Supporters from outside Davao flock Duterte’s thanksgiving party

Jun. 05, 2016
Crocodile Park Crowd 2

The Davao City Police Office estimates that there are more or less 500,000 people during the One Love, One Nation thanksgiving party for President-elect Rodrigo Duterte. (Ace R. Morandante/

By May Anne Love Deseo

DAVAO CITY—Not only Davaoeños, but people from provinces outside the city, attended the thanksgiving celebration for President-elect Rodrigo Duterte at the Davao Crocodile Park on Saturday, June 4.

Engineer Marlyn Dacubor, 56, a resident of Misamis Oriental has been a “die-hard fan” of Duterte even before he decided to run in the elections.

Along with eight other co-workers, Dacubor arrived at the venue by 6:00 am, on Saturday after staying the night at the terminal where they dropped off.

She said that although they prepared for the activity financially, when they arrived in the city they could not find a lodge that the eight of them could stay in.

They immediately went to the People’s Park, which they coined as “Duterte’s Park,” only to find out that the venue was at Davao Crocodile Park.

“Niabot mi diri, 6:00 am. Diri nalang pud mi nangita og pagkaon (We arrived here at 6:00 am and we also looked for something to eat here),” she said.

She added that it has been her “heart’s desire” to be part of the president-elect’s victory.

“I’m so thankful that my desire to really be at his thanksgiving has been fulfilled,” she said.

At the event, Marlyn and her workmates chose to stay away from the crowd because she said she needed to consider her health situation.

Aron Nocete, 53, originally from Sasa, Davao City, and now a resident of Cagayan de Oro City, arrived past 6:00 pm with his wife and two grandchildren.

He said they figured to come late and pass by the incoming President’s home to take photos since they were sure that Duterte would not arrive in the daytime.

He said that although he would only participate in ‘motorcades’ in support to the President, his being there even far away from the stage is still an act of support.

“Bahala na dili nato makita gyud (ang stage), at least nag-participate gihapon nga nakasulod diri tutal maka picture-picture man (It does not matter if we can’t really see the stage, at least we’re still participating, besides, we can take pictures),” he said.

Aron said for them it was not a struggle to arrive at the venue, not having to commute. He said he felt sorry for the those who had to walk towards where the festivities took place, however adding that the people did not look tired because it was their choice.

Meanwhile, 50-year old Baler Simugan, a resident of Brokenshire Wireless, opposed by saying that his attendance in the event was no longer a gesture of support to the President, rather a thanksgiving that he already won.

Baler said he has been a supporter of Duterte even before he ran as president, and that he is “one with the people” in being thankful that the candidate he supported is the incoming President.

The thanksgiving party dubbed, “DU31: One Love, One Nation” had a crowd estimate of 500,000, according to Davao City Police Office.

Before he gave his speech, Duterte played a song by Filipino artist Freddie Aguilar “Para sa Tunay na Pagbabago Duterte”. (

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