HUNDREDS of thousands of people trooped to Quezon City on Wednesday morning to join the BBM-Sara UniTeam caravan, magnifying the people power strength of the tandem in Metro Manila and reinforcing the survey results showing they were leading the race in Metro Manila, among other regions.
The motorcade was a show of force of the supporters of presidential aspirant Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos, Jr. and his running mate Davao City Mayor Inday Sara Duterte, the team to beat in next year’s elections.
Traffic was stalled along major thoroughfares in the city where the snail-paced caravan passed by, but instead of being annoyed, motorists and passers-by eagerly waited for the vehicle that was carrying Marcos and Duterte and zealously honked, while crowds chanted “Bongbong-Sara!”
A magnificent sea of humanity came in their trademark red and green T-shirts, but thousands of Angkas and Joy Ride riders clad in blue, not to be outdone, took a day off to join the historic event.
Taxi drivers and other public utility vehicle drivers also stopped plying their routes temporarily and patiently waited for the motorcade. Some people were seen standing by on footbridges, while others stood on top of vehicles to have a clearer view of Marcos and Duterte.
Sirens of firefighters and marching bands playing along the route dominated the festive mood, with the BBM-Sara UniTeam the hot ticket of the day.
Even heartwarming were the people who lined-up on the streets waving the Philippine flag and shouting on top of their lungs, “Marcos Pa Rin, Marcos Pa Rin!” in unison, a slogan made famous by supporters of Bongbong’s father in the 80s.
The five-hour motorcade began along Commonwealth Avenue in front of the Commission on Audit (COA) and ended at Welcome Rotonda, but the impact of the event, which was the signature mass reception laid down by the BBM-Sara UniTeam in their sorties in other parts of the country, proved monumental.
“Lakasan natin ang ating sigaw ng ating sinasabi na ipagpatuloy ang pagkakaisa ng Pilipinas. Ang pagpili po ninyo kay Marcos at Duterte ay boto ninyo para sa pagkakaisa, para sa pa mas mabuti at mas magandang kinabukasan ng ating bansa,” Marcos told his supporters.
Marcos Jr., who won hands down in Quezon City during his vice presidential bid in 2016, is expected to dominate the presidential race in Metro Manila and other vote-rich regions.
A 72-year old man who was watching the caravan along Quezon Avenue was on the verge of tears as he reminisced the days when he was a rabid Marcos Sr. supporter.
“Akala ko hindi ko na makikita ulit ang ganitong klaseng pagmamahal sa mga Marcos. Matutupad din ang aking pangarap na maging pangulo ang anak ng aking idolo na nangangarap ng tunay na pagkakaisa ng bayan,” Francisco Moral said between sobs.
Another senior citizen said, “They can never put a good man down.”
“Kahit anong paninira nila kay Bongbong ay hindi sila magtatagumpay. Imbes na mabawasan ang aming hanay ay lalo lang kaming dumarami at nadadagdagan dahil mulat na ang mga tao na ang lahat ng mga bintang ng kalaban ay pawang kasinungalingan lang,” the elderly said.
“Sabi nila People Power daw ang nagpaalis sa mga Marcos noon, malinaw ngayon na People Power din ang magluluklok kay Bongbong Marcos bilang ating susunod na pangulo,” he added.
Meanwhile, Atty. Vic Rodriguez, Marcos’s chief of staff and spokesperson, thanked Mayor Joy Belmonte and other city officials, the caravan organizers, and the residents, regardless of their political belief, for their support.
Rodriguez also apologized to the motorists and the MMDA for the traffic the event created “because we never anticipated that the carefully laid down preparation exerted by the organizers will be overwhelmed by the massive number of supporters who graced the occasion.”