Aside from free sanitary pads and self-defense lessons, another highlight of this year’s Women’s Month celebration throughout March was the exclusive homage to some of the country’s renowned female figures in an event organized by Girlight Gateboss Gaskeep (GGG) titled Hello, Garci: A Night to Remember, held at The Peninsula Manila on March 29.
The private party was largely sponsored by alleged land-grabbing company Camella, GGG Executive Vice President for External Affairs Bennie Factor revealed. He noted—without disclosing a figure—that the “exorbitant” amount the Cynthia Villar-led firm donated has allowed the GGG to prepare lavish tributes for its honoraries, which included former plunderer Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, almost-Bilibid-resident Imelda Marcos, sheriff fighter and Vice President Sara Duterte, and a certain Lorraine Badoy.
Gloriagate and the seven counts of graft
“We wanted our honoraries to relive the most profound moments of their lives, the parts that truly made impacts on the country,” said Factor, with a strong emphasis on “impacts”.
An anthological show by the Huling El Bimby, titled Gloriagate and the Seven Counts of Graft, headlined the event with a creative play on the lives of girlbosses Arroyo and Marcos. Opening the play were depictions of the Department of Agriculture funneling P728 million in fertilizer funds to Arroyo’s 2004 election campaign, establishing her first full term as president.
The portrayal was “a wonderful presentation of how committed GMA (Arroyo) is in serving the Filipino people that she was willing to take drastic measures to be president twice,” Villar commented, remarking on the tenacity of women with girlboss personalities. “Sadly, it (the fertilizer fund scam) is not true to life. But it is a good metaphor.”
Later in the play, the “de facto first female president of the Philippines” was portrayed fighting a different form of danger: poverty. “The poor always look for a star in the dark of the night,” the actress playing Marcos said in the show as she explained the need to siphon USD352 million of taxpayers’ money that should have gone to funding Filipino dreams through government programs and good governance but instead went to funding Marcos’ lavish wardrobe and excessive Mrs. Worldwide parties.
After an intermission break, Gloriagate opened with a reenactment of the “Manila Pen siege”, which happened back in 2007 at the same venue of the show. Arroyo, who in the play defeated her archnemesis Antonio Trillanes IV twice, later said the scene felt “very immersive.”
The show ended with both Arroyo and Marcos overcoming adversity without using violence—only wheelchairs to win the pity of their antagonist, the Supreme Court.
Badoy to become USG ambassador? VP Duterte as martial arts consultant
After the kerfuffle between the University Student Government (USG) and Badoy—and another between her and the Supreme Court—the former spokesperson of the National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict ascended onstage. “Persona non grata? Persona very grateful for this opportunity!” she said. In her speech, she announced that USG had taken her in as an ambassador and that she was excited to be a beacon of the three pillars of a Lasallian—faith, service, and communion, though she admitted she was wary of the last one.
Nonetheless, Badoy pledged to use her years of experience to fight against “radical elements that seek to undermine the student government.”
Off-stage, organizers were scrambling to take her away. Assistant Vice President for Communications Dinah Mite divulged that Badoy was invited to the event only because they felt bad, not because she was appointed as anything. “She was jobless and begging us for a job, and we actually felt bad. We have no idea what she’s talking about.”
Once Badoy was taken away by the security and GGG explained the scene, she exclaimed to the audience, “Anyone is free to believe that, karapatan natin lahat iyon, eh. Kahit ano pwede mong paniwalaan, okay iyon, we’re a democracy.”
(It is our right. We can believe in anything.)
Badoy was the wrong government official to announce employment in the University; Vice President Duterte was later revealed to be a martial arts consultant of GGG after the USG’s success in their recent self-defense workshop. GGG said they wanted to propose it as a permanent program in the University. However, Duterte declined the offer publicly. “I refuse to be a political punching bag for a school in complete disarray,” Duterte said as she took the mic from the event’s emcee. She admitted she confused the position for a martial law consultant.
Project head Petra Fried concluded the event with a short speech, saying she is proud to be one with the “girlight gateboss gaskeep grassroots.”