Book on Tarzan Lazatin’s life launched, PGMA guest of honor

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ANGELES CITY, Pampanga – “CONG Tarzan Lazatin: A Public Life” – the aptly named biography of late Pampanga First District Representative and three-term City Mayor Carmelo “Tarzan” Lazatin was officially launched on December 12, 2021 at the Best Western Hotel in Balibago.

Present during the event as Guest of Honor is former Philippine President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, a good friend of the late Lazatin. Arroyo also wrote the foreword of Tarzan Lazatin’s biography.

“This book about the public life of Cong Tarzan may help influence, motivate, and provide encouragement to everyone, especially aspiring leaders,” Arroyo wrote.

In a special message delivered during the book launch, Tarzan Lazatin’s son, incumbent City Mayor Carmelo “Pogi” Lazatin, Jr., expressed his gratitude to the former president.

“Ibayong pasalamat po ang binibigay ko kay Presidente Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo sa kanyang oras at pagkilala sa aking ama,” Pogi Lazatin said.

The idea to publish the biography is the brainchild of Pogi Lazatin and Tarzan Lazatin’s long-time aide, Clark International Airport Corporation (CIAC) Vice President for Operations, Irish Calaguas. Calaguas also contributed the book’s epilogue.

“Ang librong ito ay isang paraan upang ma-immortalize ang mga naging accomplishments sa buhay ng aking ama,” said Pogi Lazatin, “Pero higit sa lahat, this book, this memoir, is our simple way to honor and pay tribute to a life well-lived – a life that was spent in service of the public.”

Initial planning for the book and the team responsible for bringing it to life were held on November 25 and December 5 last year.

The “CONG” creative team is made up of writer-editor, veteran journalist and Most Outstanding Kapampangan Awardee Caesar “Bong” Lacson, together with a team of distinguished writers Tonette Orejas, Arnel San Pedro, Marna Dagumboy-Del Rosario, and Minerva Arceo; and contributors Joey Pavia, Noel Tulabut, and Arlyn Lukban.

“While he holds the distinction of being the first three-term mayor of the city, it is his being three-term-congressman-plus-two-more that impacted most in the people’s mind,” Lacson said of the book’s title, “Hence the honorific ‘Cong’ forever twinned to his nickname Tarzan, as fitting a term of endearment as a title of utmost respect.”

Completing the team behind the biography are book project manager, Lincoln Baluyut, photo editor, Frederick Gonzales, designer and lay-out artist, John Paul Manalang; and researchers Mina Navarro-Cabiles, Irish Bonus-Llego, Sharmaine Vianne Gonzales, Jermaine Jam Aguila, Ma. Leah Fleurrane De Fiesta, Joseph Rassel Santiago, and Sheiden Dela Cruz. 

“On behalf of the Lazatin family, I sincerely thank everyone who was part of making this book a reality,” said Pogi Lazatin.

Relevant permits were secured to conduct the book launching and the 60 percent limit on venue capacity was observed. All event attendees underwent antigen testing via Quest Diagnostics prior to entering the venue.