AFTER receiving a lifetime achievement award in the United States over a week ago, Mayor Michael Rama has returned to Cebu City, and he has a piece of advice to the public about the Facebook page “Cebu Updates.”

“Ignore them,” Rama said on. “It is just a waste of time attending to them.”

“Cebu Updates,” which used to be the official Facebook page of the Cebu City Public Information Office (PIO), posted last Aug. 20, 2023 that Rama lied about receiving the award from the America Excellence Awards in Hollywood, California.

The post also speculated that the real reason for the mayor’s trip was to obtain treatment from a well-known hospital for cancer.

In a phone interview with SunStar Cebu Friday, Sept. 1, the mayor denied the allegations, describing them as baseless. He said the photos he posted on social media serve as evidence of his legitimate trip to the US, adding that the people who hurled the accusations were simply trying to destroy his reputation.

Rama left for Los Angeles, California on Aug. 15 to receive the award on Aug. 20, according to a report by the Cebu City News and Information Facebook page, the current official Facebook page of the Cebu City PIO.

However, the awards’ website did not include the photo of Rama among the awardees, who were mostly Filipinos.

Authorized travel

Meanwhile, Rama said his trip was authorized by Interior and Local Government Secretary Benjamin Abalos Jr.

“You cannot get out of the country without a travel authority,” he said.

Although Rama did not provide specific details of his official itinerary, he said his trip to the US went well.

During his visit to Los Angeles, Rama said he spoke to members of the Cebuano community about the progress of the new Cebu City Medical Center’s construction and shared his Singapore-like vision for the city.

Following Los Angeles, Rama traveled to Anaheim City in California for a family gathering.

He added that he also visited New York, where he had meetings with a group and a business association to which he belongs. He said the latter had expressed an interest to visit Cebu in November.


Rama did not provide a direct answer when asked whether his visit was financially supported by the City Government.

Instead, the mayor asked a series of questions.

“Ngano naabot man nang mga estoryaha (How did it come to that)? What’s the problem? Maglibog lang ko ba ngano maabot na (I’m confused as to how it came to that). Ngano motubag man ko ana (Why would I answer)? For what?”

“If they keep on talking about asa ang budget (where the budget came from), dili na lang ta manglakaw (I might as well not go on trips),” Rama reiterated. (AML)