Buckets and candles illuminated the streets of Bocaue in the province of Bulacan to honor Mayor Joni Villanueva’s passing last Thursday, May 28.
In a historic and rare occasion, hundreds of candles standing in buckets illuminated the dark night in Bocaue on the second day of the town mayor’s death.
The whole town was once more united because of their love for Mayor Joni.
It was five o’clock in the afternoon when the Bocaueños began to unload their buckets and candles on the roads and in front of their houses.
This was done simultaneously in all barangays. The buckets (previously used as relief goods containers) represented and was the symbol of Mayor Joni’s love and service to them.
The buckets were also a symbol of gratitude to the Mother of the People of Bocaue.
By 6 o’clock at night the candles were lighted one by one to pray for the mayor and the Bocaueos expressing their feelings.
There were tears in the people’s eyes as they recounted how Mayor Joni helped them and how they were injured by her sudden death. To this day, many still can not believe and do not want to accept what happened.
The cause of Mayor Joni’s early departure was sepsis secondary to bacterial pneumonia.
The “Mother of the People”, as she was known to her people, devised ways and implemented projects to improve the lives of every Bocaueño.
To her constituents, the mayor was loyal, loving, understanding and approachable. They’ve even witnessed that in the days before her hospitalization, she never stopped serving.
Mayor Joni personally supervised the arrangement and distribution of relief goods. She also focused on the local government’s campaign to prevent the spread of COVID-19 in her jurisdiction.
“Towards the end of his life, she served faithfully and lovingly. Thank you so much and we love you so much, Mayor Joni! You will always stay in our hearts and memories,” said a message posted on Mayor Joni’s Facebook page.