Bzzzzz: Rama-Garcia vs Abellanosa-Ong, Mabatid vs del Mar, Edu Rama vs Osmeña. Barring surprises, like BOPK's Tomas-Bebot taking on Barug duo. LTO's 'Bungot' teasing again?

·4 min read

Probable matches in Cebu City

CHANGES in the slate of a political party, after it is announced in the week preceding the filing of certificates of candidacy (COCs) October 1 to 8, are unusual but cannot be ruled out.

After President Rodrigo Duterte's switch in the 2016 race, that strategy is frowned upon as unfair, even deceitful. So in the 2022 election, the names announced are more likely to be the same names voters will see in the ballot, past the October COC-filing deadline and the November 15 substitution deadline.

In Cebu City, where the fight is routinely fierce and tough, the administration party Barug may field the tandem of Michael Rama and Raymond Garcia against BOPK's Rodrigo "Bebot" Abellanosa and Franklyn Ong duo. Mike is vice mayor, a post he held before, and former, two-term mayor. Raymond is majority floor leader in the City Council. Abellanosa is city south congressman who's finishing his third-term. His running mate Ong is an unelected councilor representing the Association of Barangay Councils.

In the race for the two House seats, Barug's Councilor Niña Mabatid will face former congresswoman Rachel "Cutie" del Mar, who served city north 2010 to 2013, while Eduardo Rama III will battle former mayor Tomas Osmeña, who was city south congressman also during the same period.

SOMETHING ABOUT TOMAS. A "surprise" being speculated on even as you read this: Tomas might run for mayor instead of congressman, with Bebot Abellanosa as his vice mayor. How about Franklyn Ong? He might fill the slot for House seat in city south, which Tomas would dump if he'd run for mayor instead.

It wouldn't be a total surprise though. We reported here a number of times that Tomas might not be able to resist the temptation of facing Mike Rama again who beat him in 2013. (Tomas beat Mike in 2016 but Edgar Labella beat Tomas in 2019.)

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Is Caindec teasing again?

Tarps and Facebook posts are not conclusive indicators but they're usually used to tell the party and the public that the person cheered by the declaration is running for public office.

Seen lately in at least one skywalk at Natalio Bacalso Ave. are streamers with the word and number "Bungot 2022." Bungot refers to Land Transportation Office-Central Visayas Director Victor Caindec, who is known for his mustache and himself uses that moniker. And this is not the first time, the balloon was sent up. The question was asked in a news story last January 14, 2020 and by broadcaster Bobby Nalzaro in a June 13, 2021 SunStar column.

The 2020 speculation was based on a change in Caindec's Facebook profile: a digital sketch of his photo with the caption "Klaro na gyud ni. #Bungotsakongresso. I will envelope [sic] my representation with the best and brightest ideas of governance [wing emoji]." When asked about it, Caindec said he might have a chance, "considering the publicity" he was getting from the attacks on radio by broadcaster Nalzaro.

If he was teasing then, he may be doing it again, a few days before the COC-filing deadline.

He changed his FB profile photo, with the same image on the tarps hung at the skywalk. This time, with the categorical, "I have decided. I'm running. Modagan ko." He didn't say where, maybe the long stretch of Bacalso Avenue.

Caught in a number of controversies, including the charge of unexplained wealth, which Nalzaro brought up in his column and to which he replied, "I was not poor before I joined the LTO." Caindec was also charged with violations of the Anti-Red Tape Act in acting or not acting on the applications of motorcycle dealers.

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JM Chan: 'Gugmang makabuang'

In "Afternoon To Remember," a light entertainment brought by Selrahco PR on Saturday, September 25, concluding day of the 2021 Cebu Press Freedom Week, singer Jose Mari Chan talked about Cebuano songs that he loves and includes in his performances. Among them, he said, was "Kahibulongan," which dyRC broadcaster Art Maloy used to sing for his friends.

Journalist Niza Mariñas who watched and wrote a note about Chan didn't say what lines in "Kahibulongan" the singer hummed. Did it include "Kahibulongan ang gibati ko/natawo ang gugmang makabuang..."?

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