Last Saturday, I was finally able to meet former Cebu City first councilor Hilario "Jun-Jun" P. Davide III, the Liberal Party's gubernatorial candidate in the province of Cebu. I always thought he was tall and majestic, maybe because the Davides are somewhat of a legend in the Province of Cebu. When I met him up close I noticed he was ordinary and simple. And yet, when he talked to people you could see that the Davide magic, as exemplified by his father and grandfather, is there. It's not yet as potent as his father, but he's getting closer to having the same "aura" as UN Ambassador Hilario G. Davide, Jr.
Whenever I see Governor Gwen Garcia, there is an intense feeling of awkwardness among those near her. She smiles and shakes the hands of everyone she encounters, but many who have shaken her hand said that they felt they were meeting an actress, not a public official. I strongly concur. When President Arroyo visited Argao and I was fortunate enough to be near her, I felt a tingling sensation being so close to someone who would soon go down in the annals of Philippine history. But it was always different with Gwen, because whenever you were near her it felt like being in a cinematic production.
I guess this is ultimately the power that Governor Garcia has over her lesser exposed rival, Jun-Jun Davide. Every Suroy-Suroy Sugbo starts and ends with Gwen, and her face is plastered in all the tarps and newspaper ads regarding the Suroy-Suroy. The multicabs the province of Cebu gives to various barangays all over the province bear her name. All the projects that involve the Capitol also have her name prominently displayed. Even the photo contest that the provincial government sponsors, called "Catch Her If You Can", has Gov. Gwen Garcia as the subject in various aspects of public governance and her many sojourns around the province. As my late aunt once acidly stated: no one else in the history of Cebu has exhibited such obvious and blatant self-love as Gwen Garcia.
This is precisely also the very possible undoing of Gwen Garcia. By stamping everything that comes out of the province with her name as an acronym, she not feeds her humongous ego, but also make many intellectuals feel disgusted at her behavior.
I have always felt good about having a woman as governor of my province, mainly because I am a feminist. But in this coming 2010 election, I will definitely throw in my support for fellow Argawanon Jun-Jun Davide. Not only is Jun-Jun Davide my fifth cousin, he is also someone who is politically immaculate. Not a single thing could be thrown at him, or his father, and even his grandfather. The Davides have been in public service for some time now, but their houses and lifestyle are still simple. No flashy cars or houses. I would want a governor who will not waste taxpayers' money of his whims and caprices, who is simple and humble and most of who is not too in love with himself.
During the fiesta of barangay Taloot, Argao, Governor Gwen Garcia supposedly asked all the politicians of Argao to sign a memorandum of support for her candidacy. 44 of the 45 barangay captains of Argao signed and pledged their undying support for Gwen Garcia, with the exception of barangay Colawin, Davide's bailiwick. If this is true, then the people of Argao should very well keep this incident in mind especially as the barangay elections are just a few months away.
I believe Jun-Jun Davide will be a perfect governor for Cebu. I know that fighting against Gwen Garcia, from apowerful nouveau political clan and an incumbent, will be a a daunting task for Jun-Jun Davide. But, as we have seen in history, it was the small boy David who triumphed over the giant Goliath. Ironically, Davide's surname is derived from the name David which stands for "beloved of God", while Garcia is derived from the Latin Garsea and may well be of pre-Roman origin, perhaps akin to the Basque (h)artz, which means “bear”. David and the Bear...hmmm...it's going to be a very interesting May 2010 in Cebu.