Sinulog 2010 not mixed with politics?

Cebu is ready for Sinulog 2010!

Sinulog is both a religious and cultural activity celebrated every third Sunday of January. For this year’s Sinulog activities and other important information, I recommend you to visit,, and of course the official Sinulog website

Notes: Many writers still make references to Sto. Niño de Cebu as patron saint of Cebu. Sto. Roman Catholic Church believe that since Sto. Niño is a representation of Jesus, He cannot be considered a patron. Cebu’s patroness is Our Lady of Guadalupe de Cebu [pontifical decree issued by the Vatican’s Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments, May 9, 2006]. Even Sinulog’s official website still mentions the child Jesus Sr. Sto. Niño as the patron saint of Cebu. I hope this will be corrected soon.

Because Sinulog draws more than 2 million people (according to estimates), politicians drool to take part and take advantage of the celebration.

Cebuanos want to maintain the dignity of Sinulog by discouraging politicians to do political tricks (read as campaign) during the festival.

Sinulog Foundation, Inc. (SFI) prohibits  politicians and supporters from distributing leaflets promoting their political bid, Manila Bulletin reports.

Mayor Tomas OsmenaMayor Tomas Osmeña (Cebu City) repeatedly warned local and national candidates who plan to take advantage of Sinulog. Floats and banners with names of politicians are definitely not allowed at the parade route nor inside Cebu City Sports Complex where the parade finale will be held. Tomas Osmeña ordered police to implement prohibition although the Philippine National Police admitted that there is no legal basis to prohibit politicians from campaigning during the Sinulog, reports.

Tomas Osmeña’s message is clear, Sinulog should not be mixed with politics!

I am not sure if Mayor Tomas Osmeña heard himself.

For the first time, Cebu City will have a float entry for the Sinulog grand parade on January 17. The float is the city’s way of thanking the Sto. Niño for the City’s first sale of SRP (South Road Properties) lots last year, and for the full recovery of Mayor Tomas Osmeña from urinary bladder cancer, according to Sun Star Cebu report.

The intention at first sight is very good and I appreciate that. But I see the wicked motive of the the city’s float. The same Sun Star Cebu report notes that SRP-MO (SRP Management Office) staffers and the Mayor’s Management Team who will be on the float will be wearing their shirts that read “Suya Ra ang Probinsya.”

Isn’t the city mixed Sinulog 2010 with politics?

Cebuanos know well (and get annoyed with) the bitter word wars between Cebu City Mayor Tomas Osmeña and Cebu Governor Gwen Garcia. Obviously, the Suya Ra ang Probinsya shirts aimed to twit Gov. Garcia.

Cebu governor Gwen GarciaGov. Garcia, in her reaction, considered Cebu City’s move as a petty move. It is not important to me whether Garcia is affected or not. It’s none of my business. What concerns me more is the political foolishness that will taint the mind of the people during the Sinulog parade. Instead of enjoying the parade and feel blessed, Cebuanos’ mind will be contaminated with the personal grudges of the two leaders. How sad.

I feel pity to City’s staff who will wear the Suya Ra ang Probinsya shirt. I don’t know if they feel proud of it. If I were one of them, I would wish to get sick on Sunday and stay in hospital than being used to taunt a politician!

I see a picture of Mayor Tomas wearing his Suya Ra ang Probinsya shirt. He looked great on it. Yes, he was. But will the City’s staff look great with it? They might look great but I doubt if they would feel great.

I suggest (actually, hopping) that Cebu City hall reconsider their move and respect the Cebuanos and the Sinulog celebration. More than that, respect Sto. Niño de Cebu. There is still time to reconsider.

I include that in my prayers.

Pit Señor! God bless us all.

Cebu City Hall:: Georgia Osmeña in 2010?

Mayor Tomas Osmeña’s sister might be the next Cebu City Mayor. (So not his wife Margot nor the expected – Mike Rama)

On December 4, Georgia Osmeña registered as a voter of barangay Camputhaw, Cebu City, reported.

Since she list up as Cebu City voter, will she run for mayor in 2010?

I’m not saying yes, I’m not saying no, but I am considering it, Georgia said over radio dyLA on the idea of running for mayor as quoted by Sun Star Cebu in its December 9 report.

Georgia Osmeña may step in Cebu City hall. But there is a condition. Sun Star Cebu reported that Georgia Osmeña might forget about running if somebody addresses the concerns she raised.

In the same Sun Star Cebu report, Georgia Osmeña voice out her concerns:

  • The city roads are bad and filled with potholes and the city is dirty and has no park for children so they end up playing in the streets.
  • The city failed to effectively implement its anti-noise and anti-smoking ordinances.

I should say that Mayor Tommy’s sister has been very observant and have pointed out the city’s major and not so major concerns.

The garbage problem, the water problem, the problem of street crimes are not mentioned. But of course, I assume that Georgia Osmeña have seen also the big responsibilities on South Road Properties, and other economic concerns. Is there a thought to make Cebu City as the most livable city in Asia? Georgia Osmeña must have seen the quality of life of city folks.

If Cebu City Micheal Rama listens, he would be grinning. The two concerns presented by Georgia Osmeña might be very easy for him.

But of course Mike Rama should not discount the posibility that Georgia Osmeña’s list conditions will be filled with another item after another.

When Cebu City Mayor Tomas Osmeña left for his cancer treatment in the US, many had already believed that Vice-Mayor Micheal Rama will be the anointed one of the administration party Bando Osmeña-Pundok Kauswagan (BO-PK) and soon will be the Cebu City mayor in 2010.

Tomas Osmeña’s health conditions now strip off the speculations that the mayor will endorse his wife Margarita “Margot” Osmeña although there were statements that it wouldn’t be Margot. So, it should be vice mayor now acting mayor Mike Rama.

But why did Cebu City Mayor Tomas Osmeña’s sister come out in public? Cebu City political  scene is now filled with many rumors and speculations

Cebu city residents are now asking, if Georgia Osmeña then what about Micheal Rama?

Moro-moro: The Battles between Mayor Tomas Osmeña and Gov. Gwen Garcia

There is a perfect combination of dramatic and comic elements in the conflict between Cebu City mayor Tomas Osmeña and Cebu governor Gwendolyn Garcia.  Their drama revolves on the plot of jealousy and honor.

I can’t help but get amused to Mayor Tomas and Governor Gwen who are both highly respected Cebu leaders. Both always give me a good laugh with their childish remarks. Much more on their respective graciosos (comical supporters) who do everything just to defend their galanes and damas.

We can look back to the very controversial and already shelved, land swap deal between the Cebu City government and the Cebu Provincial government. Since then, Cebuanos witnessed series of political vendetta and heard harsh exchanges of words.

No less than beloved Cebu Archbishop Ricardo Cardinal Vidal tried to mediate the two leader but none of them listened. instead they continue to exchange harsh remarks.

I should have ignored this. I should have laughed silently when I hear the very immature and childish talk of these leaders.

However, recently, I almost lost my respect to both of them as I laugh out loud. Look at the picture below. It shows Gov. Gwen Garcia wearing black outfit and showing image of a rooster.

Gov. Gwen Garcia: Did she made a point by wearing weird costumes?

No, Gov. Gwen was not in a costume party nor go to a stage play. She was wearing the weird costume to show off to Cebu media in a press conference. I don’t see a point why she needed to change costume.

Mayor Tomas Osmeña

Now the talk of the town was mayor Osmeña’s calling Gwen Garcia as “Tandang  Zorra”. I asked my friends but they too, don’t know what “Tandang  Zorra” means.

Does it refer to “Tandang Sora” or Melchora Aquino? Thus the name suggests that Gov. Gwen is old? Or does it refer to the female version of Zorro? Why not called Gov. Gwen as Tangdang Gwen instead?

Whatever “Tandang  Zorra” means, that’s none of my business. However, in a recent press conference in Cebu Provincial capitol, reporters  got amazed with what Gov. Gwen did. For humor sake, I suggest to continue reading.

Here’s one of reporter’s recount in Cebu Daily News.

  • The governor showed off her small waste line, which she said is something that other politicians do not have.
  • She also referred to Osmeña as someone who was once a “spring chicken” who has already aged.
  • While she spoke, the governor suddenly walked into an adjoining room, which she uses as resting area. When she emerged two minutes later, she was now wearing a black cape and cowboy hat and was holding a figurine of a rooster.
  • Come on chicken, let’s play chicken… Come on chicken, are you chicken… taktaktaktak,” Garcia teasingly said referring to her observations that Mayor Osmeña and other city officials seemed to be in a panic because of the provincial government’s interest on SRP.
  • She again entered her adjoining room and had a white feather in hand when she emerged. She used the feather to rob chicken’s body as if teasing it and posing for the camera.
  • When Garcia entered her adjoining room for the third time, she took off her props before she returned to her office table to again address media queries.

What a dramatic action!

See? If Gov. Gwen Garcia is Tandang Zorra, then Mayor Tomas Osmeña as Spring Chicken.

I don’t have any idea what other ridiculous acts I can hear from both Osmena and Garcia in the future.

Just for today, I am grateful that both are not national leaders, otherwise, the nation will become a big carnival having already numerous clowns in Malacañang, Lower House, and Senate.

My apologies, honorable men!

Thursday’s Bits and Bites

President Arroyo revoked yesterday EO 464 issued in September 2005. Executive Order 464 barred government officials from testifying to investigations without the President’s permission. Last week the influential Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) asked the President to abolish the controversial order. I’m grateful but I still doubt there is a free flow of truths after this.

Continue reading