‘Pakpak’-A A +A
Tuesday, July 3, 2012
THIS was one speech where you didn’t have to count the number of times the audience applauded. Most of the applause was, ahh, solicited.
In the usual media reporting of the State of the Nation Address, news reports would have the number of times the President was applauded or given a standing ovation and at what parts of the speech. It is the season again for political leaders to give their annual addresses to constituents, with President Benigno Aquino III scheduled to give his on July 23. Cebu City Mayor Michael Rama gave his yesterday, Monday, before a supportive crowd.
The word “pakpak” (applause) was mentioned many times by Rama during his State of the City Address, asking the audience to applaud as he went through major points.
The address itself was both serious and playful with Rama making fun of critics in several instances and sounding confrontational in others. He spoke of leadership passed on from the father to the child and from the child to the father, and added that he hoped they would spare the Holy Spirit. He said those with a “masteral sa panuway, doctorate sa pangaway” (a master’s degree in criticism and a doctorate in quarrelling) should get a copy of his speech because he speaks the truth and his sole purpose is service to the people.
Spoken before a crowd in front of City Hall, Rama’s address sounded more like a campaign speech a year ahead of the elections scheduled for May 2013. He took the stage to snipe back at critics and, at the same time, to highlight accomplishments.
(The Sun.Star website covered by live streaming Rama’s State of the City Address at www.sunstar.com.ph/cebu. A playback of the speech is available on the Sun.Star Cebu site.)
He told senior citizens in the audience the City Government will give qualified seniors P7,000 each. This amount will increase by P3,000 next year, he added. He continued to play up to the senior citizens saying he moved his office from the 8th to the 1st floor to be more accessible to them, and he asked the city administrator to provide eyeglasses to the city’s elderly.
On the South Road Properties (SRP), Rama said, “Ato kini tanan ang SRP.” The people own the project, he said, in answer to a Council proposal to require him and other government officials to get Council approval before selling any part of the property.
On the plan to sell the Cebu City Medical Center, he said, "Basta mayor pa si Mike Rama, dili gyud mo ibaligya." (As long as I am mayor, I will not sell the city hospital.)
On the controversial flyovers, he said, “I have stood and will never waiver in my position that there should be road widening before we talk about any flyover.” We haven't even solved the drainage problem, he said.
Towards the end of his address, he said, “This administration is our administration” to stress his leadership style. “We have chosen the path of democracy, not tyranny.” He added, “I am mayor for everyone, for the rich and the poor."
The speech may not have given Cebu city residents a clearer picture of the city’s state but it did show a glimpse of the mayor’s persona. His address was a preview of what is to come in the campaign season for next year’s elections.
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on July 03, 2012.