Thursday, May 10, 2007

Team Unity in Cebu

I attended Team Unity's Cebu City miting de avance rally at Fuente Osmeña circle last night. They closed off the whole area to traffic and diverted vehicles to the surrounding streets. The rally itself took place in front of Robinsons Cebu, on a stage constructed entirely of garbage. Well actually it was a stage covered with campaign paraphernilia, but the untrained eye would hardly be able to tell the difference!

Today's newspaper says that the crowd was estimated to be at around 40,000 people at its peak. I had no idea it was that big... my guess would have been much smaller. But of course, I'm in no position to estimate the size of the entire crowd, being part of it myself.

The rally started at around 7 PM, but because of some unfortunate timing with work obligations, I was only able to get there at around 9:30 PM, so I only got to see the speeches and presentations of Mike Defensor, Migz Zubiri and Cesar Montano. The rest of the candidates were sitting on chairs on the stage (except for Jamalul Kiram III, who was in Sultan Kudarat because of a recent bombing). Joker Arroyo seemed to be pretty bothered by the heat, and kept wiping his face with a handkerchief.

The large majority of the rally was dedicated to showing off the Team Unity senatorial candidates. When that was done, there was a brief presentation of the local candidates for Cebu City. There were also intermission presentations by Sarah Geronimo and Alessandra de Rossi. They mentioned that John Prats and Camille Prats were there too, but I didn't catch a glimpse of them. Of course, rallies like this are always more rhetoric and spectacle rather than substance.

Unfortunately, GMA wasn't able to make it to the rally because she was sick. Apparently it was a last minute decision and was announced by Cebu City Mayor Tommy Osmeña at around 10:30. He said she was resting at the Malacañang of the South, and was watching the rally on TV. They even had the podium prepared with the Seal of the President of the Philippines, but I noticed later on that the seal was removed. If the crowd was disappointed, they didn't show it, and still gave big applause for the president when the mayor called for it.

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