The leaves of the mango tree outside a cream-colored house in Rosario Street, Bacolod City hardly moved.
There was nary a breeze.
Inside the house, Evelio Leonardia, a lawyer, heard the news about his defeat.
It was 1998. Summer.
There was no big talk yet of global warming but the country was feeling the heat of the extended dry season.
The El Niño as it was called.
Across the Philippines, temperatures soared, crops wilted, people died, some from eating ill-prepared wild yam, according to 1998 reports of relief NGOs.
It was like
It was also the first time for Leonardia, popularly known as “Bing” to experience a defeat, one that shaped his political endurance and longevity.
The summer of 2019 also saw the mercury soaring as heatwaves struck across the globe. During this long, searing summer, the state weather bureau reported record highs.
Leonardia won by 144,776 votes over his lone rival, lawyer Jocelle Batapa-Sigue. Previously an independent councilor, Sigue ran under the banner of Leonardia’s political nemesis, Monico Puentevella
His publicists say this is the highest number of votes garnered by a mayoral candidate in Bacolod City.
A historic first.
Apart from what his partisans call as an “overwhelming win,” Leonardia’s local political party, Grupo Progreso (Group for Progress) has also captured the most number of local elective posts in the city.
In part one of this three-part series, DNX will take a look at Leonardia, the first city mayor who rose from middle-class origins to become chief executive of the highly-urbanized city, once just a social hub and prime address of
In part two. How a middle-class mayor rose in the city that was once just a stopover for the sugar barons of Negros.