Commentary: The Arenas Party
By Danny O. Sagun
Pangasinan (17 November) -- Presidential hopeful Bayani Fernando was among the hundreds if not thousands who greeted birthday celebrant Rachel Arenas last Saturday at her farm in Malasiqui. He went there to campaign no less.
He went around pounding flesh, introducing himself, and posing for souvenir photos with the guests. He was game answering questions from local mediamen including trivial ones like what he felt when he won a TV singing contest and more serious issues like his tarpaulins posted outside Metro Manila.
President or nothing, he said, pointing out he was not getting young. But he was not definite when this writer asked him if he was going to run with or without party nomination. Under Lakas party, he sees no other figures interested to run for the highest post. The other hopefuls, he noted, are not partymen like Vice-President Noli de Castro who remained independent, and Senate President Manny Villar, who belongs to the Nacionalista Party.
He said people began to take notice of him and change their perception as he went from one part of the country to another. "Malandi rin ako, may damdamin … Akala kasi nila ako'y masungit, may kamay na bakal, demonyo… nakikita nila na ako'y tao rin."
Senator Juan Ponce Enrile was also there but he contented himself posing for souvenirs with the other guests.
GMA, casual with denims and blue shirt, braved jet lag and sleepy eyes to join the well-wishers. She had a closed-door lunch with third district mayors and other VIPs. Mediamen came like ordinary guests and behaved so as not to badger the President (PMS people were apprehensive?) but still took the opportunity to gather news, shots and footages. (PIA) [top]