Seares: ‘Mom’ can still be ‘Tom,’ not likely but allowed. Luck from 7 and 8. Dondon, Zafra in non-Barug shirts and where was Garganera?

·3 min read

What ‘TOMorrow’ may bring

“MOM” is also short for Margot Osmeña. For substitution purposes, it also works fine: “Mom” can be “Tom.” The law allows Tomas Osmeña to replace his wife Margot as Bando Osmeña–Pundok Kauswagan (BOPK) candidate for mayor, until midday of election day in May 2022. Same party, same surname.

On the eve of the start of the October-1-to-8 certificate of candidacy (COC)-filing period, the teaser ad from the BOPK camp, said “TOMorrow,” with the heavy emphasis on Tom, or Tomas.

People with an open mind cannot rule out “tomorrow” with a Tom in it. And Cebuanos may not be exactly ecstatic. For more than three decades now, or 35 years from 1987 to 2022, “tomorrow” has been promised them by the same group of politicians.

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Wearing that yellow t-shirt

Dondon Hontiveros and Phillip Zafra declared their “independence” from Partido Barug last September 4 and reaffirmed that in an October 4 press-con with Acting Mayor Mike Rama, Barug standard-bearer. Tuesday, the fifth day of the COC-filing period, at Barug’s “Panag-abot” in Casino Español, they declared it again by not wearing the mostly yellow uniform campaign t-shirts their fellow candidates in Barug proudly wore.

Dondon and Zafra must have been given each a Barug t-shirt but chose not to wear it. Dondon slung one over his shoulder, partly covering the pro-vaccination t-shirt he was wearing. At the obligatory group shot of every candidate raising arms locked to another, more than five weren’t wearing the Barug uniform. Two of them must be Dondon and Phillip.

What are guest candidates’ rights and duties? What’s the deal between the two independents and the party with its candidates?

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Missing the ‘Panday’

COUNCILOR Joel Garganera was absent at the Barug "pakulo" at the Casino Tuesday. Where was he, had he declared independence too?

Joel, who bills himself as “Ang Panday,” explained the next day he had already told Acting Mayor Mike he couldn’t fully take part in all the campaign activities of Barug. Much as he wants to be reelected, he also wants to protect the city, Garganera said. It sounds like he also wishes to project neutrality in serving the public.

He is still Barug, which must show in his COC. Apparently, he has not gone the way of Dondon and Zafra.

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Take your pick: 7 or 8

MANY candidates have put off filing their COC until Friday, October 7, or Saturday, October 8.

Some, for the advantage of knowing for sure who their rivals are; a few, like former mayor Tomas Osmeña, to prevent poaching on their stable by the enemy.

Another reason, the more popular one, is the luck from the number.

Eight is considered a lucky number in Chinese and other Asian cultures. It means “make a fortune,” which to some candidates is the ultimate goal.

But seven is deemed the more lucky number in most cultures. It is associated with many things: seven days of the week, seven colors of the rainbow, seven continents of the world. Even the deadly sins are seven. They tell us Muslims on pilgrimage to Mecca walk around the Kaaba seven times. And so on.

MARCOS’S NUMBER. Martial law president Ferdinand Marcos Sr.’s passion for seven was shown in how the number figured in his life and after his death:

Among others: the day he declared martial law (September 21, which is divisible by 7), the February 7, 1986 snap elections, the group of military officers advising him (Inner 7, Rolex 7), the hull number of his yacht (TP-777), and even the return of his ashes to the Philippines from Hawaii (September 7, 1993).

If Bongbong Marcos (BBM), who wants to be president like his father, files his COC on Friday, people will say, “just like the father.” If he does not, “BBM is his own man.”

Ask Comelec, once it collates the numbers, for information which day -- seven or eight -- drew the most filers.

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