By Andrew Jonathan S. Bagaoisan
“Salamat, Jesse Robredo” coverage log 2
NAGA CITY, CAMARINES SUR– For a week, this city became, in the words of Sec. Manuel Quezon III, the capital of the country.
The top stories centered here, just after Manila and its neighbors closed their ordeal with the Habagat floods.
While the stories focused on the man, the late Sec. Jesse Robredo, the spotlight also turned to the city and to the lives most connected to him.
They long lived in Robredo’s shadow. But the secretary’s life and death bagged Naga and his family a greater appreciation from many who met them by this tragedy.
The casket was no longer opened. Still, hundreds continued to come.
The casket soon had to be moved from a cramped corner of the chapel of the Archbishop’s Palace to the wider covered driveway outside.
There and later at the Basilica Minore, many noticed how orderly the Nagueños lined up and occupied the place.
Local businesses kept sending in food and drinks, to the point that organizers asked them to stop for the meantime.
Even for packed meals the locals quietly lined up for their share.
Reporters and anchors repeatedly hailed Naga’s rise from municipality to first-class city as a legacy of its former mayor.
More remarkable than that though is the discipline of the Nagueños formed not from fear or force, but from example.
Like his stint as mayor, Jesse Robredo worked below the radar as DILG secretary. He didn’t even bring his family to Manila.
Only during Robredo’s search and wake did the public and the media begin to get acquainted with his wife and three daughters.
Our news teams were assigned to get and prepare for a guest on the night Sec Jesse’s casket arrived at Naga.