Organizer: ‘Show respect if Gwen dances’


WILL the audience in the Sinulog grandstand – and on the street – welcome the sinulog dancing of suspended Gov. Gwendolyn Garcia in today’s grand parade?

Ricky Ballesteros, executive director of the Sinulog Foundation Inc., appealed for good manners and courtesy if  Garcia actually shows up.

“I’d like to appeal to the public to show the respect due her (Garcia) as the governor and as a woman,” he told Cebu Daily News amid fears that she may be heckled or booed by partisans in the crowd who disapprove of Garcia’s defiance of the order of the Office of the President suspending her for six months in an administrative case for grave abuse of authority.

Ballesteros said he was notified by Garcia’s camp yesterday that she would be dancing with the Rosquillos Festival contingent of Liloan town, which won the Pasigarbo festival competition of the province last year.

“Her choreographers came to my office this morning,” he said, and an advance party has been checking the main stage and other conditions of the Cebu City Sports  Center where over 40 contingents will enter for their main performances until 7 p.m.

Ballesteros said Garcia would be dancing with the municipal contingent, and not as head of the Cebu province contingent.

In order of appearance, this places her towards the end of the parade lineup with other municipalities.  The last entries of the parade are the much awaited performances of out-of-town contingents like Masbate, Leyte and Lanao del Norte.

This means by the time the Rosquillos Festival contingent gets on stage, it will be late afternoon or dusk.

Ballesteros, in an  interview earlier this week, was asked by CDN what kind of audience reaction he anticipated with Garcia dancing with the Sto. Niño in her arms before over 12,000 spectators in the sports center, and whether she risked being embarrassed in public.

But he said “I think the Cebuanos are mature as an audience” and that it wouldn’t come to that.

Ballesteros and SFI organizers visited Garcia in her Capitol office the other week inviting her to continue her tradition of dancing on stage in the festival’s grand finale.

One assurance that the audience would be reminded to show courteous, if not welcoming response, is the role of program emcee broadcaster Sam Costanilla, a Capitol consultant and supporter of Garcia.

Liloan’s festival highlights the ring-shaped cookies called “rosquillos” which is a trademark pasalubong from the town produced by Titay’s bakery owned by the family of Liloan Mayor Duke Frasco, son-in-law of  the governor.

The festival dancers use an American-era theme with dramatic red and black tuxedos.  One of the contingent’s choreographer is Victor Cuenco.

For over a week, Garcia has kept the media and the public guessing about her expressed desire to perform her “last dance” as governor in the Sinulog, after eight years of leading the province’s contingent in the grand finale.

On Saturday, she said “I am ready to face all risks even if they will embarrass me or throw anything at me…. My devotion to the Sto. Niño should take precedence over everything.”

Worst case scenarios like this are the subject of a text message and on line talk circulating that the Sinulog dance would be Garcia’s “graceful exit” after she vowed not to leave the Capitol “over my dead body” when she started a stay-in protest  on Dec. 19, 2012.

The speculation goes that she has to get out of the Capitol “sooner than later because she is losing in the campaign game”  and that she “will be humiliated by their own planted players and will be pelted with eggs and rotten tomatoes” and later blame the rude conduct on the Liberal Party or collapse during the dance and head straight to the hospital for confinement, benefiting from a public image as a martyr.

Garcia, in other interviews, scoffed at the speculation as a “Pontius Pilate” act of washing one’s hands of responsibility before the deed is done.

At the Capitol, Garcia did not go out her office the entire day yesterday as reporters waited outside for details of her performance.

A one-foot tall Sto. Niño image was brought inside but a staff member said he owned the icon. Sugbo TV and Sugbo News staffers who earlier resigned from their jobs after Garcia’s suspension retrieved their IDs from one of their heads.

Vice President Jejomar Binay has confirmed his attendance at the Sinulog festivity today.

He will be at the Cebu City Sports Center at 1 p.m.

Before that, he is expected to visit Garcia in her office at 10a.m. The governor’s staff yesterday arranged a room where a press conference will also be held./With Correspondent Carmel Loise Matus

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  • diamond_digger

    To Ricky Ballesteros: I firmly believe that you spent many years in school and may have earned a degree – not just a baccalaureate but possibly even something higher or bigger. My question is that, in all those years that you studied in school, haven’t any teacher or haven’t you read somewhere, something that says “Respect is not something that is demanded (nor requested) but something that one has to earned.” And in life, people who do not know how to respect do not get respect in return.

    • AllinLawisFair

      Golden rule.

      • Augusto

        “Qui tibi fiere non vis, alteri ne feceris.” – “Do not do to another what you do not wish he should do to you.” What had doling done to the late Vice-Gov. Greg Sanchez? To Vice-Gov. now Acting Governor Agnes Magpale? To the lawful order of Pres. Pnoy? To the people of Cebu Province in particular, and the Filipinos in general? Do I need to enumerate all her disrespectful acts? Please, answer Mr. Ballesteros. Why don’t she just dance in WaKan (Wati (worm) and Kanding) Festival in Balili? That’s better option.

      • AllinLawisFair

        My “Golden rule,” comment was in accord with what diamond_digger wrote about RESPECT. 
        It was in no way a defense of Gwen Garcia .

      • ManongOsang


        Gwen Garcia is a POLITICIAN ! Filipino Politicians have the MOST LUCRATIVE & POWERFUL Jobs in the Philippines.  But part of her job is being publicly accountable to voters & also be ready to be QUESTIONED, BOOED, YELLED AT at anytime !

        If Barack Obama, George Bush, Prime Minister Cameron of England have been Publicly Heckled & even thrown objects at… WHO THE HELL is Gwen Garcia !!!

        If we follow the Golden Rule based on Gwen Garcia’s actions then, a regular Filipino like Mang Pandoy and Mr. De La Cruz should DEFY the LAW & even slap police officers & demonstrators in the face.

        The GOLDEN RULE has NEVER APPLIED to 95% of Filipino politicians who have STOLE & RAPED our nation’s wealthy !

      • AllinLawisFair

        I was sort of agreeing to the last sentence of what  diamond_digger wrote re RESPECT. I was not defending that Ballesteros guy nor Gwen Garcia. 

  • garcia677

    Mr. Ballesteros, how could you expect your province mates to give to Garcia what’s due to her as governor if she wouldn’t first humble herself by respecting the suspension order. A respect can’t be bought by money nor be ordered to do but one has to earn it through showing humility to people, to the law and the government.

  • RyanE

    What?.. VP Binay will be dancing too at the Sinulog festival?

  • ManongOsang

    In the first place, WHY is Gwen Garcia Dancing ????

    If she truly feels that being heckled by the crowd will bother her, then, why the Hell is she even dancing ???

    We are a democratic Free Nation. You cannot tell people how to behave when it comes to politicians ! If England, the Prime Minister has been hit by Eggs TWICE! In Germany, their Prime Minister was hit by Eggs & boos. In the United States, President Obama has been HECKLED & Booed MANY TIMES by crowds ! Former President Bush was BOOED & heckled by crowds MANY TIMES!

    So Who the HELL is GWEN GARCIA compared to these Much More Powerful politicians of Wealthier, Bigger nations???

    If people feel like booing Gwen Garcia , then, GO GO GO ! You might as well BOO & YELL at Jojo Binay for being such a TRAPO !!!

    • ManongOsang

      Kung yung Anak at Kapatid  ni Gwen Garcia ay NA-NANAMPAL at NA-NUNUNTOK ng mga Cebu Police officers at regular Cebuano in front of the camera, WHY THE HELL should Cebuanos show respect to this family !!!

  • Hey_Dudes

    If she is truly loved by taxpayers of Cebu as a person and respected as the governor, then there should not be any reason to fear of  Gwen being at the receiving end of people’s derision is there? 

  • Labandera1

    Puede pala ang maitim na maligno na si Binay sumali sa Sinulog? Papano kung mabasbasan si Binay ng Holy Water di kaya masusunog ang balat niya.

    For Gwen, she doesn’t deserve a respect at all. She did not respect the suspension order and continued to stay in her office at the expense of tax payer’s money. She abused her vice governor and abused her position as governor….tapos na ang maligayang araw mo tikbalang Gwen…..

  • ManongOsang

    I hope that she GETS what SHE DESERVES !!! Sana Talagang Pagsisigawan at Pagtawanan silang dalawa ni Binay sa Sinulog !!! They have NO RESPECT & SHOULD NOT BE RESPECTED!

  • brunogiordano

    “Organizer: ‘Show respect if Gwen dances”

    RESPECT is earned not GIVEN.

  • alpine11

    She does not deserve respect. Binay and Gwen are birds of the same feather. Both needs the help of sto. Nino to give them guidance.

  • gwenbalili

     imagine after pocketing P2B of cebu province money, may mukha pang mag sayaw… ibang level ang pagka kapalmuks nito

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