Cebu City and Cebu Province have become one
SHOOTING STRAIGHT - Valeriano Avila (The Freeman) - September 2, 2019 - 12:00am

It is already September and one of the monthly celebrations is done by the Kapisanan ng mga Brodkaster ng Pilipinas (KBP) a media organization that I have never interviewed on my TV show “Straight from the Sky” in my 19 years having this show in Cebu. So it was time for me to feature the KBP, after all, there are a lot of stories we can get from this organization.

To represent the KBP, we have as our special guests, Mr. Emmanuel “Manny” Rabacal, Atty. Bingo Gonzales, and Dante J. Luzon. As I got from Manny Rabacal, he was KBP head three times in so many years. But with three media personalities with me on this show, our problem was really lack of time because, after all, media personalities have a lot of stories to tell.

So watch this show on the KBP tonight on SkyCable’s channel 53 at 8 p.m. with replays on Wednesday and Saturday same time and channel. We also have replays on MyTV’s channel 30 at 9 p.m. Monday and at 7 a.m. and 9 p.m. on Wednesday and Friday.

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Last Saturday evening, we attended a formal dinner hosted by Cebu Province dubbed “A Unity and Solidarity Dinner” which I really didn’t understand until we heard the presentation of Cebu Province led by Gov. Gwen Garcia with Vice Governor Hilario Davide III and Presidential Assistant Michael Dino who presented the officials of Cebu City who made the Pasigarbo sa Sugbo successful with plaques of appreciation. There was a special gift prepared for Cebu City Mayor Edgardo Labella, who was late in coming to the Provincial Capitol.

Garcia had to make her speech already without Labella. Actually, the occasion was to mark a gallant ending of the month-long 450th celebration of Cebu Province where she acknowledge many of the agencies of Cebu City that helped in the Pasigarbo sa Sugbo, which ended at 3 a.m. This was truly the first time Cebu City involved itself in the Pasigarbo sa Sugbo celebration.

In her speech, the governor said, “It is not an accident of history that the City of Cebu and Province of Cebu would celebrate the 500th celebration of the Christianity of the Philippines. There can be no greater reason or aspiration but to unite for the right reason as we encounter the bends and curves that we would meet on the road.” With that speech, she made me realize that this was actually history in the making…that Cebu Province was holding a formal party for Cebu City. Ask yourself, when was the last time the province held a party for the city? Frankly speaking since I started writing 30 years ago, it just never happened.

Of course, it is because Cebu City was under the control of then Mayor Tomas Osmeña, a person who only got along with people who listened to him. If you had your own mind, Tommy Osmeña would not listen to you, nor can you belong to his inner circle. As many Cebuanos later realized, the former mayor was known more for his hate of people who disliked him and he made his anger publicly known.

Contrast this to the dinner party last Saturday, especially that a few minutes after the speech of the governor, Mayor Labella, who wore a black suit, while the event was in Filipiniana. I talked with Mayor Labella, who told us that he was a sponsor of the wedding of the son of Chester Cokaliong and he was paired with Senator Imee Marcos, which meant that he could not just leave the wedding. But Mayor Labella came to the Social Hall and was gifted by the governor with a model of a Spanish galleon and in turn the mayor gave Governor Garcia his gift to her.

I had my photograph with Mayor Labella with Governor Garcia in the middle and I told both of them that it is high time that the symbol of Cebu City and Cebu Province should be melted together as a sign of their unity, and allow me to say the evening dinner had no room for hatred. Indeed, the evening affair was in a way historic for us in Cebu, thanks to Governor Gwen Garcia and Mayor Edgardo Labella, Cebu City and Cebu Province have become one!

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