ON Sunday, February 11, Senator Christopher “Bong” Go participated in the vibrant celebrations of the Hamaka Festival in Taytay, Rizal, where he underscored significant developments in the health sector and his continuous support for the community’s welfare.
“Kami po ang dapat magpasalamat sa inyo dahil binigyan n’yo po kami ng pagkakataon na makapagserbisyo po sa inyong lahat,” Go, an adopted son of CALABARZON, conveyed, emphasizing his dedication to work for the Filipinos to the best of his ability.
The senator recognized local officials, including Governor Nina Ynares, Vice Governor Reynaldo San Juan, Mayor Allan de Leon, and Vice Mayor Pia Cabral, for their support and collaboration in community projects. He also thanked the councilors and barangay officials present.
The festival’s name, Hamaka, is an acronym that stands for “HAmba” (door jamb), “MAkina” (sewing machines), and “KAbuhayan” (livelihood), reflecting the town’s primary industries, such as woodworking and garment manufacturing. These industries have shaped Taytay’s identity and underscored its residents’ ingenuity and entrepreneurial spirit.
The boodle fight is a distinctive feature of the festival, a communal eating experience that symbolizes unity and fellowship among attendees. Go and other guests partook in this tradition by enjoying “Adobong Matanda,” a local culinary specialty, highlighting the festival’s ability to unite people through the shared appreciation of Taytay’s culinary heritage.
During the event, Go, as Chair of the Senate Sports Committee, also distributed balls for basketball and volleyball to select recipients to encourage them to get into sports as a means to mold the youth into responsible and productive citizens, keeping them away from vices like illegal drugs while promoting camaraderie, discipline and sportsmanship.
On that day, Go likewise carried out an inspection of the Taytay Sports Complex which he advocated for in the past years.
Meanwhile, the senator proudly announced the establishment of 159 Malasakit Centers across the Philippines, aimed at assisting indigent patients, with four centers located within Rizal province, specifically at the Antipolo City Hospital System Annex IV, Casimiro A. Ynares Sr. Memorial Hospital in Rodriguez, Bagong Cainta Municipal Hospital, and Margarito A. Duavit Memorial Hospital in Binangonan.
Republic Act No. 11463, which institutionalized the Malasakit Centers, was principally sponsored and authored by Go. Since 2018, the Malasakit Center program has helped more or less ten million Filipinos, according to DOH.
Additionally, Go has backed the establishment of Super Health Centers across the country, with 12 such facilities being funded in Rizal province alone. On the same day, he inspected the Super Health Center, currently under construction in the town.
Meanwhile, as vice chairperson of the Senate Committee on Finance, Go supported several other initiatives to help the province’s development. These include the improvement of the road and drainage system in Angono, Rodriguez, and Antipolo City; rehabilitation of the flood control structures along the upper Marikina River in Rodriguez; construction of the Batangas Medical Center Annex in Rodriguez; construction of the Justice Building in Antipolo City; construction and improvement of a multipurpose building and new roads in Baras; and the purchase and installation of streetlights in San Mateo.