Political rally at the Kalutan


THE “Kalutan ed Dalan” staged as a fitting climax to the Bangus Festival along A.B. Fernandez Avenue last April 30, turned into a virtual political rally for the LiFe team and its guests from the UniTeam.

All the candidates of LiFe team were seen on stage raising their hands waving to the crowd that gathered for the Kalutan Dagupan event that was held for the first time after two years because of the pandemic.

Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte, senatorial aspirant Robin Padilla were the special guests, who along with Mayor Brian Lim delivered their respective campaign speeches.

In sharp contrast, the Music and Arts Festival concert at CSI helipad and parking area in Lucao, the huge crowd was treated to continuous music by popular bands, without any hint that the political campaign period was on the homestretch.

As former Mayor Belen Fernandez promised, the musical event would not be an occasion for political campaign. Indeed, no candidate of the Team Belen-BK was seen on the stage.

Former Speaker Jose de Venecia Jr., his wife former Rep. Gina de Venecia and their son, Rep. Christopher de Venecia, were hosted by former Mayor Fernandez, stayed inside their tents with friends and guests.

The De Venecias were at the Kalutan ed Dalan to be with Mayor Duterte, but left shortly for the Music and Arts Festival concert after they reportedly felt snubbed by Mayor Lim and his mother.

Freshly grilled Bonuan bangus, barbecue, hot dogs, eggplant and okra were freely shared by the crowd at the concert.

The stage was reserved exclusively to the participating bands: LunarLights, Novita, Adie and Ben & Ben, including Sponge Cola that failed to perform because of the driving rains that drenched the spectators.

Also in attendance were Jayceekens led by Rex Catubig, Ernesto Go and Aster Fernandez who grilled their own milkfish and hot dogs to feast on during the concert.

It was past 10 p.m. when the 120,000 crowd had to be dispersed owing to the heavy rains.

The organizers of the festival ushered many of the concert spectators to the Stadia and some to the CSI City Mall to shield them from the rains. Seeing many of them drenched, members of the Belen-BK Team handed them a T-shirt each to change their wet clothes.

When the rains stopped, hundreds more spectators from the Kalutan event arrived to join the concert but organizers decided not to continue and not risk welfare of the crowd that was drenched.

Instead, Fernandez vowed that the Arts and Music Festival will be a permanent regular event in Dagupan. (Leonardo Micua)

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