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Raymundo "Ray" Dizon, Jr.

There are a few men who really make an indelible imprint on one's life. For me, one of them would be Tito Ray. He would be one of my favorite uncles. I remember that when we first moved to Bacolod in 1975, my late father, Larry Tronco, took on the advertising project of Chris Torres, which was Marapara Golf and Country Club, a development by C.T. Torres, Inc. In creating the brochure, my dad relied on the exceptional eye of one of his favorite students at the UST to be the photographer. That was no other than Marcialangelo GT. I was Marcialangelo's pint-sized assistant, carrying his tripod for the shoot of the family scene with Corcor D Bitong, Lyn D Agustin, Yvette D Lejano, and Rayland Dizon. That was my first time to meet Tito Ray. Marcialangelo, my dad and I did two scenes with Tito Ray - the family scene in a playground and the other one where he was putting on a green at Marapara.

Two years later, when I was in my fourth grade, I recall being asked by Tito Ray, "What do you want to be when you grow up?". I confdently said, "I want to be an architect, Tito Ray". He smiled and said, "Oh you want to be an urban planner!". This was the first time I ever heard those two words following each other in a sentence. As it was, it took some time, before urban planning became a buzzword. But that was Tito Ray, a man always ahead of his time.

From high school to college to law school, Tito Ray's scholastic record at the Ateneo was impeccable. Apart from receiving many leadership awards at the Ateneo and being a champion debater, he placed 5th in the 1964 bar exams. He wrote well and spoke articulately. In 1976, he was elected as Vice Mayor of Bacolod, following after the footsteps of my great grandfather, Mariano Ramos who was the first Presidente del Barrio of Bacolod (many years before Bacolod became a city). By 1978, President Marcos appointed him as acting Mayor of Bacolod and in 1979, he won the TOYM (Ten Outstanding Young Men) award for Public Administration. Under what was then the new administration under President Cory Aquino, Cory appointed Tito Ray as the acting general manager of the National Housing Authority, which was somehow not really a surprise given his stint with the Ministry of Human Settlements as Housing and Land Use Regulatory Board Commissioner in the previous administration.

There are too many memorable stories to tell about how Tito Ray made imprints on me, some in my elementary years, and others in the latter years in the mid 1990s in Bacolod.

Fast forward to perhaps my last meeting with Tito Ray in this house in 1995. The erudite Tito Ray asked me, "So Lloyd, what are you reading now?"

To that I answered, "Tito, I am reading 'Reinventing Government' by David Osborne. It's about how the entrepreneurial spirit is transforming the public sector".

Oh, how I remember Tito Ray's face light up! This discussion was really along his line. For me, it seemed like Tito Ray's youthful exuberance as the very much loved mayor of Bacolod was once again ignited.

I can remember that smile. Yes, I'll always remember that smile.


Stay Safe and Healthy, Bacolod people!

Stay safe and healthy, Bacolod people!

-el Talonggo

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