Senatorial candidate Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos arrived at the Ilocos Sur airport Saturday afternoon to a warm welcome from hundreds of his fellow Ilokanos who cheered him as he stepped down from the plane that flew in from Manila. After mingling with the crowd briefly, he boarded a vehicle that took him around the streets of Vigan at the head of a motorcade. Thousands of people lined the streets to wave and catch a glimpse of their favorite “son” from the North. Political surveys have indicated that he is top on the list of voters not only from the provinces of Ilocos Norte and Sur, but also in the provinces that make up the much vaunted “solid north” that observers have said has comeback to life with a vengeance and a solid support not seen since the late President Marcos tapped it in his first bid for the Presidency. After the motorcade,he stepped down from the car to walk the famous cobbled streets in the center of Vigan where thousands of people swarmed around him trying to have pictures taken with this “homegrown” political celebrity. He then made his way to a waiting press conference at a mall where he answered questions relating to his campaign by members of the local tri-media. He told them he lamented the way the national campaign has deteriorated into a mud-slinging war where people can no longer sift through the lies and black propaganda of which he said he has become a prime target by some small groups that are paranoid at the prospect of a Marcos who is a true oppositionist in the Senate.
Then, it was off to the city’s gargantuan stadium where a colossal crowd estimated at about 150,000 to 200,000 people gathered to listen to the final appeals of the Nationalista party’s standard bearer, Manny Villar and his Vice Presidential candidate Loren Legarda together with their Senatorial slate and host of the province, Governor Chavit Singson. The speeches were interspersed with pulsating song and dance numbers from the immensely popular “Wowowee” production. Bongbong spoke to the crowd mostly about why a Villar presidency was imperative to ensure real progress and poverty alleviation in the coming years ahead. It culminated with the irrepressible and phenomenal Willie Revillame raising the hands of Villar, Singson, Bongbong and the rest of the Nationalista party’s candidates that included Legarda, Miriam Santiago, Tamano, Remulla, Ople, and Querubin’s son. It was an elaborate production built around the popular Revillame, his entourage of talents backstage and onstage, and the top Nationalista Party candidates; this, held a week before the coming historical first time automated elections. For Senatorial candidate Bongbong Marcos, it was a final show of support from the people of Ilocos Sur in these last days before the elections that could bring another Ferdinand Marcos into the Senate fifty years after his father was first elected to the same post. And for Vigan, it was an evening that the people of Ilocos Sur and it’s surrounding provinces will talk about and remember for a long time to come. WOWOWEE!!