(Pre-) #MoveIlocos: An Honest-To-Goodness Groupthink

“Honest discussions – even and perhaps especially on topics about which we disagree – can help us resist hypocrisy and arrogance. They can also help us live up to the basic ideals, such as liberty and justice for all, on which our country was founded.” -David E. Price

#MoveIlocos Focus Group Discussion

How can I say no to a personal invitation from Northwestern University President Liza Nicolas to attend a focal group discussion for the Rappler’s #MoveIlocos event, with the theme “Ti akem ti social media tapno magun-od ti napudno nga panagpipili” (The role of social media in achieving honest elections)?

The group was composed of Rappler’s Chay Hofileña and Voltaire Tupaz, familiar local faces from the academe, media, government, private and business sectors.

Plainspoken young businessman Hanson Chua set the tone for one intense thought-sharing. The scraping went easy, free-flowing and at some points almost reaching boiling point.

The local issues changed from malls to governance, to noise pollution, to lay-offs, to taxes, to desecration of historical landmarks, to local governance again, to public hearings, to large-scale mining, to selective apathy, to vote buying, to social media practices — sentiments that are not commonly brought out in the open for sifting, prompting Chay to say that she never thought the Ilocanos are this passionate.

Next on the blog: the revolutionary #MoveIlocos

Photographed by Blauearth © Blauearth™ All Rights Reserved 2009-2013

Post-election wish

The people of Ilocos Norte have spoken —  they still want the prominent political names. The smashing victory of Mrs. Imelda Romualdez Marcos in the congressional race (2nd district of the province) is a clear signal that she is still a political force to be reckoned with in Ilocos Norte.

Daughter Imee Marcos, who, at the last minute, ran against her cousin Governor Michael Marcos Keon for the gubernatorial post, won a whopping 69.34 % of the votes.

For the vice-governor’s  seat, another Marcos cousin, Board Member Angelo Marcos Barba, who ran under Keon’s ticket, won against Board Member Yvonne Ranada, Imee’s running mate.

Comeback kid Atty. Rodolfo C. Fariñas got 50.42% of the votes in the congressional race (1st district of the province). His closest opponent, young Board Member Kris Ablan (son of Congressman Roque R. Ablan, Jr., who is vacating the post) got 28.15%.

Congressman Bongbong Marcos is among the 12 leading senatorial candidates.

There we have it: old names, new posts. I hope the cracks in the so-called Solid North will heal in no time for the sake of the province. A united Ilocos Norte is the fastest way to a better and brighter future. The chosen leaders should set the tone and put the negative vibes aside.