Baguio mobs force Teodoro to skip walk
By TJ Burgonio
Philippine Daily Inquirer
BAGUIO CITY—Mobs of revelers and mall-goers yesterday so overwhelmed administration standard-bearer Gilbert “Gibo” Teodoro that he was forced to skip an afternoon walk along Session Road at the closing ceremonies of the Panagbenga festival here.
Teodoro, his rivals for the presidency Senators Manuel Villar Jr. and Richard Gordon, and a host of senatorial and local candidates made their way to this mountain resort city for the annual flower festival.
“I’ll come back,” Teodoro, who has fond memories of summers spent in the city as a boy, told reporters in a briefing at a SM mall restaurant at noon.
People began converging at Burnham Park as early as 4 a.m. for the morning parade of floats, creating traffic gridlock on all roads leading to the park.
“Because of many people wanting to shake your hand and take pictures with you, it took me an hour to get to my car and 30 minutes to get to this restaurant,” Teodoro said.
In the morning, the presidential candidate of the ruling Lakas-Kampi-CMD party walked through thick crowds to get to the trade fair at Burnham Park, and later to the Athletic Field where the parade of floats ended.
Along the way, revelers, including tourists, pressed his hand, posed for pictures, or asked for an autograph. “Mr. President, Mr. President,” someone called out to him.
Teodoro took his time with the crowds, chatting up some of the people in Ilocano.
At the Athletic Field, Teodoro watched the parade of floats from a stage. He was joined by reelectionist Senators Ramon Revilla Jr. and Lito Lapid.
Teodoro then proceeded to the SM mall, where the people swarmed around him, clicking away cameras and jostling to shake his hand.
“They were very warm,” he said, but acknowledged that because of the crowd “the schedule has run a little late.”
Teodoro was scheduled to walk along Session Road to the public market and then to Melvin Jones Park at 1:30 p.m. but skipped it. He instead called on Bishop Carlito Cenzo at the Baguio Cathedral and rested in the afternoon.
He said this was his third festival.
“I’m confident of winning here,” he added.