Inside Page | Fernan A. Gianan:

A discriminatory ordinance?

Congratulations to the newly crowned Mutya ng Virac 2022, Khate Audrey Castin of barangay San Pedro, and her court: 1st runner-up Cyra Kaye Tuazon of Valencia, 2nd runner-up Shiela Mary Suplig of Calatagan Proper, 3rd runner-up Erika Cometa of Magnesia Del Norte, and 4th runner-up Lineth Mae Sarmiento of Sta. Cruz.

Tuazon was the pick of the local media for the Darling of the Press award, which was given during the pageant night by Radyo Natin’s Rey Boton.

The other nine candidates were Kris Kaye Visaya of Calatagan Proper, Jeihla Marie Valeza of Calatagan Tibang, Josie Fe Cudilla of Magnesia del Norte, Judea Samonte of Cavinitan, Alliah Jane Tabios of San Vicente, Krizsa Rae Ariate of Marcelo Alberto, France Ingrid Valderama of San Isidro Village, Angela Mae Maliñana of San Juan and Mhaica Mae Avila of Sta. Cruz.

The Board of Judges was composed of Atty. Francis Harvey S. Rodulfo, Star Lumbao, Evan Tabuzo, Marie Marla Chua, Nathan Balico, Maricel Bonavente, Mike Teves, Merly Rodriguez, Dr. Arman Jefferson Espinola, Jelly Cevallos Botabara, PBM Jose Sonny Francisco, Jane Arcilla, and Maria Cleofe R. Laynes.

The long-running pageant was organized by the Mutya ng Virac, Inc. headed by businessman Frank Boñales.


According to a source, the Nov. 29, 2022 groundbreaking for the San Andres fire station building in barangay Belmonte was inserted in the program of activities in the celebration of the town fiesta in anticipation of the arrival of DILG Secretary Benhur Abalos, who was advertised as guests along with his father, Mandaluyong Mayor Benjamin Abalos Jr. and the entire city council.

It was not supposed to be done that day, as the bidding for the project was held only on Thursday, Dec. 1.

The typical, two-storey BFP building costing about P10 million will be built on 500-square meters of land donated by the San Andres local government.


With the resumption of the annual Christmas Cheers at Plaza Rizal in Virac after a two-year hiatus due to the pandemic, there is interest in revisiting Municipal Resolution No. 2019-11-371, which enacted Municipal Ordinance No. 2019-17, “Regulating the Conduct of Annual Food Bazaar Activity at Virac Town Plaza in the Municipality of Virac and for Other Purposes.”

Sponsored by five councilors at the time, three of whom are no longer members of the Sanggunian, the ordinance specifically targeted the long-running Cheers without directly naming it.

Instead, the honorable sponsors only said that “the LGU Virac allows the food bazaar in celebration of Christmas Season” as a customary practice in the municipality.

The measure provided details of the designated area, booth assignments, security services, and even the duration, specifically limiting it to the period Dec. 10 to the first Sunday of January, the time when the Cheers is usually conducted.

Section 9 authorized the municipal mayor to grant a special permit to the food bazaar vendors, who are residents and bonafide voters of Virac, with the cost of the special permit to be paid directly to the Municipal Treasurer’s Office.

What separates Ordinance 2019-17 from similar measures is that it regulates only a specific period within the year, which could be discerned as discriminatory against the Cheers, and does not specify the amount of the special permit fee to be paid to the MTO.

Is it therefore right to presume that food bazaars to be held outside said period would be free? Is it legal for the local chief executive or the MTO to charge a fee, however high, for the special permit when in act the ordinance did not state the amount to be collected?


BED FOR THE NIGHT. A salesman stopped at an isolated farmhouse to see if he could get a bed for the night.

“Sure,” said the farmer, “but you must share the bed with my daughter and you mustn’t bother her.”

The man agreed and went upstairs. As he slipped into bed, he felt the body of the farmer’s daughter next to him.

The next morning, he went to pay the farmer for his night’s stay.

“Your daughter was very cold,” said the salesman as he handed over the money.

“Yes,” replied the farmer, “we’re burying her today.”

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