OUR GRAND MASTER
MW ROLEN C. PAULINO, MASON, POLITICIAN, STATESMAN
Beyond its natural beauty, its strategic location and far above its colorful history, the city of Olongapo has blossomed into one of the country's more prosperous economic hubs. Its dynamic leaders and transparent government transformed the city into one of the best-managed local governments in the country today.
The Most Worshipful Grand Master of Masons in the Philippines Rolen C. Paulino, the City's former mayor likes to pass the credit to the people of Olongapo. “with their active involvement and cooperative spirit”, he said, the progress our city has achieved in the last 10 years is far beyond what the city had been 60 years after world war II". From a city formerly claimed by dynastical rulers whose conservative views boarders around traditional politics, the city is now taken over by a progressive and dynamic vision who used all its might to beat the odds and give victory to its people.
The task was not easy. Then City Councilor Rolen Paulino thought that the people of his city were ready for a complete paradigm shift in 2007 when he first decided to run for mayor. He was running against the incumbent whose surname is synonymous with winning elections. His political set-back that year prepared him for greater challenges. In 2010 he overwhelmingly won the vice-mayoralty race.
When MW Rolen Paulino finally became Mayor in 2013, talks were buzzing claiming that he won the elections only because the incumbent then, who was term limited, could not unite his family and his leaders had to divide the votes between his wife and his nephew. But the 2016 elections put all doubts to rest when the formerly unbeatable foe, with his entire re-united family behind him, could only afford to be at the rear-view mirror. Olongapo City had changed and the change was from within. The Gordon dynasty had ended.
Two days after his first term in 2013 officially started, Mayor Paulino and his team met with Department of Energy Secretary Jericho Petilla and PSALM (Private Sector Asset Liabilities Management) president Emmanuel Ledesma, Jr. regarding the php 5.08 billion power debt his city has incurred. He was able to convince them of his city's capability to comply with its obligation if given the chance. His sincere representation and transparency in the negotiations were the main keys to the success of that endeavor. PSALM would restructure the payment scheme which averted the power disconnection Olangapo was facing.
MW Rolen Paulino's governance of openness and transpency in olongapo helped him regain the people's confidence in government. His vision is focused on his belief that leadership must be transparent coupled with good intentions to maintain the people’s trust. "It is easy to become mayor than to keep on being one, “he said.
Keeping his vision simple and comprehensive is probably one of the reasons why mayor Paulino has achieved so much for Olongapo. To make life a little better for his constituents is the driving force that motivated his administration in coming up with innovative programs and management strategies.
A career in politics may have lost its appeal. To others, politics and politicians are dirty. A belief that conveys hatred to the hubris of kings’ past.On the contrary, the politics of the present is as noble as politicians with convictions and principles in governance. MW Rolen C. Paulino has proven himself worth as an excellent and innovative leader who has brought genuine development among his constituents and greater progress for his city. To excel in this is not be remembered as a politician but as a statesman and the people of Olongapo remember MW Rolen Paulino as such.
To turn ones’ back to the glory and power of government office is difficult to a lot of politicians there are those who cling to power until their last breath. But MW Rolen Paulino is no ordinary politician. He had no trouble giving up his post as mayor. Not only because he believes no one is indispensable in government service but also because he was leaving his people to the care of the man who he knows will do better. His son, atty. Rolen C. Paulino, Jr.
The MW Rolen Paulino we know is not so distant with his public persona. He is as true to us as he is to his constituency. He is a friend. An ally and brother mason. His most cherished career is that of being family man. He was never to busy for his family which is his outmost priority. He is married to the former Cynthia Co and they are blessed with five children and four grandchildren.
The Most Worshipful Grand Master of Masons in the Philippines was only 37 years old when he was raised to the sublime degree of master mason. Six years later, he was serving as the Worshipful Master of Lincoln Masonic Lodge No. 34, young as he was, he had no inkling of what politics had planned for him. But he knew then what was expected of him. At that moment when the substitute for the ancient master's word was given to him, he knew that the future expected him to become a better man. Twenty-five years later, the purple of our fraternity is resting upon his shoulder.