zamboanga city gave noynoy an unbelievably warm welcome yesterday. i say unbelievably because zamboangueños in general aren’t really big on......street parliamentarism.
my mom, her trusty sidekick nang ligaya, and i got to the grandstand at almost four. the streets were teeming with people with vehicles parked on both sides of the street. but the scene inside was even more shocking.
the grandstand was full to the gills, end to end, row upon row, a sea of people, people, people and even more people. we managed to find seats, people accommodating us by squeezing even more into the others seated beside them.
and it wazzzzzzzzz hotttttttttt! a kind of hot that makes you instinctively stay very still so that you do not make the environment around you any hotter with the energy expended by moving. i could feel the sweat gathering at my back and stomach and mommy had a fan but i refused to give in to the urge to fan myself and intoned a keep calm mantra. i put on my dark glasses to shut out a bit of the bright day light.
when we got in, organizers were still fixing the stage, a giant v-shaped yellow platform in the oval. but the program started soon after we arrived. what luck. many had been there since 1pm. i left my mom and ligaya (did i tell you already i have mild adhd?) to investigate the phenomena at hand. i wanted to see what kind of people came out and braved the sweltering heat to see noy and party.
there were all sorts of people.
there were lolas with their grandkids...
and a lolo with his grandkid...
there were little boys...
and little girls...
there were barkadas...
there were associations...
and nuclear families with sleeping babies...
and there was me. haha. i couldn't resist a souvenir photo. you will see that i wore orange. i am stupid that way. i did wear a yellow rubber band on my wrist. but then again, that band was neutralized by the humongous orange justice league ring i wore.
but here is a picture of my mom. or at least my mom's back (and a bad photo at that). she is wearing purple, for heaven's sake. so if you judge people by their covers, and i hope you don't, i am for villar and she is for loren, a little. because we all know loren is....pink.
at this point, i would like to add that i was by the way using a very yellow tote bag. and my mom wore a necklace with a very nice laquered metal yellow ribbon pendant. i say nice because i made that for her. haha. email me if you want one. but i have run out of the rubber wrist bands. will let you know if i get hold of some more of those.
anyways, i asked another photographer - a stranger - to take my photo. he was kind enough to oblige and even asked me if i just wanted that one shot. i actually wanted a security shot but medyo nahiya na ako. or deluded into thinking the seven million people in the bleachers were looking at me. my pants are embarrassing, no? the wash is so dated.
couldn't resist taking a picture of this. this shirt, well, vest, is an exception to the norm.
almost everyone (except me and my mom, but you know that already) wore yellow. but the yellow they were wearing were things they already had in their cabinets. someone was wearing a yellow shirt that said 35th Founding Anniversary of a school in Basilan. There were a lot among the younger ones sporting noynoy shirts but the pricey kind that you have to BUY. what i am saying is there was a conspicuous absence of people wearing mass produced noynoy shirts. no one was giving out shirts like that for rallyists to wear. actually, now that i think about it, no one was giving ANY rally paraphernalia AT ALL. no one handing out yellow ribbons but there were yellow ribbons. no one handing out placards, but there were placards. no one handing out noy fans, noy calendars, noy anything. people brought their own signals, mainly by coming in yellow shirts.
and i think that is indicative of the kind of people who were there at the rally. they were people who went of their own initiative. i am sure there were a number of people who went there to take a chance on seeing a celebrity, and they weren't disappointed. in order of appearance: dennis padilla, josh sta. ana (a young teenager with a soothing voice who said his mom is from zamboanga and who elicited screams from the crowds each of the three times he came on stage. i don't know him but you can blame that on my age), ryan cayabyab and his singers (the audience enthusiastically greeted the maestro. i could not help but laugh at the sight of him on the keyboards with a messenger bag slung around his torso), james yap (audience had fun with his repeated exclamation of "grabe!" but i like to think that like the rest of noy's entourage, the turnout really did overwhelm them), and of course, there was kris aquino. i normally have no patience for her and even take the side of ruffa in the recent tussle, but man, she sure knows how to play the crowds. you have to give her that. when she came out, there was mass pandemonium. people in the bleachers rising to their feet shouting, people on the ground running to get closer to the stage.
how was kris like? she was dressed in black jeans and polo shirt with her hair tied into a half pony tail. you could tell she was very fair. and her voice need not be described. its ubiquitous on tv.
kris introduced noy. by the time that she did that, it was already approaching 8pm.
when noy came on, people were shouting and flashing the laban sign. he was taller than I thought. how to describe him? karay lungkoy. that chavacano term is the best i can think of. said very affectionately. the way i would use it on my brothers ryan "kuray" blanco and ramon "labs" blanco.
and i noticed too that when noy started speaking, many young ones started leaving. i guess those were the people who came to see kris and perhaps dingdong dantes. sad. but the ones in yellow stayed. and cheered noynoy on.
noy presented himself, his "senatoriables", the mnemonic they devised for themselves is SLAMAT LORRRD which i find hilarious but which i am sure will work to their advantage. It stands for (SLAMAT) Sonia roco, Lao yasmin busran, Alex lacson, Martin bautista, Acosta neric, Tg guingona, (LORRRD) danny Lim, serge Osmeña, Ruffy biazon, Ralph recto, Risa hontiveros-baraquel, franklin Drilon.
then he also ardently promoted his vice president mar roxas.
you could tell that unlike his sister, noy was not comfortable talking about himself.
the evening ended with fireworks which delighted people. i set aside my hunger for a while to watch it til the end. then as people filed out, the emcee announced that the band calla lily was performing and that had the young ones screaming and rushing back in. but as for my party of three, we were ready to hike home.
we managed to get a tricy tho. a tricy driver and his wife going home from the rally just like us.