I WAS about to go on an errand after my early Saturday morning run (or walk and run, if you will) when a group of people in yellow standing on the sidewalk across Jollibee in Minglanilla caught my attention. It turned out one of these yellow-garbed folks was an acquaintance. “Unsa man ni?” I asked him. “Moanhi ang mga apo ni Cory,” he answered.

I wasn’t a bit surprised. We are in the campaign period for the national polls in May, and campaigners are bound to stray into a suburban town like Minglanilla. Besides, the papers had reported the arrival of Jiggy Aquino Cruz, his brother Jonty and their cousin Miguel Aquino Abellada in Cebu to campaign for their uncle, Noynoy Aquino.

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What surprised me was the Minglanilla folk. The town mayor, Eddie Selma, is presumably for Gibo Teodoro, being allied with Gov. Gwen Garcia. Eduardo Gullas, the congressman of the first district where Minglanilla belongs, has announced his support for Manny Villar. Yet other town officials and some town leaders are for Noynoy.

It just proves the point that while congressmen, governors and mayors may collectively decide to support a certain presidentiable, that does not mean those in the ground will follow suit. That should be true for Cebu where many voters have shown an independent streak, especially in choosing bets for national posts they would root for.

The myth about big party machinery dictating the outcome of a national poll was smashed again in the 2007 polls. Most congressmen and local government officials united under the administration party but were not able to make majority of their party’s senatorial bets win. Instead, the opposition snagged most of the Senate seats up for grabs.

In Minglanilla, the yellow crowd eventually accompanied Jiggy, Jonty and Miguel as they did the rounds of the town market, with Jiggy leading the usual handshaking like what old pros do. I actually got a closer look of the three the next day in a presscon with Sun.Star Cebu and Sun.Star Network Exchange editors at Marriott Hotel.

My impression was that Jiggy and Jonty (sons of oldest Cory daughter Ballsy Aquino Cruz) and Miguel (son of Pinky Aquino Abellada) hit the campaign trail mainly out of necessity, although they might be starting to enjoy the experience a bit.

Noynoy’s siblings are all-out in support of his candidacy, and so too their children.

Based on their answers to the questions of my colleagues, it looks to me like Noynoy will be the last politician in the clan. All three youngsters prefer private life over politics (like some of the younger Osmeñas and Gullases) at this stage, although that may change especially with Jiggy, the most visible nationwide among Cory’s grandsons.

Talking with the three actually gives journalists a chance to dwell on the lesser-known details of their “shy” Tito Noy.

Jiggy said, for example, that they just laugh off claims that Noynoy is autistic. “But I`m happy they are saying that,” Miguel said, “because that shows na wala silang ibang nakitang issue na ibato sa kanya.”

Jiggy, Jonty and Miguel are proof that the Aquino children, orphaned by the deaths of parents Cory and Ninoy, are far from being dysfunctional, unlike some of the political clans that we know. They were obviously brought up well, and they, in turn, are using the parenting method they learned from their parents in bringing up their own kids.

(khanwens@yahoo.com/ my blog: cebuano.wordpress.com)