Wenceslao: Barangay candidates

SEVERAL days ago, I passed by an establishment a stone’s throw away from the Sun.Star Cebu office along P. del Rosario St. when I saw through the firm’s mirror Jenette Castañares, a member of the Sun.Star Superbalita office staff, sitting like she was making a transaction. I looked at the establishment’s signage and found out it accepts tarpaulin printing jobs.

It was only later that I learned what Jenette’s business was on that day. She had posted on Facebook her image in a campaign poster printed on what looked like a tarpaulin. It turned out she had caught a different kind of running bug and is, yes, running for councilor in the Oct. 28 barangay elections in Liburon, Carcar.

Another surprise: My children who visited Barangay Inayawan a couple of weeks ago brought home stickers that they posted on our TV stand and on our wall. It showed that my sister-in-law En-en Jaca Calisang is running for councilor in her village.

En-en helped the Aristotle “Totol” Batuhan campaign in Barangay Inayawan in the May elections (Totol lost to Rodrigo “Bebot Abellanosa for Cebu City south district congressman). Her group is led by long-time Inayawan Councilman Rodrigo “Rigoy” Ocampo, who will be battling for the top post in the barangay against Lotlot Ignacio-Soon, daughter of outgoing Barangay Captain Rustom Ignacio. Lotlot ran for city councilor under Team Rama last May but lost.

In Sambag 2, the Cebu City village where I grew up, my wedding ninang, Lydia Lorete, is finally making a bid for the top elective post in the barangay. Nang Lydia served as barangay councilor for several terms and would have made her bid several years ago had former mayor Tomas Osmeña not chosen to support Carl Stephen Belarmino, who went on to succeed Noel Wenceslao, who is now a Bando Osmeña-Pundok Kauswagan (BOPK) city councilor.

I think this is an interesting development because it seems like Nang Lydia and Carl are claiming to still have the support of Osmeña, the BOPK chief. If so, Team Rama of Mayor Michael Rama does not seem to have a candidate for barangay chief in Sambag 2, that is, if Rama is not secretly supporting one of the two bets or both. One of Belarmino’s councilors is Dondon, brother of losing Team Rama candidate for city councilor Edwin Jagmoc.

In Nang Lydia’s lineup is Celine Masapequeña, sister of Noy Rudy, who is the husband of my Tiya Dinang (Ortega), and Flaviano “Jun-jun” Lorete Jr., the barangay captain candidate’s son. Both Celine and Jun-jun caught the “running bug” three years ago but lost.

A candidate for councilor in Nang Lydia’s slate, Lorna Lumapat, has a familiar family name. I think she is the daughter of my former history teacher in Southwestern University (SWU), Lourdes, who was also a Sambag 2 barangay councilor for many terms.

She is the sister of former SWU high school valedictorian Lolita, who is now a city prosecutor.

Also making his bid, this time in neighboring Barangay Sambag 1, is Daniel “Danny” Lariba, a professor and former SWU top official. I knew him as the man behind the Movement for United Studentry (Must). He was in the school administration when I entered college, but he remained influential in Must, a moderate group as opposed to the militant organization that I founded in the campus, the Positive Thinkers Society.

I remember Lariba and another former SWU official, Robert Inoferio, for their aggressiveness in helping manage students’ affairs in my college days. That Lariba’s name only popped up in barangay politics now is therefore a surprise to me.

(khanwens@gmail.com)

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