While I am not exactly into numerology, the number five is meaningful to me. Herdy, Herdz, and Yumul each has five letters. I was born on the fifth of June. I am the fifth among five siblings. I weigh 55 kg. and stand 5’5”. I live in Brgy. 5 in a street named after a politician whose first and last names each have five letters, and our house number is, you guessed it, No. 5, too. When I published my first book, it had five chapters containing a total of 55 essays handpicked by The He(a)rd Mentality team which had five core members.
The number five apparently runs deep in Governor Imee Marcos’s consciousness these days. She has been campaigning (harder than ever before, say insiders) to ensure victory for all of her five candidates for board member in Ilocos Norte’s first district. Imee’s energy is unmatched even by youth volunteers who are literally panting in their effort to catch up with Manang as her team One Ilocos Norte hits the campaign trail, traversing town after town, barangay after barangay, home after home, pressing as much flesh as she humanly could.
Congressman Rudy Fariñas, unopposed like the governor, is campaigning hard, too, but only for her daughter Ria who is eyeing a seat in the provincial board. Rudy is believed to be concentrating on Ria’s campaign which explains why the candidacy of his son Carlos for the Laoag City vice mayor’s post has been virtually shelved. While Carlos has not officially withdrawn, we have not heard any activity going for him over the past month.
You should remember, dear karikna, that Rudy is now out of the “One Ilocos Norte” the Marcos and Fariñas families forged in 2010. Intramurals within the Fariñas Dynasty has led to an apparent showdown between Rudy and Imee.
If Ria wins, it will be an affirmation of the current might of Rudy who, prior to being allied with Imee, had been proclaimed by pundits as politically dead. Ria’s loss, on the other hand, would clearly indicate the absolute efficacy of the Marcos magic. Imee is extremely popular today for her ‘superwoman-like’ performance as governor while Rudy enjoyed rockstar status during the Corona impeachment trial.
On Imee’s line up are: Yvonne Ranada, Juan Conrado Respicio, Portia Salenda, Rogelio Balbag, and Toto Lazo. Other strong candidates for the provincial board include Renato “Atong” Peralta, a veteran politician who lost to Rudy in 2010, and Roque “Rbee” Ablan, grandson and namesake of former congressman Roquito. Besides the familiar name going for him, the twenty-something Roque Ablan is also listed number one in the ballot.