Saturday, September 30, 2017

Ilonggo gamefowl book author visits US breeders

By Alex P. Vidal

NEW YORK CITY -- An author from Iloilo City in the Philippines will publish the first book that will chronicle the "detailed" history of gamefowl industry and its impact on the life and culture of the Filipinos.
Leon "Boy" Magalona, who recently visited some of the famous gamefoul breeders in the different US states, said the title of his book would be "A Warrior's Blood." 

"The book will bring out the truth and real history of cockfighting culture of the Filipinos," explained Magalona, 71, son Enrique "Eking" Bayot Magalona, one of the most prominent gamefowl breeders in Panay and Negros and contemporary of famed Candelaria de Jaro bigwig Luis "Chito" Tinsay.
Leon Magalona said he noticed that some of the books published in the past about cockfighting "lacked the historical facts."


In 1634, the first documented use of the word gamecock, denoting use of the cock as to a "game", a sport, pastime or entertainment, was recorded.
George Wilson used the term "cock of the game" in the earliest known book on the sport of cockfighting in The Commendation of Cocks and Cock Fighting in 1607.
Magalona said even before the Spanish came in the Philippines or even before Antonio Pigaffeta and Ferdinand Magellan and his men arrived in Limasawa Island on March 16, 1521, "cockfighting was already the primary entertainment of the Filipinos."
Pigafetta was an Italian scholar and explorer from the Republic of Venice who traveled with the Portuguese explorer Magellan and his crew by order of the King Charles I of Spain.
Magalona said his book will explain when and how did the US and the Philippine cockers start to fuse and galvanize with each other because of the gamefowl.
The book will also tackle the start of development and improvement of American gamecocks from 1600s after the discovery of America and immigration from England and Europe, he added.


Magalona, who arrived in New York together with his wife from Sampaloc, Nancy Ann Decio, visited some of the United States' top breeders in Alabama, Tennessee, West Virginia, Kentucky and Albany, a New York upstate city, to collate additional facts, photos, and interviews for his upcoming book, among other purposes.
He has written journals related to the breeding, raising, conditioning, and gaffing of gamecocks but they were not officially published, Magalona said.
Two roosters fight each other to the death while people place bets in a cockfight.
Cockfighters let the birds suffer untreated injuries or throw the birds away like trash afterwards.

Revisiting ‘Thrilla in Manila’

“Only a man who knows what it is like to be defeated can reach down to the bottom of his soul and come up with the extra ounce of power it takes to win when the match is even.”
--Muhammad Ali

By Alex P. Vidal

NEW YORK CITY -- Every time I worked with controversial former Australian National Boxing Federation (ANBF) president Brad Vocale in the past, our favorite topic was the "Thrilla in Manila" and why the boxing world continued to be agog over that spectacular boxing bout until today.
Vocale, who hogged headlines in 2015 when he refused to officiate in Queensland because of its lack of safety regulations, told me how he was impressed with Muhammad Ali's ring prowess, especially when he clobbered Joe Frazier via 14th round TKO (technical knockout). 

"Muhammad Ali showed the world why boxing is called a sweet science and why he was the greatest," Vocale said.
The historic event, considered as the biggest heavyweight boxing title fight in the world, occurred on October 1, 1975 or 42 years ago at the Araneta Colesium in Cubao, Quezon City.
It was a duel that defined the late Ali both as a sports icon and human being.
Ali (48–2, 35 KOs) settled his feud with Frazier (32–2, 27 KOs), who was credited for not falling flat on his face from Ali’s barrage of howitzers.
Trainer Eddie Futch refused to let Frazier continue before the 15th round when he sensed the duel no longer was a sport.
Referee Carlos Padilla terminated the bout as Frazier loudly protested to no avail wailing at Futch, “I want him, boss.”
"It's all over. No one will forget what you did here today," Futch barked at Frazier, whom Ali slandered earlier and called “ape.”
Both ring titans were exhausted and standing only on survival instinct.
Frazier’s lips had been busted and his face was crimson.


Ali also suffered a black eye in both eyes.
Ali described that third duel with Frazier as “next to death.”
The charismatic heavyweight champion admitted later that he asked Frazier to quit after 10 rounds.
“C’mon, Joe, that’s enough. There's still life after this fight,” Ali allegedly whispered to his nemesis while they were swapping bombs.
When I had a chance to work with Padilla in 1996 during the 12-round WBF welterweight fisticuffs between Amerasian William Magahin and Australian Brad Moderidge, I asked Padilla if he heard those words.
Padilla said he didn’t exactly hear the sentence uttered by Ali, but confirmed Ali was saying something only the two boxers had understood.
At that time of the historic tussle between two of heavyweight’s most feared fisttossers, I was only a kid.
We watched the fight on a black and white TV set in Molo district, Iloilo City after the class at the Iloilo Central Commercial High School (ICCHS) in the morning.
My recollection of the astonishing showdown was based on the films, journals, magazines, and newspaper clippings.


I met Sports Communicators Organization of the Philippines (SCOOP) president Eddie Alinea, who acted as Frazier’s press liaison officer, when we covered Manny Pacquiao’s fight against Joshua Clottey in Arlington, Texas.
Alinea said he was assigned by the Office of Media Affairs (now the Philippine Information Agency) to accompany Team Frazier while the boxer was in Manila.
He described challenger Frazier as “a monster in the ring but a gentleman outside.”
Alinea showed to me the black and white photo of a press briefing taken at the Manila Hotel where he sat beside the behemoth champion from Louisville, Kentucky. He called himself “The Greatest” and was formerly known as Cassius Clay.
Alinea, now in his 60s, also kept some souvenir items bearing Frazier's signature. In a note, he thanked Alinea for the Filipino scribe’s services and presence in the Team Frazier.


According to some boxing experts and historians I met, the “Thrilla in Manila” was the greatest ever world heavyweight championship in history.
In terms of heated rivalry, intensity, brutality, action and courageous display of skills, talent and spirit, nothing can beat the “Thrilla in Manila.”
There have been great marquee names in world heavyweight that emerged after Ali.
Trevor Berbick, Greg Page, Larry Holmes, Evander Holyfield, Riddick Bowe, Mike Tyson, to mention only a few.
But none of them could match his charisma and impact in the hearts of sports fans all over the universe.
The record established by “Thrilla in Manila” has not been broken until today.
As a member of the world boxing fraternity and sportswriter, I agree.

Thursday, September 28, 2017

Too many cooks will spoil the broth

"Uncertainty is a very good thing: it's the beginning of an investigation, and the investigation should never end."
--Tim Crouch

By Alex P. Vidal

-- We suggest that for purposes of coherence and consolidation, only one investigation body should be tasked to investigate the "anomalous" P3.4-million chicken dispersal program of the Iloilo City government in the Philippines.
It has been established that some of the 17,500 chickens of the P10-million Integrated Community Food Production Project (ICFP) were below 300 grams as prescribed in the term of reference (TOR).
Not all of the 575 recipients have received the chickens, it was learned.
The probe body can grab the bull by its horns and zero in on this angle.
Everything else will be unraveled like a crossword puzzle. In a no non-sense investigation, no stone will be left unturned.
No need for more agencies to catch the prey.
But the National Anti-Poverty Commission (NAPC), initiator of the project, wants to join the investigation, according to reports.


Acting Mayor Jose Espinosa III had earlier tasked the Iloilo City Internal Audit Services Office (IASO) headed by lawyer Joan Montano to commence the probe on the hullabaloo, while the City Council's committee of the whole headed by Councilor Ely Estante will also soon start its own probe.
NAPC's entry may not be necessary because Espinosa's order was considered as muto proprio since the City Agriculturist Office is under his office.
Estante's committee will investigate the "scam" in aid of legislation, which is separate from the one being initiated by the executive branch.
A third party isn't anymore needed. One is enough. Two is too much. Three is a crowd.
Too many cooks will only spoil the broth.


Two of the "strongest" possible bets being floated by the Duterte administration for the next president of the Philippines are Sen. Emmanuel Pacquiao and Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio.
Pacquiao must be thinking that President Rodrigo Roa Duterte was serious when he mentioned in his speech during the former world boxing champion's birthday party in December 2016 in Gen. Santos City that "Pacquiao will be the next president."
But recently, Malacanang grapevine says that the fiesty lady mayor is being considered to be her father's successor.
Will it be a Carpio-Pacquiao tandem?
It will depend on the PDP-Laban--and the President himself.

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Trust Joe III

"Perseverance is the hard work you do after you get tired of doing the hard work you already did."
-- Newt Gingrich

By Alex P. Vidal

-- Those who are planning to run for Iloilo City mayor in the Philippines in 2019 can always say that Vice Mayor Jose "Joe III" Espinosa III isn't fit to become city mayor.
His being a "shy-typed" and "aloof" have become the butts of scorn and derision among keen political observers in coffee and barber shops.
Even the way Joe III shakes the hands of well-wishers he meets in the sidewalks and barangays did not escape their strict scrutiny.
But now that Joe III is the acting city mayor, the soothsayers fear that Joe III might prove them wrong.
The sudden move of Mayor Jed Patrick Mabilog to take a leave and entrust the reigns of the city government to the vice mayor less than 20 months before the 2019 elections, probaby has sent shivers down the spine of Joe III's critics.
It's like allowing Joe III to have a "familiarity tour" on his next office, or giving him a chance to start building a bandwagon inside the fortress.


The longer on-leave Mabilog stays out of the city hall and the longer Joe III sits as acting capacity, the more these soothsayers will become uncomfortable.
What if lady luck would intervene and Iloilo City  experienced a shock renaissance during Joe III's reign?  
As acting city mayor, Joe III, like Romulus, the twin of Remus, can conveniently use the opportunity to prove his critics that he is not what they think.
In terms of experience, Joe III has nothing to be ashamed of. In terms of competence, he is also notches higher being a lawyer and a long-time member of the city council before being elected as vice mayor.
The truth is nobody can claim exclusive right to govern Iloilo City as mayor. Nobody can claim that he or she is better than the other aspirants or wanna-bes.
The constitution does not state that one must at least be an orator, a philosopher, or a poet in order to become an elected public servant.
Even the much-ridiculed Mel Carreon can sit as city mayor if that's what the Ilonggos want. Elected officials, after all, are chosen by the people, not by psychiatrists or political science professors.


It's not a case of "too early for politics" if one political group will claim that it has the "majority of support from the mayors" in certain districts.
In politics, there is no "too early" and "too soon". But there is such animal as "too late."
In political combat, building of forces must start earlier--or, at least, immediately after the last elections.
That means losers in the recent elections aren't supposed to be complacent and relax if they are still salivating for a rematch with their conquerors.
An early bird catches the worm, as the saying goes. There are political worms though that worm their way to another group in the eleventh hour when the going gets tough and when wads of bills start to buy off loyalties and commitments.
That's the nature of politics in the Philippine. Money always talks from start to end.
But there is no substitute if one starts to build up and get the commitments of those who can produce the votes today even if the next elections are miles away.

Monday, September 25, 2017

'Despite GM So's fall, Britton World Chess Cup will go on'

"In chess, knowledge is a very transient thing. It changes so fast that even a single mouse-slip sometimes changes the evaluation."
-- Viswanathan Anand

By Alex P. Vidal

-- Mansion World Chess Cup Blitz Championship organizer and chief arbiter Rainier M. Labay vowed to continue holding the five-round tournament despite the elimination of Filipino Grand Master Wesley So in the ongoing FIDE World Chess Cup 2017 in Tbilisi, Georgia. 

The Mansion World Chess Cup was conceptualized after So, 24, a Cavite-born Filipino who now plays for the United States, vaulted into the sem-final of the 128-player single elimination chess tournament.
So lost to upset-conscious Chinese Ding Liren, who is now playing Armenian Grand Master Levon Aronian for the championship in the Biltmore Hotel.


"Our own version of the World Chess Cup is for the players rated 2200 and below, including those unrated," said Labay, a blitz champion and one of the highest rated Filipino players now based in the United States.
The Mansion edition will be on its sixth edition this week.
"We will also have a tournament for the rated players," added Labay, former coach of the dreaded De La Salle University Chess Team.
A trophy is awarded to the edition champion plus cash.
"We are inspired by Grand Master So's conquest because even if he is playing for the United States, he is still a Filipino by heart," stressed Labay of Valenzuela City in the Philippines.


The Georgia World Chess Cup tournament is a knock-out, with the exception that there was a provision for the two semi-final losers to play off for third place if necessary.
Matches consist of two regular time limit games (except for the final, and playoff for third if required, which consist of four regular time limit games).
For these two games, players have 90 minutes for the first 40 moves followed by 30 minutes for the rest of the game, with an increment of 30 seconds per move from the start of the game.
The champion gets $120,000 while the runner-up will bring home $80,000.
Aside from So, among those highest rated super grand masters who have been ousted were reigning FIDE world champion and top-seeded Magnus Carlsen of Norway, third-seeded Fabiano Caruana (USA), fourth-seed Vladimir Kramnik (Russia), and eight-seeded Maxime Vachier-Lagrave (France) who lost to Aronian in another semi-final tussle.

Saturday, September 23, 2017

UN Assembly: The new Alan Peter Cayetano

"The United Nations is our one great hope for a peaceful and free world."
--Ralph Bunche

By Alex P. Vidal

NEW YORK CITY -- The last time I interviewed Foreign Affairs Secretary Alan Peter Cayetano was when he graced the Philippine Independence Day celebration in June 2015 at the Philippine Consulate on Fifth Avenue.
He was then a senator and was interested to run for vice president of the Philippines.
He did run and lost to Rep. Leni Robredo who also beat second placer, former Senator Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr.
Cayetano, who ran under PDP-Laban standard bearer Rodrigo Roa Duterte, spoke about the plight of overseas Filipino workers (OFW), the Philippine economy,  and against graft and corruption.
When he spoke during the United Nations General Assembly on September 23, we heard a different Alan Peter Cayetano.
He wanted to convince the 72nd Edition of UNGA's General Debate that the Philippine government "seeks to protect the human rights of peaceful law-abiding people" in the country's battle against corruption, crime and illegal drugs.


Cayetano said: “The Philippines integrates the human rights agenda in its development initiatives for the purpose of protecting everyone, especially the most vulnerable, from lawlessness, violence, and anarchy."
The very principle of "responsibility to protect" must encompass the vast majority of peaceful law-abiding people who must be protected from those who are not, Cayetano explained.
He added that as a "responsible leader", President Rodrigo Roa Duterte, launched a vigorous campaign against the illegal drug trade “to save lives, preserve families, protect communities and stop the country’s slide into a narco-state, adding that the campaign was never an instrument to violate any individual’s or group’s human rights.
As of August 2017, the drug trade had penetrated at least 24,848 barangays. This is 59 per cent of the total of 42,036 of the smallest government units spanning the country’s archipelago.
The former senator said the Philippines have also discovered the intimate and symbiotic relationship between terrorism vis-a-vis poverty and the illegal drug trade.
These terrorists, he said, were somehow able to bring together an assortment of extremists, criminals, mercenaries and foreign fighters who attempted to take control of Marawi. The national armed forces will regain full control of Marawi from Islamic State-inspired terrorists.


On regionalism, the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, or ASEAN, has overcome the divisions, fears, and hostilities of the past, forging regional cooperation in promoting growth, development, and peaceful settlement of disputes, Cayetano said.
Here's part of Cayetano's speech:
"Mr. President, Excellencies, The path to peace must be walked with patience. To achieve any purpose with others--be they powers or people, patience is needed. The opposite of patience is impatience--the cause and aggravation of conflict.  
"Someone said that 'Talk, talk is better than war, war.' Listening is even better than talking. We must listen to others more than we listen to ourselves. Hopefully we know what we are talking about. But others may know what we do not. We can learn only if we stop talking, and listen. 
"We may think we know how others can do things better than they’ve done it. Maybe our way is more efficient. But the time gained by that efficiency will be time lost convincing others that our way is better, rather than a compromise between our way and theirs. 
"Real change in the world order necessitates cooperation. Nothing affecting others can be undertaken without their willing involvement, without getting their agreement on the purpose and manner of it. Achieving a shared purpose beyond any single one’s ability requires cooperation. 
"But how else can we get cooperation if not with the patience to explain why it is needed--and the equal patience to listen. 


"This is why we have the United Nations, the largest cooperative endeavor in human history. We use the UN to speak out but equally also to listen. And somehow arrive at a consensus, or at least a modus vivendi on how to proceed--in peace and therefore with a greater prospect of progress. 
"The theme for this year’s session--“Focusing on people: striving for peace and a decent life for all on a sustainable planet”--captures a promise that everyone who has stood here vowed to fulfill for his people, and the rest of the peoples of the United Nations, as the Preamble of the Charter puts it. 
"Yet, after 72 years, while much has been achieved, much more has to be done. The promise is still very much a work in progress.
"We, the peoples of the United Nations, battle new threats that undermine such success as we’ve achieved, and frustrate further progress in peace, development and human rights--the three pillars of the United Nations."

Friday, September 22, 2017

Pacquiao's protege vies for Jakarta pool cup

By Alex P. Vidal

NEW YORK CITY -- The protege of Sen. Manny Pacquiao is one of the 128 players from all over the world invited to participate in the 2017 Ketua DPRD DKI 10-Ball Open Tournament on September 24-October 1 in Jakarta, Indonesia.
Pacquiao (middle) with Grace and Michael
Michael Angelo Feliciano, 32, will attempt to bring home the championship trophy in the absence of his teammates, led by former world 9-ball champion Efren "Bata" Reyes.
"Senator Pacquiao has been very supportive of Michael and is hoping that he will give his rivals a run for their money," reported Grace Precious Tambasin, Michael's wife.
Tambasin said Michael earned the Jakarta berth by virtue of his second place finish to Kokoy Villafuerte in the "Handicapping 1st Balls Championship" sponsored by the senator, who is a former world boxing champion.
The Jakarta Cup has a format of elimination round race to seven double elimination break with the top 32 players racing to nine single elimination alternate break.
There will be a final race to 11 alternative break and the Harmony Billiards 10 Balls rules will be applied.
The champion goes home with $10,000 plus trophy; first runner-up $4,000 plus trophy; second runner-up $2,000 plus trophy; third runner-p $1,000 plus trophy; fifth to eight places $750 each; 9th to 16th places $500 each; and 17th to 32nd places $250 each.

Sunday, September 17, 2017

Pinoy NM captures New York Rapid Open title

By Alex P. Vidal

-- The long drought is finally over for Mario Lawsin Rebano, a Philippine national master (NM), who captured the 17th Chess-in-the-Park Rapid Open at the Bethesda Fountain in Central Park September 16.
Rebano, 52, who has been playing in US tournaments since 2014, finally nailed his first major win by trouncing FIDE Master Igor Shneider in a French Defense in the sixth and final round of the Swiss System tournament.

Rebano (USCF 2094), a victim of super tyhoon in Leyte four years ago, logged five wins and one draw.
He handled the white pieces against the top-seeded Shneider (USCF 2357), who started to get ralled in the middle game after the Filipino NM made a crucial knight sacrifice on the enemy's king side.
"Finally I nailed it," quipped Rebano, an engineer and former warehouse manager in the Philippines. "I dedicate this victory to my adviser, Dr. Gil Asoy, who supported me morally and otherwise even when I was campaigning in the Philippines."
On his way to the championship, Rebano, who is based in New Jersey, walloped Adrian Joaquin, Jarrett Gaymon, Janell Warner, Ernest Colding. He drew with Diante Davis in the fifth round.
His next target is the Philadelphia Open next year where he will play in the 2200-Under category.
"Sana tuloy tuloy na ito (I hope this victory will continue)," Rebano said.

Sunday, September 10, 2017

Incredible Sloane

"I think that tennis is only a game. You can lose. You can win. After that? In life, there are much more important things than tennis."
--Rafael Nadal

By Alex P. Vidal

-- I mistook Sloane Stephens for Venus Williams because of her attire the night she ousted Williams in the semifinal.
They were almost identical except for their muscles in the arms and legs--and the way the responded to cheers from the crowd.
Williams, a two-time champin, was the favorite although both are Americans.
And when Stephens bundled out the highly-touted Williams, I thought she would breeze her way to the US Open title.
On Saturday night, Stephens, 24, did pocket the US Open, trouncing Madison Keys in the final, 6-3, 6-0.
By winning the title in a dominant fashion, Stephens also earned her first ever Major title.


Although she entered as an unseeded player, Stephens put away Anastasija Sevastova, Julia Goerges, Ashleigh Barty, Dominika Cibulkova, Roberta Vinci, Venus Williams, and Keys en route to the championship at the Artur Ashe Stadium.
Stephens did not walk in the park in the first set of her duel with Keys which was close. Keys held serve on her first two games.
Stephens took the first set, 6-3, scoring a break in the fifth game and then again in the ninth game.
After that, things didn’t open up any for Keys as Stephens held to open the second set, broke Keys, held again, and things weren’t necessarily competitive from there.
Keys lost one break with a double fault in the second set, and though she held on for as long as she could in her final service game, it wasn’t enough.


Stephens actually hit fewer winners than Keys overall but only had six unforced errors, significantly less than Keys’ final tally of 30. Stephens had just 10 winners to Keys’ 18 and hit no aces while Keys had three. James Brady observed that Keys didn’t manage a single break in her three attempts though, while Stephens converted on five of 12.
Making her first appearance in a Grand Slam final, Keys, 22, made it to the fInal by whipping Kaia Kanepi in the quarterfinals and then CoCo Vandeweghe in the semifinal. Keys he had made it to the Australian Open semifinals once before, her previous best performance at a Grand Slam.
Stephens, 24, was also making her first appearance in a Grand Slam final. She made it to the final by beating the heavy favorite Williams. Stephens made it past Williams with an incredible third set performance.

Wednesday, September 6, 2017

Mabilog quo vadis?

Persecution is the first law of society because it is always easier to suppress criticism than to meet it."
--Howard Mumford Jones

By Alex P. Vidal

NEW YORK CITY -- What I can see in the next chapter of the "most shabulized city" saga is embattled Iloilo City Mayor Jed Patrick Mabilog walking ten feet tall and vindicated.
The events that will unfold--or has already unfolded--in the next days and weeks will prove that God is not sleeping and will never abandon the Ilonggos who have been equally tormented by the unfair and unworthy tag on their city.
The most persecuted local chief executive in the world will himself see the light at the end of the dark tunnel unmolested.
Except for cussing and denunciation from his accusers led by President Duterte, no charges have been filed against him; no concrete evidence has been put forward to back their allegations of "narco-politics."
Once Mabilog hurdles this acid test in his personal and political life, he will be a stronger person. The persecution must have been designed by the Divine Providence in order to prepare him for a bigger role and battle in society.
With the all-out support of the Ilonggos and his family, Mabilog will finally overcome all the obstacles and weather the storm.


The decision of wife Marivic and their children to stay away and avoid the heat was a wise move. Even their critics will agree that they needed to secure themselves first as they're up against a formidable opponent who can make life difficult for them.
So let us not begrudge Mabilog's Ilonggo critics who air their sentiments and support President Duterte's drive to weed out illegal drugs in the metropolis and those responsible for their proliferation.
I may not agree with some of their sardonic comments, especially in the social media, but I will defend to death their rights to express them.
Some of Mabilog's Ilonggo bashers were actually his former allies and friends in the social and political circles. Although passions may have strained when Mabilog's power and authority accelerated, at the end of the day, they may still have the best intentions for Mabilog and the splendid City of Love despite their belligerence.
Mabilog has proven to all and sundry that he isn't vindictive. He can just shrug off the nightmare he has experienced from the Duterte administration.
It's normal to get hurt when the cannonball is aimed at our direction, but in a free society we need opposition; we need critics.


There must be some paladins willing to swat the mosquitos. The bedrock of democracy lies in the freedom of speech and expression.
We should worry more on the President's rigmarole and aggressive fusillades against the hapless Mabilog.
He may not be a holy man, but the flaks Mabilog has been absorbing all these past months were full of loopholes and inaccuracy.
If they were not half truths, they were downright hogwash pelted with hateful utterances.
Despite Mabilog's docility, Presidente Duterte remained stern, unyielding, and unmoved by prayers and sacrifices.
You can't fight city hall, but when the President groans, even the spirits in the River Styx capitulate.
Like Hades, who allowed Sisyphus to return to earth long enough to arrange his own funeral, Duterte wanted to condemn Mabilog to the underworld to forever roll a boulder uphill.
One morning when Mabilog wakes up, it's back to normal. Life must go on with or without politics.

Saturday, September 2, 2017

Could Ynion have stood to defend Mayor Mabilog?

"One of the penalties for refusing to participate in politics is that you end up being governed by your inferiors."

By Alex P. Vidal

NEW YORK CITY -- We are now tempted to think that one of the biggest mistakes committed by the Ilonggos was they did not elect businessman and journalist Rommel Ynion when he wanted to serve as city councilor in 2016.
If Ynion, a vocal and frank person, were member of the city council when "the most shabulized city" furor erupted, would he just collect his salary and fart in silence while attending the regular sessions?
By being part of the city government, Ynion would be duty-bound to speak out his mind and contribute in the debates that involved the Ilonggo heritage, values, religion, education, and morality.
Could he have stood to defend erstwhile foe Mabilog when the latter was tagged as coddler of narcotics? No one can tell.
But definitely, he isn't the type who will kick someone already crawling on all four, bloodied and bruised.


Ynion would have aimed his arrow at Mabilog over local issues, or on matters that affected governance and services to the hoi polloi; or, he could take potshots at some of Mabilog's deals and projects in the level of check and balance as an opposition. At least that's his campaign promise.
Assuming he was now a city councilor and a PDP-Laban stalwart to boot, but did not believe the President's tag on Mabilog as coddler of drug traffickers lock, stock, and barrel, Ynion could distance himself from the issue for the sake of delicadeza, or eschewed Mabilog (but not endeavor to help put his life at risk) so as not to displease the most powerful man in Malacanang. 
Although Ynion lost to Mabilog in the 2013. mayoral contest, he gamely swallowed his pride to gun for a seat in the local legislative body instead of fortifying his forces for a rematch with reelectionist Mabilog.
After the 2013 debacle, Ynion probably became a pragmatist and did not want to commit the blunder made by other aspirants for city mayor who suffered two consecutive setbacks in two consecutive elections to the incumbent.


Even if Ynion is in the other side of the political fence, he and Mabilog have their own 38th Parallel, a focal point they maintained mutually but unofficially after the fierce 2013 rivalry.
Mabilog's Liberal Party (LP) slate in Iloilo City didn't sweep the race in the city council in 2016 after opposition reelectionists Joshua Alim and Plaridel Nava secured the two slots.
But, que horror, where was Ynion? Having been a prominent participant in the previous elections' major league, he was supposed to smoothly walk away with a spot in the top five. That's logical and palatable.
But local politics has always been cruel and truculent.
Either Ynion elected not to campaign ferociously, or the Ilonggos were only amnesiac that they couldn't appreciate a nibble of the man's economic, social, and political platforms when he was aspiring for city mayor three years earlier.
It's water under the bridge at any rate.