Press Release
April 19, 2010

120,000 Dabaweños show up for Villar despite rains

DAVAO CITY - Occasional rains did not stop throngs of people estimated at 120,000 from showing their support to Nacionalista Party standard-bearer Manny Villar and the NP ticket during last Sunday's "Rockatropa Concert of Tropang Villar" with Wowowillie here.

The huge crowd stayed and braved the rain showers as they listened to Villar, his running mate Senator Loren Legarda and the NP senatorial slate deliver their messages of hope at the Agro Industrial Foundation College of the Philippines in Ecoland.

Clad in orange shirts, the mammoth crowd repeatedly chanted the names of the NP presidential bet and the other candidates at the start of the evening event.

Every time the names of their showbiz personalities were called to perform, people cheered, danced and clapped their hands as they surged toward the giant stage erected in the sprawling Agro field to take a closer look at their favorite celebrities. There was a festive mood everywhere.

Fifty-six-year-old Rosalinda Durante said she had to endure the almost two-hour travel from her house in Tagum City, only to see Villar in the flesh and shake his hand.

"Idol ko siya. Tuwang-tuwa ako sa kanya. Very inspiring ang kanyang talambuhay. Naniniwala akong kaya niya tayong iahon sa hirap. Kasi nagawa niya 'yon sa kanyang buhay kaya alam kong magagawa rin niya sa atin," said Durante who came to Davao City with her two grown-up daughters and two neighbors.

Her neighbor, Salvacion Dimarugso, 59, said she admires Villar because of his achievements in life. "Hindi ako naniniwala sa mga paninira sa kanya. Bakit naman nila pinagtutulungan si Villar? Dahil ba sa dati siyang mahirap, at ayaw nila ng presidente na nanggaling sa hirap?" asked Dimarugso as she chided those who are out to destroy Villar.

It was the second time the Tropang Villar went to Davao City. Last October, the Wowowillie offering by Villar and his staunch ally and endorser Willie Revillame, game show host of Wowowee, came to the city in time for the Kidapawan festival. The event was however halted due to heavy downpour.

But the candidates said they see Sunday's rains as "blessings" from heaven. They said it is a sign that they will emerge victorious in the May 2010 elections.

In his brief speech, Villar thanked Dabaweños for bearing with them for more than five hours although many were already drenched in the rain. Some of them changed their wet shirts with T-shirts and jackets tossed to them by the staff of candidates.

"Bilib na bilib po ako, na tayong mahihirap, lalo na yaong mga nanggaling sa probinsiya, sanay sa hirap kaya walang iwanan," stressed Villar in his speech which was met with wild applause by the overflowing crowd in the Agro field. He renewed his vow to end their poverty.

Villar, a poor boy from the slums of Tondo, rose from poverty to become one of the country's billionaires and greatest leaders. He established a housing empire and served as Speaker of the House of Representatives and Senate President with the highest satisfaction rating ever during those stints.

After his speech, Villar serenaded them with his heartwarming rendition of "Ikaw na nga," the famous song of Revillame.

The NP vice presidential bet and senatoriables composed of Miriam Defensor-Santiago, Gwen Pimentel, Susan "Toots" Ople, Gilbert Remulla, Ramon "Mon-Mon" Mitra, and Bongbong Marcos also asked Dabaweños to vote for them.

Satur Ocampo and jailed Col. Danny Querubin were represented by their sons Anto Ocampo and Martin Querubin, respectively. They also called on the people to support their fathers.

The other members of the Tropang Villar who provided Dabaweños a temporary respite from all their daily woes were boxing champ Manny Pacquiao, king of rap Andrew E., jukebox king April Boy Regino, TV host-actors Randy Santiago and John Estrada, sultry singers Jessa Zaragoza, Mae Rivera, Alynna, Aegis and actress Ara Mina, and 6cyle mind, among others.

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