Better late than never

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Sunday, February 23, 2014


THE Association of Young Legislators invited Cebu City Mayor Michael Rama to give the welcome remarks during its national convention at the Waterfront Hotel last Thursday.

The organizers set the time at 5 p.m. for the mayor to deliver his speech. Mike was already at the hotel’s lobby around 4:30, meeting some of the delegates, including Sen. Bambam Aquino.

Past 6 p.m. and the program did not start yet. Mike had to rush to another appointment, which was the birthday party of shipping tycoon Chester Cokaliong in an upscale restaurant in Mandaue City. Chester’s invitation was set at 7 p.m.

About 1,000 delegates were supposed to attend the convention. But during the opening ceremony, only a handful was at the venue. Sources said some of the delegates were still at the malls doing some shopping. Sensing that it was getting late, and without being introduced by the emcee, Mike went up the stage, grabbed the microphone, introduced himself and delivered his speech. After his speech, he left the affair.

Those present were shocked.

For me, the mayor made the right decision. The organizers or the delegates should blame themselves for the fiasco. They should have shown the mayor some respect by showing at their own event on time. They are young legislators and they can’t even discipline themselves.

Our national hero, Dr. Jose Rizal, once said; “The youths are the hope of our fatherland.” What hope? They don’t respect their guest and they don’t fulfill commitments.

I asked the mayor why he didn’t entertain some of the delegates with his vocal prowess while waiting for the majority of delegates to arrive. 

He said he was really upset. Besides, he said could afford to be late at Chester’s party since they are close friends. Aw, kana gyud Mike. Be firm in your decisions.

***

“It’s better late than never.” Maybe this will be Malacañang’s counter to criticisms of President Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino III only now visiting the northern part of Cebu that was devastated by super typhoon Yolanda last November.

The President is scheduled to visit Bantayan Island tomorrow to assess the extent of the damage and to bring assistance to affected residents. It has been almost four months since Yolanda struck.

Yes, P-Noy is a “Johnny-come-lately.” He visited Tacloban City in Leyte and Samar right after the typhoon but never northern Cebu, which suffered the same devastation albeit with fewer casualties since there was no storm surge unlike in Tacloban. And mind you, Cebu Gov. Hilario Davide III is his political ally.

Does P-Noy have any love for the Cebuanos? He is the president of all Filipinos and he should not play favorites or politics, especially during calamities. It would have made such a difference that people would never forget had he visited Cebu right after Yolanda as a show of concern or to comfort the survivors.

We were even left out in the rehabilitation efforts as the National Government only focused on Samar and Leyte Provinces. Had it not been for the persistence of Fourth District Rep. Benhur Salimbangon, the national leadership would not have paid any attention to Cebu.

***

Cebu City has declared a holiday as it celebrates its 77th Charter Day anniversary today. Repeat. Cebu City only. Well, considering the seat of power of the Province is in the city, it is included in the holiday. There will be a school holiday nationwide as the whole country celebrates the 28th anniversary of the 1986 Edsa People Power Revolution. No classes, but there will be work.

***

Congratulations to dySS Super Radyo Cebu of RGMA network, which is celebrating its 17th anniversary since its relaunching as a news, commentary, public service and drama programming. Not to pull my own chair because I am connected with the station, but radio dySS is one of the most listened to stations in the Visayas and Mindanao.

(bobby.nalzaro@yahoo.com)

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on February 24, 2014.

Opinion

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