Ex-youth leader from Consolacion now city councilor in US town

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A FORMER Cebuano youth leader is now a city councilor in the United States.

Constantino “Coco” Alinsug, 50, from Consolacion, Cebu became the first Filipino elected to the City Council of Lynn, Massachusetts last November.

“Politiko man jud ko. Ganahan jud ko og politika, (I have always been a politician. I really like politics),” Alinsug said in a video call interview over the weekend. He would have been in the Sangguniang Kabataan (SK) if the elections were not postponed several times, until he left for the US 20 years ago.

Alinsug, son of former Consolacion town councilor Ember Alinsug, needed only 10 minutes to decide to run under the Democratic Party’s affirmative action seat, which is equivalent to the party-list.

His mom, Esther, attended his inauguration last Jan. 3, leaving Cebu a few days before Typhoon Odette (Rai) ravaged Cebu and other islands. His father, who is running for town councilor, had planned to be there as well, but had to cancel the trip because of the devastation. Esther brought a barong and a Sinulog necklace for Alinsug’s oath-taking.

“I wanted to send a strong message that an immigrant or anybody can aspire to become a city official,” said Alinsug, who is openly gay and is married to Peter Cipriano.

“Wherever you are in the world just don’t change. Be yourself and remain true,” Alinsug said in the same interview.

His mother was the one who was scared for him after he told him that he was running for office.

“Nakuyawan ko (I was scared). I had mixed emotions because Coco is not from the US. Naanad ko sa ato nga ang mga kandidato mangdaut (I’m used to candidates in our country who like to find faults in others),” Esther told SunStar Cebu.

Alinsug shared that politics in the US is the same as in the Philippines “in a lot of ways” and “money wins.” He went on a door-to-door campaign and “raised the biggest funds.”

The Cebu City Council and the Consolacion Municipal Council passed resolutions congratulating Alinsug for his feat.

Cebu City Councilor Joel Garganera, a childhood friend, said in the resolution he authored that Alinsug brought “pride to the Cebuano community”. Garganera also said in a post on Facebook that he is “super proud” and looks forward to visiting Alinsug in Lynn.

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