TWO Cebuano old timers I met and interviewed recently while working on a story assignment in Cebu have contrasting experiences of local politics in their lives.

Probably because he is from Cebu City, Guillermo “Dodong” Casinilio, 66 years old, has a keener sense of the political situation. A resident of Barangay San Nicolas, he still fondly recalls the days of Sergio “Serging” Osmeña Jr. whom he continues to idolize for his vision and leadership. “He commanded respect because of his ways,” adds Mang Dodong.

Of the present-day crop of Cebuano politicians, he admires Serging’s son, Tomas, the incumbent city mayor, as he sees his father in him. “He is doing his best, he has the political will to enforce what’s right,” he says, happy to see that this has translated into improvements in the city.

Mang Dodong also thinks Cebuanos, especially those based in the city, are smarter voters now. “Sa Cebu, di bumoboto nang hindi qualified, kahit sikat ka pa (In Cebu, we don’t vote for people who are not qualified, even if they are popular),” he observes.

On the other hand, 68-year-old Candida “Dading” Daitol, hardly remembers how those she voted to public office have made existence tolerable for her. Aling Dading has lived all her life in the coastal village of Sitio Manggal, Punta Engaño in Lapu-Lapu City.

One name does find favor in her memory though, that of Dr. Max Patalinjug who was once mayor of Lapu-Lapu. “Doktor siya, marami siyang mabuting nagawa dito sa Lapu-Lapu. Marami siyang natulungan (He’s a doctor. He did many good things here in Lapu-Lapu. He helped many of us,” she says in Cebuano.

Aling Dading says she hasn’t even seen the incumbent mayor, Arturo Radaza. She admits to voting for Nerissa Soon-Ruiz, the incumbent representative of Cebu’s sixth district, in the last elections because of the latter’s campaign promise to provide her and fellow village dwellers with a relocation site after their houses were demolished to give way to an upscale coastal residential resort being developed in their area. With another election in May, Soon-Ruiz has yet to fulfill her campaign promise.

Aling Dading and Mang Dodong also share what Cebu was like in the old days and how it compares with the present. Despite the different circumstances they’ve gone through in life, both have no intention of leaving their places of origin. Aling Dading would want a piece of land she can call her own. Mang Dodong, meanwhile, proudly avers, “Mahal ko pa rin (ang Cebu), Cebuano eh (I still love Cebu, I’m a Cebuano, of course!)”

Listen to their interviews:

Guillermo Casinilio
Language: English/Filipino
Length: 00:16:36
File size: 15.2 MB

Candida Daitol
Language: Cebuano (with Filipino translation)
Length: 00:11:14
File size: 10.2 MB

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