THE “P” TALKS!
BY: Pilar Mateo
IT’S HER son, JV Ejercito‘s favorite home-cooked dish. And where San Juan City Mayor Guia Gomez is very good at doing. The famous (among friends and peers and of course, family!) Bacalao.
Whether Ala Vizcaina or any other way, it has always been a request that the good lady of the house prepare it for her guests at their sprawling house in San Juan.
Sabado de Gloria. Her 77th natal day fell on that day.
“I didn’t plan anything. Kasi nga, it’s Black Saturday. Kaya sabi ko, kung sino na lang ang makaalala then, will eat here at home. Like my good friend Mr. Tan So. My inaanak Paula, an environmentalist. Galing pa sila Muntinlupa. Ganito lang.
“JV already greeted 15 minutes before midnight struck. Alam niya na I didn’t prepare, eh. Para sa inyo lang. As requested by Roel (RK Villacorta). Parang get-together.”
What was her memorable birthday to date?
“Ah, that was when I celebrated my 70th. Talagang nag-prepare si JV. In a hotel. Pati damit ko, ipinagawa niya. Pati make-up. So, when I entered the ballroom, it was like, parang may magde-debut. Pink and red flowers everywhere.
“So, noong mag 75th birthday na naman ako, he wanted to throw a big party na naman for me. Sabi ko, ayaw ko na ng malaking party. Gusto ko na lang mag-Europe. Sa Rome. So, we went to Lourdes, France. Sa Paris. Nakita ko na ang Notre Dame. Sad lang kasi ginagawa lang pasyalan ang Church.”
She almost shares her birthday with JV’s Dad, Manila Mayor Erap Estrada.
“Magkasunod kami. April 19 siya. 20 ako. Kaya noon, ang handaan, sabi ko ‘yung matira sa akin mapupunta. Hahaha. Joke ‘yan! Kami ni Erap, we are very good friends now. But we also quarrel.
How are Mayor Erap and JV getting along?
“Okay na sila. Alam niyo na, father and son, mother and daughter, nagkaka-problem pero hindi naman nagtatagal ang away. Especially kami, the parents, we always forgive. Ang anak ko, what you see, is what you get. Magsasabi ‘yan ng totoo. May mga hindi lang napagkasunduan so they didn’t see eye-to-eye. But of course, he’s going to help JV. ”
How is she supporting JV?
“Everything I need and have to do. Ikot. Projects, too. ‘Yun lang, last prusisyon I was not allowed na by our Parish Priest to walk with this kind of heat. Then, I heard the jingle. In his ad. I was eating in a restaurant after I visited Father Joey Faller in Kamay ni Hesus. We were at Buddy’s. There were customers who were congratulating me sa ad niya. Malakas daw, what’s that-LSS (last song syndrome)? If you listen naman or watch it, wala naman sasabihing patama there. It means so many things yes. But not negative for anyone. ”
Is there a special gift JV gave her?
“The big party. The trip. And one i couldn’t forget is the car. Ibinenta niya his 8 year old Nexxus. Gusto ko kasi mas malaki ang space na car. Ang Mercedes mahirap isabak sa traffic. So I opted for a BMW. He was given naman a good discount when he got it for me.”
It was such a breeze talking to the Mom of JV on her special day. She treated the writers to a Bacalao lunch and other “putahes” on the table. And being Easter the next day, she had gifts for each of us!
What makes her Bacalao so special?
“Matagal siya gawin and you have to really be careful kasi very salty ang cod fish. You marinate it for 24 hours. Every 4 hours binabaligtad mo para mawala ang alat. Five times at least. Bata pa si JV naging paborito na niya ‘yan kaya hindi nawawala everytime may handaan kami.
“Why is it so special? Because it is cooked with so much love.”
I have tasted Bacalao Ala Vizcaina in some Spanish restaurants. But our palate was tested in Mama Guia’s version. The cod fish, potatoes, hard-boiled eggs, capers, garlic, roasted bell peppers, olives. Really tops especially on a meatless day. Tops on my list. But that Black Saturday, apart from the Bacalao, other specialties were on the table. Equally yummy!
And probably, it is no secret that Bacalao might be the Erap’s favorite dish, too!
The way to a man’s stomach. But with Mama Guia’s funny storytelling and sharing of anecdotes in her young love-it was her legs that her leading man then which caught the attention and eventually the heart of the debonair lad.
But for now, the birthday girl’s wish is for her son JV to have a seat again in the Senate.
“Vote for JV. Most of you have seen him work and do something for our fellow Filipinos. Health, education, the long list is there. Of things accomplished! And will still be done!”
#mayorguiavote4JV #BacalaoLunch #JVsFavorite