Applause stretches Rama’s report-A A +A
Saturday, July 2, 2011
WHAT a speechwriter earlier projected to be a 15-minute State of the City Address (Soca) actually lasted an hour and three minutes, with the first three minutes spent on greeting the people.
With over an hour at the podium, speaking to thousands of people, Cebu City Mayor Michael Rama did not read the last two pages of his speech anymore and just made a rundown of the highlights.
The speech was printed on nine long-size bondpapers.
He was applauded about 80 times but more than half of these were sought for by the mayor, as he acknowledged those who helped him implement seven major programs:
education; peace and order; aid to the barangays; infrastructure; environmental development; tourism, culture and sports, and; social services.
The City Council was mentioned at least 10 times and Vice Mayor Joy Augustus Young,
Rama also thanked each councilor at least once in his speech, including those who were not present: Councilors Margarita Osmeña and Augustus Pe Jr., who are in Manila for separate appointments; Nida Cabrera who is in the United States; Raul Alcoseba; and
Alvin Dizon who said that he has a more important appointment.
Rep. Tomas Osmeña (Cebu City, south) and wife Margarita are in Manila because the councilor’s brother died. Congressman Osmeña said earlier he has no plans to attend the mayor’s Soca.
Dizon told Sun.Star Cebu earlier that it would be awkward for him to be in the same audience as Gov. Gwendolyn Garcia because of the 93-1 issue, which Rama mentioned in his speech (see page 1 story).
Garcia attended the Soca along with some members of the Provincial Board: Sergio Restauro, Julian Daan, Alex Binghay, Ivy Durano Meca, Ribo-mapil Holganza and Aladin Caminero.
Provincial officials occupied the seats in the middle, front row while members of the City Council sat in the first and second rows but on the other side.
Department heads and employees were in white, save for those ushering the marginalized sector who wore yellow shirts. City Hall employees were told to wear white during the Soca.
Businessman Bunny Pages, who served as master of ceremonies, announced there were 10,000 people in attendance. This was confirmed by the staff of Councilor Roberto Cabarrubias who made a tally of the audience.
Cebu City Police Office Director Melvin Buenafe said the crowd estimate was modest as he believed there were more than 10,000 people during the event.
The audience also included members of senior citizens’ groups, Filipino-Chinese community, Cebu City Women's and Family Affairs Commission, Hari Krisna, Church of Jesus Christ and the Latter Day Saints, Federation of Person's with Disability, Inter-Faith and the Cebu Association of Death.
Market Administrator Raquel Arce, who led different market vendors’ associations, denied the crowd was transported. She said the vendors walked to Plaza Sugbo on their own.
But the program at Plaza Sugbo did not start and end with the mayor's Soca. Before the speech, there were dance performances. There was also a party after the speech, and the mayor invited supporters and friends for refreshments in his office.
Only Councilors Eduar-do Rama, Jose Daluz III and Michael Ralota joined the party though.
Young denied the council was dictated by Rep. Osmeña on whether they should attend the Soca or not.
He said he and the councilors had a discussion last Wednesday and it was there that they decided to attend the Soca, save for those who had personal appointments.
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on July 02, 2011.