‘Jamjam Baronda will run for reelection100 percent’

By Alex P. Vidal

“I think I might as well give up being a candidate. There are so many people in the country who don’t like me.”— William Howard Taft

WE won’t speculate until hearing Iloilo City lone district Rep. Julienne “Jamjam” Baronda (National Unity Party) make an official announcement herself whether she will seek a third and final term or step aside to pave the way for the chirpy Raisa Maria Lourdes Treñas-Chu or Raisa Treñas, daughter of Iloilo City mayor Geronimo “Jerry” Treñas.

“But Congresswoman Jamjam (Rep. Julienne Baronda) will run 100 percent, Alex,” a former punong barangay from Mandurriao district currently active in city hall politics informed us. “While Jerry (Mayor Geronimo Treñas) was busy selling hard Raisa to barangay leaders to be the probable candidate (for congress), Congresswoman Jamjam was busy going around the different barangays silently.”

The former punong barangay, who have relatives holding appointive positions in City Hall, said “members of the entire Baronda family have been busy moving around, too, fueling speculations Congresswoman Jamjam isn’t throwing the white flag yet contrary to what others are thinking.”

A senior lady political observer, meanwhile, told this writer, “I still like Jamjam kay nagayuhum siya kag ginakamusta sang mga tawo. Si Raisa iya daw gina pilit lang ang yuhum. One time I was introduced to both Raisa and Jay (former city councilor Jay Treñas, 2013 to 2022) daw wala gani gana mag sapak sa imo. Gina pilit lang ni Jeeree bata ya pero sa charisma pierdihon sia ni Jamjam.”

(I still like Jamjam because she smiled while the people shook her hands. Raisa could hardly smile naturally. When I was introduced to both Raisa and Jay Treñas once, they seemed lukewarm to me. Jerry is only pushing for his daughter but in terms of charisma, Jamjam is a lot better.)

The senior lady political observer, a retired government employee, added, “May pondo na si Jamjam (Rep. Julienne Baronda) naka duha na siya ka term. May organization naman sia. Indi ina basta lang nga maatras siya. I believe she will run again even against Raisa.”

(Jamjam now has the financial resources having serve already for two terms. She also has the organization. It’s not easy for her to just decide not to seek reelection. I believe she will run again against Raisa.)


All the Ilonggos have heard and read about the issue, so far, was Treñas’ breezy announcement in a press conference attended by Raisa and Uswag partylist Rep. James “Jojo” Ang more than a week ago that the city mayor’s brief meeting with Baronda had “averted what could have been an ugly encounter” in the next election.

Treñas was trying to tell all and sundry he was able to somehow “neutralize” the reticent Baronda who even reportedly thanked him for supporting the lady solon in her two previous successful congressional clashes against the late Atty. Joshua Alim and Dr. Perla Zulueta in 2019, and former mayor Jose “Joe III” Espinosa in 2022.

In the same breath, Treñas revealed “at least 100 percent of the barangay captains” have given their assurances to support Raisa, who holds a degree in political economy and has been working alongside Ang in various community outreach programs advocated by Uswag partylist.

After reading my article about Raisa as being a potential “Iloilo political star,” another former punong barangay in Jaro assured this writer in a private message, “Raisa is really good.”

A former city hall department chief who is now a corporate executive, said, “Raisa is slightly ahead when she and (Representative) Jamjam will debate, but let’s admit it, (Representative) Jamjam is more charismatic. When it comes to campaign funds and organization, the political kingmaker, of course, is way ahead.”

The die is cast in as far as the complete lineup is concerned for the 2025 local election from representative (Raisa)-city mayor (Treñas)-vice mayor (Vice Mayor Jeffrey Ganzon) and “most of the incumbent city councilors,” according to the city mayor.

Will Rep. Baronda, 45, defy her erstwhile political sponsor and risk angering the City Hall demigods?

As the saying goes, it ain’t over ‘till the fat lady sings.


SMOKER? If we are a smoker, we know that this habit can be hard to kick. If we have been thinking of quitting or have tried before, let’s not give up. It is never too late. Let’s take advantage of the options available. People who make a plan and get support can succeed.

LET’S CUT OUR CALORIES by doing these simple things: Using skim or 1 percent milk instead of whole 2 percent; choosing water-packed tuna instead of tuna in oil; using “light” or fat-free or dried fruit instead of chips or candy; trimming fat and skin from meats; having one half cup of rice or pasta instead of 1 cup; skipping dessert.

Let’s eat colorful fruits and veggies daily for a delicious way to get our vitamins: ORANGE–sweet potatoes, mango, carrots. PURPLE–grape juice, eggplant, plums. Red fruits and veggies may help reduce the risk for several types of cancer. Let’s try cranberries, tomatoes, beets, and berries.

PUNISHMENT. Men were taxed as a punishment for having sex with animals in Ancient Rome.

NORMAL SEX LIFE. In Paris in 1977, microsurgeons managed to sew back the penis and testicles of a young man who had castrated himself in a schizoid fit. Apart from being sterile, the patient was later capable of a normal sex life.

(The author, who is now based in New York City, used to be the editor of two daily newspapers in Iloilo.—Ed)