Date > 2023 > Feb
Activity > Peoplescape
Feb 15, 2023
The 'Bad Guy' of Siquijor
Location : LTO, Siquijor Poblacion, Siquijor Island, Philippines
Unappreciated and Misunderstood
It's not what you think! This is about the district head of Siquijor's LTO - a public servant with lofty goals for the greater good of his province. But since his intentions are neither seen nor understood, his righteous actions are unappreciated. With unwavering resolve, he forges through, knowing fully well he can only be seen as the Bad Guy.
In the brief conversation I've had with Mr. Gerlad J. Dominguez (while getting my license processed), he intimated that whenever people from Siquijor venture out of the island and into the bigger cities like Dumaguete or Cebu, they are marginalized as simple-minded people from the small island. He wanted that discrimination to end. Rightfully so!!!
So, how do you do that? Given his capacity and authority as District Chief of Siquijor's LTO, he ensures that there is no corruption (meaning people cannot bribe anyone to get preferential treatment), no fixers (so that people who came first are served first) and full compliance to policy by everyone (people have to pass the tests, present proper documents, pay due fines, etc.).
Gone are the ways when the staff look the other way over transgressions. It's not always money. On a small island, nearly everyone is related. How do you say no to a relative? That's very hard given the local tradition and culture.
Because people are not used to proper governance, and what they see is simply the regimented adherence to standards and policy that they find inconvenient, Mr. Gerlad J. Dominguez is widely criticized as being 'strict' - as though it's a crime.
In the context of the local tradition, I even find the word strict to be a compliment - because everybody gets away with everything if you have the means or the connection. As the late Lee Kuan Yew (Singapore's founding father and global elder statesman) once said, "Filipinos don't need more democracy. They need more discipline."
Word got through the grapevine until a few people in high places began to notice. Secret operatives came to the district to verify. Sure enough, the clean and efficient operations were validated and the Seal of Excellence was awarded to the district. Did it change people's minds? Of course not!
Is Mr. Gerlad J. Dominguez being strict needlessly? Is he strict because he wants to put a squeeze on people simply because he can play God? This is a fair question in Philippine context when nearly everyone with a modicum of authority acts like the big swinging dick in town. In fact, this behavior is the norm and not the exception.
Well, let me narrate my personal LTO odyssey. I did my homework and came prepared with all the needed documents and certificates. My application went through like a breeze. There was no unnecessay delay, there were no fixers, no one who deliberately blocked the process (as a prelude to grease money), and at the end of the day, I got my license. Not only did I renew my license, I also got a new one issued with the addition of the motorcycle feature. In ONE day!!!
If any of the staff wanted to play God, they would have blocked the process needlessly just to give me a hard time even if all my documents were in order. Anyone who tried to secure any government document is well aware of this exasperating ordeal. I didn't go through that. No one played God, no one gave me a hard time.
It's interesting to note that people who are quick to complain about corruption, nepotism, fixers and inept governance are the very same ones who complain just as quickly if the proper measures are applied to them. In short, they want the law applied to everyone except to them - they want to be entitled.
What Mr. Gerlad J. Dominguez is doing is such a tough and thankless job. Consider this. It would be so much easier, so much more lucrative, to simply accept 'soft money' to grease the process - you end up being popular and you have a wad of cash in your wallet at the end of the day. It's so easy to slide down this slippery road. I've seen idealists slide down and never made it back up again.
But to stay the course, to completely stamp out corruption, to remove fixers, to strictly comply with policy, to be the target of criticism...at the end of the day, you end up poor and unpopular despite your noble intentions. This is not a job for men of weak character or frail moral fabric. It takes a man of unwavering resolve to forge through.
Siquijor is lucky to have such a public servant. The likes of Mr. Gerlad J. Dominguez don't happen often. And when it happens, it doesn't last too long either - he can be sacked by higher-ups or the influencial few who don't like the boat being rocked. Cheers to the unsung heroes of Siquijor, cheers to you, sir! May you live long and prosper.
--- Gigit (TheLoneRider)
YOGA by Gigit | Learn English | Travel like a Nomad | Donation Bank
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Heeeere's Johnnie!(Feb 26, 2023) I've only met Johnnie once, 13 years ago in his luxurious beachfront resort, The Danish Lagoon. What a character! Both remain memorable to me - Johnnie and The Danish Lagoon. Now that I'm back in Siquijor, it was time to pay him a visit...more »»
More on Siquijor Poblacion:
Siquijor Poblacion Info
More on Siquijor Island:
Siquijor Island Local Info
Jeeps - there are only 2 routes for jeeps within Siquijor Island - and they are rare. Most people have their own motorcycle transport.
Food - these were suggested by a local to me
Siquijor Island Map
Siquijor - Dumaguete Boat Trips(as of Jan 2023)
Siquijor - Tagbilaran - Cebu City Boat Trips(as of Jan 2023)
En route to Cebu City, the ferries usually make a stop-over to Tagbilaran (Bohol) to pick-up more passengers or unload.
Siquijor - Plaridel Boat Trips(as of Jan 2023)
Siquijor - Cebu (Liloan) - Cebu City BUS Trip(as of Jan 2023)
There is only one bus plying this route - Sugbo Urban. Tourist class coach, a/c, comfortable, Sun-Fri (these dates keep changing). P420 for bus, P275 for ferry to Liloan. Larena Port around 5 am, makes a clockwise roundtrip around Siquijor Island - Larena, Enrique Villanueva, Maria, Lazi (stops at Lazi market for breakfast and leaves 6:50 am), San Juan, Siquijor (arrives 8am, P50 from Lazi to Siquijor Poblacion) and catches the 1pm ferry at Larena Port (Sundays at 3 pm) for Liloan, Cebu and resumes its land route. Arrives Cebu City (South Bus Terminal) 10 pm.
Sugbo Urban is the cheapest and most convenient way because it goes around the island (clockwise) along the circumferential road, passing through - Enrique Villanueva, Maria, Lazi, San Juan, Siquijor...and back to Larena where it takes the ferry at 1 pm. This saves you the hassle and high transport cost of a tricycle. Besides, it's a long trip from the other side of the island to be taking by tricycle.
Suggested Destinations After Siquijor Island
These are the nearest popular destinations from Siquijor by boat
- Sep Snapshots: Fisherman, Granny, Pedicure, Big Fish, Garbage September 1-30, 2023
- Together Forever Sep 11, 2023
- The Cigarette Talk Sep 1, 2023
- Siquijor Star Meditation Center Aug 31, 2023
- The Lost Dogs of Siquijor Aug 27, 2023
- Moving to a Bungalow! Aug 22, 2023
- Aug Chronicles: CDO produce August 31, 2023
- Aug Snapshots: Pan de Sal, Palpitate, Taho, Tuna, Pineapple August 1-31, 2023 [an error occurred while processing this directive]
- July Chronicles July 31, 2023
- July Snapshots July 1-31, 2023
- Learning Cebuano: July July 1-31, 2023
- June Chronicles June 31, 2023
- June Snapshots June 1-31, 2023
- Learning Cebuano: June June 1-31, 2023
- May Chronicles May 31, 2023
- May Snapshots May 1-31, 2023
- Learning Cebuano May 1-31, 2023
- In Search of a Cool Climate May 25, 2023
- The 64 km Bike Ride May 16, 2023
- Lazi Fiesta May 15, 2023
- The Boulevard Opening May 5, 2023
- April Snapshots April 1-30, 2023
- Learning Cebuano...Again! April 1-30, 2023
- Kris Visits Siquijor Mar 17 - Apr 15, 2023
- Exploring Siquijor with Marky Mar 25 - Apr 11, 2023
- Siquijor Healing Festival April 5-8, 2023
- The Talk at United Church of Christ April 2, 2023
- Mar Snapshots Mar 1-31, 2023
- Vigil for the Ghost Ship of Siquijor March 31, 2023
- Judging an Essay on Gender Equality Mar 29, 2023
- The Thief, the Shaman, the Elves and the Police Mar 20, 2023
- Finally Acquiring the Motorbike Mar 18, 2023
- Bitcoin Blunder Mar 15, 2023
- Maria's Unsung Beaches Mar 11, 2023
- Lagaan Falls Mar 9, 2023
- Tibhong Spring Water Source Mar 8, 2023
- Bolo-Bolo Natural Spring Mar 2, 2023
- Reasons to Get a Wife March 1, 2023
- Feb Snapshots Feb 28, 2023
- Camagung-Ong Natural Spring Feb 28, 2023
- Heeeere's Johnnie! Feb 26, 2023
- Manifesting a Motorbike from Thin Air? Feb 18, 2023
- The 'Bad Guy' of Siquijor Feb 15, 2023
- Amazement from Drivers License Renewal in Siquijor Feb 15, 2023
- Locong Falls Feb 9, 2023
- Inguinal Hernia? Goodbye ABS! Feb 4, 2023
- Jan Snapshots Dec 31, 2022
- In Search of Tubod Cold Spring Jan 27, 2023
- 1:4:2:3 Nadi Shodana Jan 26, 2023
- Lazi's Boulevard Jan 22, 2023
- Lazi: A Monthly Stay Jan 21, 2023
- 7 Days in Maria, Siquijor Jan 14-21, 2023
- Capilay Spring Jan 17, 2023
- Siquijor: In Search of Resonance Jan 9-14, 2023
- Riding Around Siquijor's 86km Coastal Road Apr 3, 2012
- Exploring the Cantabon Cave of Siquijor Feb 23, 2012
- Jovee and Missy's Excellent Adventure Nov 6-7, 2010
- Freediving in Siquijor's Marine Sancturaries Apr 23-24, 2010
- Island Tour of Siquijor Apr 22, 2010
- Kram's Siquijor Wedding Apr 21, 2010
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