Garcia sounds game: ‘I’m ready to face the risk’



Suspended Gov. Gwendolyn Garcia yesterday dropped broad hints that she would dance in tomorrow’s Sinulog grand finale.

“I am ready to face all risks even if they will embrass me or throw anything to me. I would be ready to take that. I’m ready to sacrifice even to the point of being a recipient of pain and embarrassment,” she told reporters yesterday.

“My devotion to the Sto. Niño should take precedence over everything.”

In her office, the vestments of the Sto. Niño icon which she uses in dancing the Sinulog in previous years has been changed, although she said this was an annual ritual.

There were initial reports that two choreographers were seen rehearsing dance steps with Garcia in her Capitol office where she’s been holded up since Dec. 19.

Her refusal to vacate the office is her way of protesting her six-month suspension by the Office of the President which found her guilty of “grave abuse of authority” in usurping the appointment powers of the late vice governor Gregorio Sanchez Jr., a sanction she dismissed as “illegal” and a “power grab” by the Liberal Party.

Garcia has kept the public guessing about her expressed desire to perform her “last dance” in the Sinulog.

If she does step out for the public appearance in the Cebu City Sports Center, it would be the first time she’s been that far away from her east wing office in 33 days.

Acting Gov. Agnes Magpale earlier said it was fine with her if Garcia would “dance gracefully out” of her office and even assured that Garcia was free to return.

Garcia earlier said she didn’t trust Magpale’s assurance but appeared to have changed her mind after weighing the benefits of demonstrating her devotion to the Sto. Niño in Cebu’s biggest festival watched by a potential audience of millions as the dance presentations at the sports stadium are covered live by TV stations and livestreamed on Internet channels.

“I have been with you (Cebuanos) for the past eight years . I have made that commitment that I would dance in grateful appreciation and offering that would demonstrate my devotion and my love for the Sto. Niño. This Sunday, with all my heart, I will wish and hope to once again dance for the ninth and last time as governor of the province of Cebu. Let us look forward with much hope and anticipation,” she said yesterday.

Garcia is supposed to dance with Liloan’s Rosquillos Festival—the winner for the Pasigarbo sa Sugbo last year.

The governor’s choice of costume, usually a gown done by a high-fashion designer, and her annual appearance at the Sinulog parade is the subject of much media attention.

Earlier, Garcia said she may have to resue one of her previous Sinulog gowns.

Not many know, that some of her Sinulog gowns are on display on mannequeins at the Governor’s Gallery in the Capitol building

Deep devotion

Elizabeth Francia, her chief of staff, said the gowns were highlights of Garcia’s three terms as governor.

“The highlights of her terms have always been her participation in the Sinulog. That’s why we decided to feature the gowns there and also to add color to the gallery,” she added.

The gallery, which has other memorabilia, is usually kept locked and opened only for special occasions. Cebu Daily News had the chance to tour the gallery where three out of her eight gowns were on display as the centerpiece of all the exhibits.

The gowns were creations of two of Cebu’s top designers, Philip Rodriguez and Cary Santiago.

Rodriguez’s creation, a bejeweled, turquoise serpentina-cut gown was worn by Garcia in 2009 when she led dancers of the Tostado Festival contingent of Santander town. It was exhibited with a crown designed by Mark Tenchavez.

Also on display are Santiago’s two creations, her Haladaya Queen gown, which Garcia wore in 2006, and the Goddess of the Sea gown which she used during her second Sinulog performance.

Santiago, who has been doing Garcia’s gown for five years, said some of the gowns were “gifts” from businesswoman -philanthropist Mariquita Salimbangon-Yeung and from himself.

The five other gowns are kept by the governor at home.

The gallery was formerly the office of the Provincial Secretary which was later used by the tourism staff.

In 2009, Garcia had it renovated as a gallery for memorabilia of past governors such as photographs and clothes they’ve worn, such as Gov. Jose Briones’ barong Tagalog.

Portraits of Cebu’s 24 governors occupy one wall.

The Governor’s Gallery was put up with the help of heritage consultant Jojo Bersales, along with architect Tess Javier, Ian Fresnido and department head Evangeline de Paula.

Get Inquirer updates while on the go, add us on these apps:

Inquirer Viber

Disclaimer: The comments uploaded on this site do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of management and owner of We reserve the right to exclude comments that we deem to be inconsistent with our editorial standards.

  • koolkid_inthehouse

    Cebuanos are really stupid and gullible. They didnt know they’re string up by Political Dynasty family.


       dudes, ayaw pa ngamong hah! dili TANAN CEBUANOS stupido basig ma turpido nya ka nila…. hunahuna.a sa imong ipanulti oi!!! maulanan nya ka KUMO sa mga CEBUANOS

    • ofw2011

      not all cebuanos pare.  ang mga buang kato rang less informed og wala kasabot sa gipanghimo ni gwen.  majority of cebuanos wala maham ot sa gibuhat ni gwen.  tan awa unya di ba mapildi na si gwen pagka congresista sa iya distrito og si pablo john pagka gobernador sa sugbu.

    • Ron

      Bakit mo naman kelangang ilahat? Pinakita mo ang pagkatao mo sa statement mong yan. Hindi ako Cebuano pero madami dami rin naman akong kakilalang Cebuano na di hamak na mas kapuri puri ang pagkatao kumpara sa iyo. 

  • J

    Kaya matigas ang ulo ng pinoy at malakas ang loob lumabag sa batas dahil na din sa pinakikita example ng mga leaders. Sukli nito ang pagpopolituku na nagbibigay tolerance sa katigasan ng ulo na dapat pinatutupad ang batas upang sumunod ang pinoy sa tamang proseso.

  • Alejandro Canda

    GRACEFUL EXIT lang na ni gwen kay gipul-an na sya sa capitolyo kay wala na man siya power mora na siya ug BOANG.

  • gwenbalili

    pagkatapos nakawin ang P2B ng taga cebu.. may mukha pang mag sayaw? ibang level ng pagka kapalmuks itong reyna ng dilim


    UNSA!? “ready to face….” cge lang kag “ready”? excuse me!

  • batukan

    “the humble shall be exalted” – and still gov garcia would rather look at laws of men rather than benefitting from the laws of GOD. the cries of most politicias are the legislated laws of men yet, they always swore and pray , going to church and be seen in every mass that they can attend. perfect pictures of how politicians uses the church or every religious event to be known to all.

  • LegalJustice

    Obviously borrowed from Mr. Corona stage play wilth all the media coverage of his crying in the balcony and waving with his supporter and coverage of  his mass.

    Once she go dancing in the ceillling – then this is the right time  for the SWAT Team to take-over the Capitol and padlock the vicinity and block the Capitol so she cannot enter and return .

    Mission Accomplished !

  • Ding

    Pag lumabas siya, at nakabalik, mawawalang saysay ang pakulo at pamartir-effect niya sa pag-kulong niya sa capitolyo…sinabi na yata ni Sec Roxas, na hayaan lang siya.  Pag hindi naman siya lumabas mangangamoy na siya nang husto sa loob.  So, lumabas ke hindi, walang pabor sa kaniya.

  • RyanE

    Good. As soon as she is out of office, immediately padlock the doors so that she cannot get back.. hehehe

  • kimkim1226



    CLAPS CLAPS CLAPS…..Mabuhay ka Gwen. Mabuhay ang UNA. Sige Gwen ipakita mo sa mga hunghang na Cebuano ang tapang ng loob mo. Nasa likod mo ang UNA sa lahat ng iyong gagawin. CLAPS CLAPS CLAPS

  • May_Santiago

    “I am ready to face all risks even if they will embrass me or throw anything to me. I would be ready to take that. I’m ready to sacrifice even to the point of being a recipient of pain and embarrassment,” she told reporters yesterday.
    So this means Suspended Gov Gwen now has an idea how the Cebuanos feel about this whole DRAMA she is creating.  Gwen is just “kulang sa pansin”  and maybe the “wheelchair” will come in handy in the next couple of days. Abangan….

    The Cebu Provincial Capitol is operating and serving the people well under the command of Acting Gov. Magpale.

  • ADD

    Pumayag na nga si Gov. Magpale na pwede kang bumalik sa lunga m pagkatapos mong sumayaw sa Sinulog. Nag ddrama ka na nman Gwen, sagutin mo muna kung san napunta ung mga nawawalang pera ng Kapitolyo.

  • legislex

    Gwen Garcia knows by now that she cannot get the TRO.  Her problem now is on how to leave the Capitol without her appearing defeated.  She thought of dancing in the Sinulog in the hope that Acting Gov. Magpale would padlock her office to prevent her from returning.  It seems, however, that Acting Gov. Magpale is not biting her bait.  She is now thinking of another scenario.  Maybe she will cut her power and water lines and blame them on Acting Gov. Magpale.  Maybe she will make it appear that the SWAT entered her office, and force her out.  Maybe she will let some of her supporters throw tear gas inside her office or put a dud bomb near her office, and later claim that her life is in danger in the capitol thus she has to leave the place.  Kayo ano sa tingin niyo ang gagawin niya para makalabas siya ng kapitolyo na hindi magmumukhang talunan?  

  • Labandera1

    I have a feeling that if Gwen will dance  in the sinulog tomorrow, I can see a wheel chair or a strectcher in ambulance coming. Palabasin ng mga Gwen alipores na dehydrated at na stress and she will go direct to hospital kasi alam na niya na walang pag-asa ang kanyang hinihinging TRO at bored na siya sa capitolyo at napagkamalan na siyang squater na tikbalang ng capitolyo at hindi na siya binalikan ng tatlong itlog ng UNA na sina Enrile, Binay at Estrada…..

  • diamond_digger

    Does showing one’s devotion and or praise to the’Santo Nino” needs to be timed when there will be millions of people physically watching and many more viewing it on tv? What kind of worship is that Gwen. Could it atone one’s oppression and abuse of power over some lesser mortals? Or is it a vague attempt to make  a show and a facade in the hope of getting the sympathy of the more gullible citizenry? To me, such acts constitute blasphemy. Fool the people all you want Gwen but I warn you about fooling GOD. The consequence will certainly be too great to handle. 

  • calixto909

    Your devotion as you mentioned to the Santo Nino is keenly observed to be fake and a charade meant to display a political bravado that’s embossed with a sly parody to the nation. By your act of defying the lawful suspension plus the arrogance you showed, any act of devotion you manifest is being laughed at and considered a make believe intent.

  • becivilized

    Dancing in the Sinulog is totally wrong and not the appropriate option that God the Father will help you solve your problem. This is the same thing that Ex-CJ Corona did when he had daily televised novenas and masses in the office of the Supreme Court. Then  Ex-CJ Corona was convicted.

    Matthew 6:6
    But you, when you pray, enter into your closet, and when you have shut your door, pray to your Father which is in secret; and your Father which sees in secret shall reward you openly.

To subscribe to the Philippine Daily Inquirer newspaper in the Philippines, call +63 2 896-6000 for Metro Manila and Metro Cebu or email your subscription request here.

Factual errors? Contact the Philippine Daily Inquirer's day desk. Believe this article violates journalistic ethics? Contact the Inquirer's Reader's Advocate. Or write The Readers' Advocate:

c/o Philippine Daily Inquirer Chino Roces Avenue corner Yague and Mascardo Streets, Makati City,Metro Manila, Philippines Or fax nos. +63 2 8974793 to 94


editors' picks



latest videos