THOUSANDS WELCOME GMA IN MAMMOTH FESTIVE DAVAO CITY RALLY
DAVAO CITY, OCTOBER 31, 2003 (STAR) By Edith Regalado - Thousands of Davao City residents welcomed President Arroyo in a mammoth rally that signaled for many the start of the political season here.
Over 15,000 Davaoeños gathered at the Freedom Park here on Wednesday afternoon for a multi-sectoral rally that also caused monstrous traffic jams in downtown Davao as several streets were blocked off for security reasons.
Red, blue and white balloons were released into the air as the President went up the stage while giant streamers bearing "DC is 4 GMA" and "We love GMA" were conspicuously displayed not only at the rally site but all over the city.
A festive mood also prevailed during the rally as hundreds of participants, donning ethnic attire, danced holding wooden shields marked "GMA" in bold colors.
Loud chants of "GMA, GMA" were heard all throughout the rally whose participants, mostly coming from the poblacion barangays, were reportedly recipients of an earlier distribution of land titles.
The President also wowed the crowd with her facility in the Visayan language which she learned during her childhood in Iligan City.
The President arrived here Wednesday for a three-day sortie that included a short trip to the towns of Mati and Cateel in Davao Oriental.
She noted in Visayan the countless times she visited Davao City: "Dose-dosena na samtang ako presidente ug kadaghang panahon samtang ako bise-presidente ug senador pa (I have come to Davao City for more than a dozen times already since I became president and for many times also when I was still vice president and even as I was still senator)."
The rally was reportedly organized by Mayor Rodrigo Duterte and Rep. Prospero Nograles.
After attending the National Anti-Poverty Commission board meeting and the Indigenous People’s Summit yesterday, the President is also expected to proceed today to Cagayan de Oro City to grace the 12th Mindanao Business Conference.
Reported by: Sol Jose Vanzi
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