QUEZON Leni Robredo walks in like a rock star at the PNU hall in Lopez

Leni Robredo walks in like a rock star at the PNU hall in Lopez

Dec 2, 2021, 6:04 AM
Boy Villasanta

Boy Villasanta


The invite for the Vice-President Leni Robredo’s visit to Lopez held at the auditorium of the Philippine Normal University (PNU) Lopez, Quezon unit was at one that stormy Saturday afternoon.

From San Pedro City in Laguna, I rushed my bus ride at Southwoods early in the morning to catch up at noon time. After battling the traffic zones of Sto. Tomas, Batangas, Alaminos and San Pablo City in Laguna and Sariaya town in Quezon Province and taking chances in Lucena at a USV connecting trip which I luckily had one seat left just to hit the road, I was in Lopez at almost two.

Jumping off along the Maharlika Highway a few meters away from the town proper for a call of nature, I took a tricycle to PNU.

My first time at the campus which has been enhanced since I saw it bare twenty years ago, there was loud music and AVP of Leni. The hall was teeming with people mostly in pink garb. There were pink and fuchsia ribbons tied all over the place.

I met some familiar faces like Vice-Mayor Adeline Lee who I condoled for the death of his son Tonton Lee who according to Sampaloc, Quezon police committed suicide.

After some time, I lingered and observed. I was informed the audience was made up of barangay leaders. They were patiently waiting for the guest.

Oh! It was Congresswoman Helen Tan—no matter her absence—who was behind this event.

Gem Suguitan--the organizer of the FB page Lopez for Leni--who asked me if I wanted to join the sortie. Although I was only a hanger on and the occasion was worth writing about, I appointed myself to cover it.

I had a regular FB chat with Gem who wasn’t around because she isn’t COVID-19 vaccinated yet but she closely monitored the convoy of Robredo which would come from Bondoc Peninsula.

When I learned Leni was already passing by Cogorin, a barangay southeast of Lopez, I got ready with the action. The VP group would take the Lopez-Catanauan Road, after all.

After a while, a commotion was in sight signaling that Leni might be on her way. True enough, she was at the entrance of PNU walking down the pavilion to the gym.

Shrieks and hoots of a bugle corps were soon dominating the air as TV and cellphone cameras were thrusted on Leni’s way.

Robredo was like a movie star or a rock star as she was mobbed by Lopenzes until her ascended the stage.

In her speech, Leni said Lopez is a familiar place because during her school days especially in Manila, she would always pass by it by bus going and coming to Naga City. She said Lopez Vice-Mayor Lee is a friend who came to the wake of her mom months ago. Mayor Rachel Ubana is a “kumare (a female co-sponsor in a wedding or baptismal or a blessing of an office etc.)” and Board Member Sonny Ubana is a “kumpare.” “Congresswoman Tan and I call each other sis,” Robredo quipped.

Such is politics, and generally life, as each one of us transfigures as members of society but it should not hinder one from pursuing common goals not only for a small fraction of society but for a larger masses of people.

A question cropped up in my mind, though. These feudal relations are distinct traits of Philippine socio-political culture.

What if Leni wins as President and there are graft and corruption cases—there’s a Sandiganbayan decision vs Sonny et al—thrown to the Ubanas’ way, what would be Robredo’s stand?

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