, for his receding hairline.

“Dangas” was the reason Imelda met Congressman Ferdinand Marcos Sr.


To me, “Dangas” was the perfect politician for he was also looked up to as the father of our town. And like a good father he took care of families and looked after their needs. Tolosa loved him then and now.

“Dangas” would meet family elders before campaign starts seeking whole-of-town support. “Let us not embarrass ourselves by being divided,” he would tell the town elders.

But the town’s love for Dangas grew from his love for the town and its families. He opened opportunities for talents starting with nurturing them.

I remember, a tolosano became a congresswoman of the second district of Leyte when Speaker Danieling was representing first district. As a grade schooler, I did not understand this but later I realized “Dangas” was a visionary not only for the place but for the persons in that place.

That must have been his vision for his niece, Madame Imelda, meeting Ferdinand Sr.


I believe in destiny. I also believe we make that happen with help of our angels. And “Dangas” was our angel in a town protected by the most powerful angel, San Miguel.


At a church wedding, one asked his father, “Tatay, why do they rope off the aisles in weddings?”

“That’s to make sure that the groom can't get away.”


The newly wed couple was on their first night after reception. About to take off his coat, the brand-new husband tells his wife, “Dear, give me two minutes while I pray for guidance.”

New wife: “I’ll take care of guidance, pray for endurance.”

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