TAGAYTAY CITY – A warm welcome has been laid out in this cool getaway today for Mayor Rodrigo Duterte and running mate Sen. Alan Peter Cayetano.
Monobloc chairs have neatly been arranged at the 2,000-seat Sigtuna open hall where today’s event is slated.
Like all of Duterte’s previous engagements, a blockbuster is expected in Tagaytay today as organizers leave no stone unturned for the visit of the Philippines’ political rock star.
Senatorial candidate and undisputed Tagaytay political kingpin Francis Tolentino is also expected to grace the event.
Duterte has endorsed Tolentino’s senatorial bid.
Tagaytay Vice Mayor Celso de Castro will give the welcome address and introduce Cayetano.
Cayetano in turn will introduce Duterte as soon as he arrives by 3 pm. The senator was unable to make it to their previous engagement in Coron, Palawan but is expected to make it this time.
“Takbo” composer Jimmy Bondoc and Gail Blanco will lead the performers in the MAD (Musicians and Artists for Duterte) For Change concert at the same venue.
Bondoc composed “Takbo” to prod Duterte to run and was uploaded on Oct. 15, a day before the deadline in the filing of certificates for candidacy.
Local bands will also spice up the concert which is set to start at 2 pm, joining the growing number of musicians who have come out openly to declare their support for Duterte and Cayetano.
Early Sunday morning, personnel and volunteers were already busy preparing the venue which is inside the sprawling Tagaytay International Convention Center.
“Anong oras ang dating n’ya (What time is he arriving)?” asked a maintenance crew while putting the sound system in place.
A delivery man jumped out of his vehicle to inquire if the event was open to the public, declaring his intention to bring his wife with him.
The flurry of activity did not seem to deter a team of sweepers to ask for the signature Duterte ballers.
It is clear that the cool breeze in the popular resort city does not reflect the warm welcome that awaits the Duterte-Cayetano visit.
The “Rod” show is gearing up for the main event. | Chito Fuentes