A large majority of Negrenses are actually of the impression that this election with Mar Roxas as a candidate, is the closest thing to thrusting a person from Negros Island into Malacanang.

That is farthest from the truth.  The brother-in-law of Mar's grandfather, J. Amado Araneta was already there before.  His name was Jose Yulo Yulo.  He was impressively the Speaker of the Philippine House of Representatives from 1939 until World War II started in 1941, Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of the Philippines (May 7, 1942 – July 9, 1945) during the Japanese Occupation, and served in all of the branches of government: Legislative, as House Speaker and Representative; Executive, as Secretary of Justice and member of the Cabinet; and the Judiciary as the Chief Magistrate.  Even before being Speaker, he was Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the Philippines (February 5, 1942 - May 2, 1942).

Yulo was the presidential candidate of the Philippine Liberal Party in the 1957 presidential elections, eventually losing to incumbent President Carlos P. Garcia, a Bisaya.

Jose Yulo and Mar Roxas are both LP candidates for the top seat of the land.  There are 59 years in between the two elections.  Yet, the minor hurdles still remain the same - the full support of the sugar planters from Negros.

In the 1957 elections, support for Jose Yulo's bid was halfhearted among the Negrense sugar planters, not because of Jose Yulo's fault, as he had a sterling track record to speak of.  The reluctance was merely by association as brother-in-law to J. Amado Araneta,
Mar's grandfather

The planters then, specifically in Bacolod-Murcia Milling Co., were asking for an increased share for the planters in the same portion that Yulo had given to the planters of Canlubang.  There was no agreement to that request and thus, support was not wholehearted towards the Yulo presidency bid.  It was unfortunate that this issue which had nothing to do with Yulo's qualities as a public servant, affected his bid for the presidency.

History somehow repeats itself 59 years later as it was seen on Facebook a few Sundays ago that the topic for discussion for Sunday family lunch in laid back Bacolod, alongside the current elections was again, Bacolod-Murcia.

Many years after 1957 and decades after when Negros fell into the gloomy pit of the sugar crisis, the sugar men of  '57 regretted their decision for the minimal support given to the Liberal Party's Jose Yulo.  One of the esteemed gentlemen said, "I regretted (not supporting Yulo) when I saw that every president (had) improved his province". 

Today with a lot of planters throwing their support behind Duterte and not Mar, the people from Negros Island can only hope that it will not be something to be regretted - again.


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Negros Island.  The SWEET Spot of the Philippines.