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Word ‘lobby’ baffles Unabia son: ‘What do you mean?’

By SHIELA MAE BUTLIG
Correspondent .

Misamis Oriental 1st Representative-elect Christian Unabia’s different facial expressions as he tries to figure out what a reporter meant when she used the word “lobby” in a question. (frames from a video recording provided by Sheryl Macale-Cariaga)

HE was asked a simple question about what he intends to lobby in Congress now that he has been proclaimed winner in last week’s congressional race in Misamis Oriental’s 1st District.

The question made by a broadcaster during the May 16 proclamation of winning candidates at the provincial board’s session hall baffled Representative-elect Christian Unabia, and it took him at least 11 seconds to give a straight answer — and that was after he was coached by another reporter from a newspaper.

The question was asked by Chyrel Macale-Cariaga of Radyo Natin who wanted to know the young Unabia’s plans when he assumes the post that would be vacated by his father Peter.

“Lobby?” a startled 30-year-old Unabia asked. “Excuse me? What do you mean ‘lobby’?”

Macale-Cariaga asked the question thrice, and Unabia didn’t get it.

It became an awkward situation that Alwen Saliring, another reporter, played Good Samaritan and helped the new congressman understand the meaning of the word “lobby” in the context of Macale-Cariaga’s question.

When Unabia finally understood the question, he said he planned to focus on helping the agriculture sector and work for economic emancipation especially of farmers and fisherfolk.

“I’m gonna continue my father’s work,” said Unabia who has claimed in one of his speeches that he took up an Information Technology course at Informatics.

The awkward interview has become the subject of light discussions among local reporters for days.

Cariaga-Macale posted a comment about her brief experience with the young Unabia on her Facebook page the same day it happened. Part of her post reads: “Finish na. God help us. Do your homework, Dodong.”

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