Rockingham, North Carolina—I was right about my assessment that the Emano family would reclaim their bailiwick of Tagoloan town while reasserting their position as a dominant political force in Misamis Oriental in the just concluded 2022 elections.
The people of my hometown of Tagoloan voted their second female mayor in Atty. Nadia Emano, the daughter of the late Tagoloan mayor, Misamis Oriental governor and Cagayan de Oro City mayor Vicente ‘Dongkoy’ Emano.
She won by a commanding lead of nearly 7,000 thousand votes over the incumbent mayor and now outgoing local chief executive Enan Sabio, who held the position for a mere one term or three years.
It is said that no self-respecting politician can run for public office without his or her own bailiwick. A bailiwick can mean an area or large enough group that can muster some serious voter support for the prospective candidate. In the case of the Emanos, it’s Tagoloan town. After the death of their father, Nadia and returning Misamis Oriental second district congressman Yevgeny ‘Bambi’ Emano made good on their respective bids along with Cagayan de Oro City second district councilor Ivy Emano.
I was already in the US for nearly a decade when I learned that the much vaunted Emano family’s bet for Tagoloan mayor lost to Enan Sabio three years ago. Sabio’s victory was an insult that stung and chipped at the seemingly dominant hold of the Emanos not only in their bailiwick but also in Misamis Oriental. I watched from a distance and hoped that Sabio would turn things around for Tagoloan but alas, it wasn’t meant to be.
I credited Sabio, then a barangay captain in Natumolan, for improving the garbage collection and water supply in the area. But being a first-time mayor. Sabio didn’t have the support of the municipal council or the Sangguniang Bayan. He’s a captain without a crew and his crew is heading into different directions.
It is said that Sabio only managed to secure a modicum of support from Misamis Oriental 1st District Congresswoman Juliet Uy in his last two years of office. Sabio should have been forewarned that his record and performance as mayor would be used as a springboard by the Emanos for their ‘return of the comeback’ to use a popular Pinoy slang expression.
Still Sabio can be consoled by the fact that he once did win over an Emano candidate, a previously unthinkable scenario among Tagoloanons. But Tagoloanons wanted and demanded more and during the pandemic, their expectations along with Tagoloan’s government response fell flat on their faces.
That said, the Emanos and their Padayon Pilipino camp are not so invincible that they cannot be defeated at all. But it would take something like another pandemic or crisis to bring the people to question whether the Emanos still deserve the mandate they gave to them. And incoming mayor Nadia should prove that they chose right and that Tagoloanons should get their vote’s worth from her.
So I end this piece by congratulating Mayor Nadia Emano anew and God willing, I may post some of my thoughts on the just concluded national and local elections. ‘Till then, have a good day mga higala.