Governor spends birthday at work, giving gifts-A A +A
Saturday, October 13, 2012
CEBU Gov. Gwendolyn Garcia, aside from receiving gifts from friends and supporters during her 57th birthday yesterday, distributed personal items to the provincial inmates and gave P50,000 checks each to two schools.
She attended mass at the Capitol in the morning, but also visited the Basilica del Sto. Niño late in the afternoon to pray. She then gave some candle vendors P2,000.
“Well, as always in my previous birthdays, I never really had a wish for myself. It would always be my hope for the continued progress of Cebu and the continued unity of the Cebuanos, because it is always through unity that we can obtain this phenomenal growth that is happening in Cebu,” the governor told reporters.
On her last birthday as governor, she observed that 12 must be her lucky number. When she first became governor in 2004, she was 48. Now, on her last term, she turns 57.
“You add the two digits of 48 and 57, and it comes out to the number 12. So, 12 must really be a lucky number for me. And I hope this will be lucky for One Cebu,” Garcia said.
Garcia, the party’s chairperson, will run for the congressional seat of the province’s third district, currently held by her brother Pablo John. Congressman Garcia, in turn, will run for governor in May 2013.
The lucky number for the Sisters of Mary School for Boys and Sisters of Mary School for Girls yesterday was P50,000—the amount of the check each institution received from Garcia.
The funds will be used for the children’s welfare, said Sr. Ma. Socorro Riza Riva. The two institutions provide free board, lodging and education to poor children from all over the country.
After the mass celebrated in the morning by Msgr. Roberto Alesna, the governor was treated to a song by Capitol department heads, with other employees, the governor’s friends and local officials joining in.
One of the surprises was a video showing different Capitol employees and department heads singing “Sweet Sixteen” and “Buttercup”, the governor’s favorite song.
“Daghang yabag (out of tune),” the governor laughingly commented.
Her brother, Congressman Garcia, said his wish for the governor was that she would find time for herself and to do the things she really loves to do.
Her daughter and consultant, lawyer Christina Frasco, expressed the hope that her four-month-old daughter Sofia will grow to be as strong as the governor. Gwen became the province’s first female governor in 2004.
In the afternoon, the governor joined two busloads of visitors to the Cebu Provincial Detention and Rehabilitation Center. Some of them were from Sarangani province and Glan.
Around 1,000 inmates danced in front of the governor, Cebu officials and Sarangani officials, including their new number, the popular “Gangnam Style”.
The governor then turned over packs of items to inmates. Each contained a rosary, slippers, face towel and soap.
After the dance and while visitors enjoyed taking pictures with the inmates, Glan Mayor Victor James Yap gave the governor a plaque of appreciation right in the middle of the quadrangle.
The governor capped her day at the Basilica del Sto. Niño, where she offered flowers and lit thanksgiving candles. She gave candle vendors P1,000 for prayers and candles inside the church compound and another P1,000 to candle vendor Annie Villarosa outside the church gates.
Devotees and religious were surprised to see Garcia in their midst.
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on October 13, 2012.