ACCORDING to Webster’s Dictionary, the first and original meaning of prima donna is “the main female singer of an opera company.” The second and derivative meaning is “a person who thinks she or he is better than everyone else and who does not work well as part of a team or group.”
The second definition seems to fit best Cebu City’s come-backing mayor for at least two things he has done so far. One is withdrawing support for the police’s anti-drug campaign for not getting the chief of police he wants and two, withdrawing Cebu City from participation in Mega Cebu.
I cannot think of any reason for the first other than that he wants a chief that at best he can easily work with or that at worst (which is the most probable reason) he can dictate on. You would think he would give the new president a chance to do it his way but no, the mayor must have it his way. It would seem like he had his way with former president Noynoy Aquino and Mar Roxas and wants it that way with the new president, the new Department of Interior and Local Governments (DILG) secretary and the head of the Philippine National Police (PNP).
In the case of his refusal to work with Mega Cebu, the reasons, among others, can be that he does not think highly of the intellectual capacities of other personalities in the project and that he thinks he can do it better alone. Only a prima donna is able to contradict the common and time-proven wisdom that two heads are better than one.
Some call this childishness and they are right because a prima donna’s ego makes him or her sulk into doing nothing or doing the opposite unless he or she is allowed to do it his or her way. Others call it arrogance and they are also right because a prima donna is definitely arrogant in insisting that he or she is better than everyone else and therefore he or she is either the star of the show or you can just shove it up yours.
The mayor has proven to be also many other things for his many other acts lately. He is vindictive for denying service vehicles to non-Bando Osmeña-Pundok Kauswagan (BOPK) councilors and financial assistance to non-BOPK barangays and for undoing what his predecessor has done like re-opening the Inayawan landfill that the latter has rightly closed.
Fortunately, he has allowed the continuance, after a scary temporary technical stop by his wife, of the construction of the Cebu City Medical Center. But again, before you sigh in relief, how long before he changes his mind?
His instruction to BOPK councilors to refuse any committee chairmanship is also a function of his prima donna personality as the reason he voiced for doing this is so he can directly instruct his lapdogs to execute his orders without going through any committee.
In sum, the future of Cebu City is in the mind of its prima donna mayor and at the tip of his volatile temperament. Alarming, wouldn’t you think?