|Photos by Mahatma Gan, BICOL STANDARD Camarines Norte|
Those who attended the mass—politicians, media practitioners, and other friends—applauded at the public display of affection.
They looked like a newly-wed couple fresh off their honeymoon, observers opined.
A teary-eyed Mrs. Tallado also spoke after the mass: “Mapalad ako dahil kasama ko ang aking mga mahal sa buhay.”
During the second day of her birthday celebration, she stated:“Narealize ko na hindi naman po importante ang maraming pera. Ang importante ay maging masaya, matahimik ang buhay.”
Around October last year, Mrs. Tallado went missing from their home in this province and turned up in Manila three days later.
On national media, she revealed the details of their marital problems.
She said she saw evidence that her husband was having an affair with a younger woman.
She also claimed that the governor threatened to harm her as the photos of Tallado and his alleged mistress started spreading on social media.
Shortly after the scandal, rumors had it that the couple had gotten back together, but these had all been unconfirmed.
Josie for Congress?
Things, however, between the couple, seem to have taken a 180-degree turn as the polls draw near.
At her birthday celebration in her home barangay of Exiban, Labo, Camarines Norte, Mrs. Tallado was referred to by the emcee as “the next congresswoman of the 1st district of Camarines Norte.”
Said district covers the towns of Capalonga, Sta. Elena, Paracale, Jose Panganiban, and Labo.
No stranger to the public eye, Mrs. Tallado has often been seen with her husband on functions during his incumbency.
She even chairs the provincial chapter of the Philippine Red Cross.
But as for eyeing a congressional seat, neither the governor nor his wife confirmed nor denied the emcee’s announcement.
Observers said that should the first lady proceed with the candidacy, she will have to contend with either former Rep. Jojo Unico or Rep. Catherine Barcelona-Reyes.
Both Unico and Barcelona-Reyes, who are cousins, are said to be considering running in the 2016 polls, although neither has announced for which position.
It is expected, however, that if Unico runs for governor, Barcelona-Reyes would run for representative, or vice versa.
Three-cornered fight for governorMeanwhile, incumbent Gov. Tallado is said to be seeking re-election, along with incumbent Vice Governor Jonah Pimentel.
Tallado, observers say, will likely slug it out with former Gov. Atoy Typoco—who has declared that he is running as early as March 2015—and either Unico or Barcelona-Reyes.
Typoco is Unico’s uncle.
As early as now, Typoco’s name and face appear in tarpaulins greeting locals for barangay fiestas.
Camarines Norteños say these announcements and rumors signal the opening salvo of the political campaign.—by Mahatma Gan, BICOLSTANDARD.COM Camarines Norte