Editorial: Applause and leniency-A A +A
Tuesday, January 22, 2013
GOV. Gwendolyn Garcia danced what can be considered the dance of her life during the culmination of the Sinulog Grand Parade at the Cebu City Sports Center last Sunday.
She had earlier expressed her intention to dance her last dance as governor in this year’s feast of the Child Jesus—for the Sto. Niño, as she would insist. But well-meaning people warned her of the possibilities, like being booed by her critics. Or worse, even being harmed.
Then there was the circumstance that complicated her situation: She had refused to vacate her office after Malacañang suspended her and installed Vice Gov. Agnes Magpale as acting governor in mid-December. Dancing meant she would leave the office for a long time, allowing those who had wanted to physically lock her out of Capitol to move in.
But dance she did, joining the Liloan town contingent together with her daughter Christina and son-in-law Mayor Duke Frasco. To her, and probably to her supporters’, surprise the boos didn’t come, only loud applause, when she was introduced on stage.
Then a standing ovation mostly at the VIP section of the grandstand.
There are many ways to interpret the crowd’s response. It could be that the people were merely civil to her, or were conscious of the divide that separates an activity related to the Cebu City fiesta and politics. Or maybe that was a message being sent to those behind her suspension—that not everybody frowned on her defiance of it.
Whatever the reason, it shows that Cebuanos are not as bad as what some sectors expected them to be and that they can’t be swayed by the hoopla surrounding the suspension in particular and the political season in general. It shows that they act independent of politicians’ say-so.
Credit should also go to Magpale, who allowed Garcia to return to the Capitol after she danced, completing her memorable night. One can say the doves triumphed over the hawks. But whether that leniency would extend after the Sinulog, Magpale is not saying.
The episode involving the governor, though, was but part of another successful hosting by the Sinulog Foundation and the Cebu City Government of the Sinulog festivity and the Cebuanos’ and the Catholic Church’s celebration of the feast of the Child Jesus.
They deserve the applause and standing ovation, too.
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on January 22, 2013.