IN THE AFTERGLOW OF VICTORY, NOYNOY COMES INTO HIS OWN

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IN THE AFTERGLOW OF VICTORY, NOYNOY COMES INTO HIS OWN

No Comments 30 June 2010

By Criselda Yabes

It seemed simple enough for the inaugural: they both got off the black Mercedes Benz with car plate number 1 at the far end of the grandstand, Noynoy the new president giving way to his predecessor Gloria to proceed with her final farewell, smiling and waving as she trooped the line in her fine beige terno.

After nine years, Filipinos had wondered if this day was going to happen, if she would be willing to step down peacefully. The new leader of the country never dreamed this day would take place either – a day, he would say in his 20-minute Tagalog speech, that was going to be the start of his ‘kalbaryo’ to live out the legacy of his parents.

And just as the ceremony of the symbolic change of power was about to begin, a jeepney heading towards the front was stopped in its tracks because it was breaking protocol.

Vice President-elect Binay was in it – though he was supposed to have arrived earlier – already creating a metaphor for the role he is playing in the government, this early ingratiating himself to a status off-tangent to the presidency.

What was his point of a battery-operated jeepney as compared to the German-make luxury car? How does he want to see himself in the months to come when a nation feels like it might be starting over again, after years of decline and corruption?

Binay had been eyeing the powerful post of Interior and Local Governments, one that would have given him control of all the local government units and the national police. Noynoy did not offer it to him, and instead appointed himself in that temporary capacity until he decides which one on his list of three prospective appointees he would choose.

Announcing the lineup of his cabinet the previous day, Noynoy presented a combination of old faces in politics, managers in the private sector, women of solid background and feisty reputation, friends he could not part with – in a move showing he wants to achieve a daring style of governance.

Noynoy took his oath a few minutes early before the clock struck noon, as it was supposed to be by strict tradition, yellow rose petals falling from two military choppers that swooped overhead in the humidity of a cloudy day.

Most everyone on stage was fanning themselves in what looked like a choreography of past inaugurations where officials and guests on stage, dressed in barong tagalog and terno, come from the ranks of government and business and diplomacy, overlooking the masses waving yellow flags, the symbol of the Aquino icons of the post-dictatorship years.

The Philippine Philharmonic Orchestra lent an air of refreshing solemnity to an occasion that was meant to be dignified, but had started out in the usual entertainment fashion of a noontime show and a Chinese lion dance that looked out of place.

Noynoy made it clear that he was for the masses, speaking their language, peppering his speech with slang words – wala nang lamangan, walang padrino, walang pagnanakaw … walang wang-wang, counterflow, tong … kayo ang boss ko – saying that the deaths of his parents were for nothing less than the pride of the ordinary Filipinos.

For a man who had been seen as lackluster, a plodder, wallpaper consigned to the background of the greatness of history and destiny bequeathed to his parents, Noynoy has come out of his shell, striking in the afterglow of his impressive victory.

He marched a bit awkwardly when it was his turn to troop the line – after the oath-taking, after his speech – as the new commander-in-chief, to the music of a military brass band. But soon he will get used to it. There’s an air of graciousness about him; he appears neither arrogant nor imperious. The way he clasps his hands shows solidness and conviction.

Today, even just for today, we’d like to believe something good can happen out of this. A pair of doves was flown into the air and there were other flocks that flew past. The people on stage with him cannot miss the symbol of witnessing the heir of Ninoy and Cory taking perhaps yet another major step, and how much of this can we understand on his first day on the job of changing the course of our future?

I shall carry the torch forward, he said. Join me.

If we truly want change in this country, maybe it’s our turn to take the call. (GMANews.TV)

IN PHOTO: The incoming president and his predecessor arrive at the Quirino Grandstand for the inaugural rites.

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INAUGURAL SPEECH OF PRESIDENT BENIGNO S. AQUINO III

Current Affairs

INAUGURAL SPEECH OF PRESIDENT BENIGNO S. AQUINO III

No Comments 30 June 2010

Ang pagtayo ko dito ngayon ay patunay na kayo ang aking tunay na lakas. Hindi ko inakala na darating tayo sa puntong ito, na ako’y manunumpa sa harap ninyo bilang inyong Pangulo. Hindi ko pinangarap maging tagapagtaguyod ng pag-asa at tagapagmana ng mga suliranin ng ating bayan.

Ang layunin ko sa buhay ay simple lang: maging tapat sa aking mga magulang at sa bayan bilang isang marangal na anak, mabait na kuya, at mabuting mamamayan.

Nilabanan ng aking ama ang diktadurya at ibinuwis niya ang kanyang buhay para tubusin ang ating demokrasya. Inalay ng aking ina ang kanyang buhay upang pangalagaan ang demokrasyang ito. Ilalaan ko ang aking buhay para siguraduhin na ang ating demokrasya ay kapaki-pakinabang sa bawat isa. Namuhunan na po kami ng dugo at handa kong gawin ito kung muling kinakailangan.

Tanyag man ang aking mga magulang at ang kanilang mga nagawa, alam ko rin ang problema ng ordinaryong mamamayan. Alam nating lahat ang pakiramdam na magkaroon ng pamahalaang bulag at bingi. Alam natin ang pakiramdam na mapagkaitan ng hustisya, na mabalewala ng mga taong pinagkatiwalaan at inatasan nating maging ating tagapagtanggol.

Kayo ba ay minsan ring nalimutan ng pamahalaang inyong iniluklok sa puwesto? Ako rin. Kayo ba ay nagtiis na sa trapiko para lamang masingitan ng isang naghahari-hariang de-wangwang sa kalsada? Ako rin. Kayo ba ay sawang-sawa na sa pamahalaang sa halip na magsilbi sa taumbayan ay kailangan pa nila itong pagpasensiyahan at tiisin? Ako rin.

Katulad ninyo ako. Marami na sa atin ang bumoto gamit ang kanilang paa – nilisan na nila ang ating bansa sa kanilang paghahanap ng pagbabago at katahimikan. Tiniis nila ang hirap, sinugod ang panganib sa ibang bansa dahil doon may pag-asa kahit kaunti na dito sa atin ay hindi nila nakikita. Sa iilang sandali na sarili ko lang ang aking inaalala, pati ako ay napag-isip din – talaga bang hindi na mababago ang pamamahala natin dito? Hindi kaya nasa ibang bansa ang katahimikang hinahanap ko? Saan ba nakasulat na kailangang puro pagtitiis ang tadhana ng Pilipino?

Ngayon, sa araw na ito – dito magwawakas ang pamumunong manhid sa mga daing ng taumbayan. Hindi si Noynoy ang gumawa ng paraan, kayo ang dahilan kung bakit ngayon, magtatapos na ang pagtitiis ng sambayanan. Ito naman po ang umpisa ng kalbaryo ko, ngunit kung marami tayong magpapasan ng krus ay kakayanin natin ito, gaano man kabigat.

Sa tulong ng wastong pamamahala sa mga darating na taon, maiibsan din ang marami nating problema. Ang tadhana ng Pilipino ay babalik sa tamang kalagayan, na sa bawat taon pabawas ng pabawas ang problema ng Pinoy na nagsusumikap at may kasiguruhan sila na magiging tuloy-tuloy na ang pagbuti ng kanilang sitwasyon.

Kami ay narito para magsilbi at hindi para maghari. Ang mandato ninyo sa amin ay pagbabago – isang malinaw na utos para ayusin ang gobyerno at lipunan mula sa pamahalaang iilan lamang ang nakikinabang tungo sa isang pamahalaang kabutihan ng mamamayan ang pinangangalagaan.

Ang mandatong ito ay isa kung saan kayo at ang inyong pangulo ay nagkasundo para sa pagbabago – isang paninindigan na ipinangako ko noong kampanya at tinanggap ninyo noong araw ng halalan.

Sigaw natin noong kampanya: “Kung walang corrupt, walang mahirap.” Hindi lamang ito pang slogan o pang poster – ito ang mga prinsipyong tinatayuan at nagsisilbing batayan ng ating administrasyon.

Ang ating pangunahing tungkulin ay ang magsikap na maiangat ang bansa mula sa kahirapan, sa pamamagitan ng pagpapairal ng katapatan at mabuting pamamalakad sa pamahalaan.

Ang unang hakbang ay ang pagkakaroon ng tuwid at tapat na hanay ng mga pinuno. Magsisimula ito sa akin. Sisikapin kong maging isang mabuting ehemplo. Hinding hindi ko sasayangin ang tiwalang ipinagkaloob ninyo sa akin. Sisiguraduhin ko na ganito rin ang adhikain ng aking Gabinete at ng mga magiging kasama sa ating pamahalaan.

Naniniwala akong hindi lahat ng nagsisilbi sa gobyerno ay corrupt. Sa katunayan, mas marami sa kanila ay tapat. Pinili nilang maglingkod sa gobyerno upang gumawa ng kabutihan. Ngayon, magkakaroon na sila ng pagkakataong magpakitang-gilas. Inaasahan natin sila sa pagsupil ng korapsyon sa loob mismo ng burukrasya.

Sa mga itinalaga sa paraang labag sa batas, ito ang aking babala: sisimulan natin ang pagbabalik ng tiwala sa pamamagitan ng pag-usisa sa mga “midnight appointments.” Sana ay magsilbi itong babala sa mga nag-iisip na ipagpatuloy ang baluktot na kalakarang nakasanayan na ng marami.

Sa mga kapuspalad nating mga kababayan, ngayon, ang pamahalaan ang inyong kampeon.

Hindi natin ipagpapaliban ang mga pangangailangan ng ating mga estudyante, kaya’t sisikapin nating punan ang kakulangan sa ating mga silid-aralan.

Unti-unti din nating babawasan ang mga kakulangan sa imprastraktura para sa transportasyon, turismo at pangangalakal. Mula ngayon, hindi na puwede ang “puwede na” pagdating sa mga kalye, tulay at gusali dahil magiging responsibilidad ng mga kontratista ang panatilihing nasa mabuting kalagayan ang mga proyekto nila.

Bubuhayin natin ang programang “emergency employment” ng dating pangulong Corazon Aquino sa pagtatayo ng mga bagong imprastraktura na ito. Ito ay magbibigay ng trabaho sa mga local na komunidad at makakatulong sa pagpapalago ng kanila at ng ating ekonomiya.

Hindi kami magiging sanhi ng inyong pasakit at perwisyo. Palalakasin natin ang koleksyon at pupuksain natin ang korapsyon sa Kawanihan ng Rentas Internas at Bureau of Customs para mapondohan natin ang ating mga hinahangad para sa lahat, tulad ng:

— dekalidad na edukasyon, kabilang ang edukasyong bokasyonal para makapaghanap ng marangal na trabaho ang hindi makapag-kolehiyo;

— serbisyong pangkalusugan, tulad ng Philhealth para sa lahat sa loob ng tatlong taon;

— tirahan sa loob ng mga ligtas na komunidad.

Palalakasin at palalaguin natin ang bilang ng ating kasundaluhan at kapulisan, hindi para tugunan ang interes ng mga naghahari-harian, ngunit para proteksyunan ang mamamayan. Itinataya nila ang kanilang buhay para mayroong pagkakataon sa katahimikan at kapayapaan sa sambayanan. Dumoble na ang populasyong kanilang binabantayan, nanatili naman sila sa bilang. Hindi tama na ang nagmamalasakit ay kinakawawa.

Kung dati ay may fertilizer scam, ngayon ay may kalinga ng tunay para sa mga magsasaka. Tutulungan natin sila sa irigasyon, extension services, at sa pagbenta ng kanilang produkto sa pinakamataas na presyong maaari.

Inaatasan natin na ang papasok na [Agriculture] Secretary Alcala ay magtayo ng mga trading centers kung saan diretso na ang magsasaka sa mamimili – lalaktawan natin ang gitna, kasama na ang kotong cop. Sa ganitong paraan, ang dating napupunta sa gitna ay maari nang paghatian ng magsasaka at mamimili.

Gagawin nating kaaya-aya sa negosyante ang ating bansa. We will cut red tape dramatically and implement stable economic policies. We will level the playing field for investors and make government an enabler, not a hindrance, to business. Sa ganitong paraan lamang natin mapupunan ang kakulangan ng trabaho para sa ating mga mamamayan.

Layunin nating paramihin ang trabaho dito sa ating bansa upang hindi na kailanganin ang mangibang-bansa para makahanap lamang ng trabaho. Ngunit habang ito ay hindi pa natin naaabot, inaatasan ko ang mga kawani ng DFA, POEA at ng OWWA at iba pang mga kinauukulang ahensiya na mas lalo pang paigtingin ang pagtugon sa mga hinaing at pangangailangan ng ating mga overseas Filipino workers.

Papaigtingin namin ang proceso ng konsultasyon at pag-uulat sa taumbayan. Sisikapin naming isakatuparan ang nakasaad sa ating Konstitusiyon na kinikilala ang karapatan ng mamamayaan na magkaroon ng kaalaman ukol sa mga pampublikong alintana.

Binuhay natin ang diwa ng people power noong kampanya. Ipagpatuloy natin ito tungo sa tuwid at tapat na pamamahala. Ang naniniwala sa people power ay nakatuon sa kapwa at hindi sa sarili.

Sa mga nang-api sa akin, kaya ko kayong patawarin at pinapatawad ko na kayo. Sa mga nang-api sa sambayanan, wala akong karapatan na limutin ang inyong mga kasalanan.

To those who are talking about reconciliation, if they mean that they would like us to simply forget about the wrongs that they have committed in the past, we have this to say: there can be no reconciliation without justice. Sa paglimot ng pagkakasala, sinisigurado mong maulit muli ang mga pagkakasalang ito. [Justice] Secretary de Lima, you have your marching orders. Begin the process of providing true and complete justice for all.

Ikinagagalak din naming ibahagi sa inyo ang pagtanggap ni dating Chief Justice Hilario Davide Jr. sa hamon ng pagtatatag at pamumuno sa isang Truth Commission na magbibigay linaw sa maraming kahinahinalang isyu na hanggang ngayon ay walang kasagutan at resolusyon.

Ang sinumang nagkamali ay kailangang humarap sa hustisya. Hindi maaaring patuloy ang kalakaran ng walang pananagutan at tuloy na pang-aapi.

My government will be sincere in dealing with all the peoples of Mindanao. We are committed to a peaceful and just settlement of conflicts, inclusive of the interests of all – may they be Lumads, Bangsamoro or Christian.

We shall defeat the enemy by wielding the tools of justice, social reform, and equitable governance leading to a better life. Sa tamang pamamahala gaganda ang buhay ng lahat, at sa buhay na maganda, sino pa ang gugustuhing bumalik sa panahon ng pang-aapi?

Kung kasama ko kayo, maitataguyod natin ang isang bayan kung saan pantay-pantay ang pagkakataon, dahil pantay-pantay nating ginagampanan ang ating mga pananagutan.

Kamakailan lamang, ang bawat isa sa atin ay nanindigan sa presinto. Bumoto tayo ayon sa ating karapatan at konsensiya. Hindi tayo umatras sa tungkulin nating ipaglaban ang karapatan na ito.

Pagkatapos ng bilangan, pinatunayan ninyo na ang tao ang tunay na lakas ng bayan.

Ito ang kahalagahan ng ating demokrasya. Ito ang pundasyon ng ating pagkakaisa. Nangampanya tayo para sa pagbabago. Dahil dito taas-noo muli ang Pilipino. Tayong lahat ay kabilang sa isang bansa kung saan maaari nang mangarap muli.

To our friends and neighbors around the world, we are ready to take our place as a reliable member of the community of nations, a nation serious about its commitments and which harmonizes its national interests with its international responsibilities.

We will be a predictable and consistent place for investment, a nation where everyone will say, “it all works.”

Inaanyayahan ko kayo ngayon na manumpa sa ating mga sarili, sa sambayanan, Walang Maiiwan.

Walang pangingibang-bayan at gastusan na walang wastong dahilan. Walang pagtalikod sa mga salitang binitawan noong kampanya, ngayon at hanggang sa mga susunod pang pagsubok na pagdadaanan sa loob ng anim na taon.

Walang lamangan, walang padrino at walang pagnanakaw. Walang wang-wang, walang counterflow, walang tong. Panahon na upang tayo ay muling magkawanggawa.

Nandito tayo ngayon dahil sama-sama tayong nanindigan at nagtiwala na may pag-asa.

The people who are behind us dared to dream. Today, the dream starts to become a reality. Sa inyong mga nag-iisip pa kung tutulong kayo sa pagpasan ng ating krus, isa lang ang aking tanong – kung kailan tayo nanalo, saka pa ba kayo susuko?

Kayo ang boss ko, kaya’t hindi maaaring hindi ako makinig sa mga utos ninyo. We will design and implement an interaction and feedback mechanism that can effectively respond to the people’s needs and aspirations.

Kayo ang nagdala sa akin sa puntong ito – ang ating mga volunteers – matanda, bata, celebrity, ordinaryong tao, na umikot sa Pilipinas para ikampanya ang pagbabago; ang aking mga kasambahay, na nag-asikaso ng lahat ng aking mga personal na pangangailangan; ang aking pamilya, kaibigan at katrabaho, na dumamay, nag-alaga at nagbigay ng suporta sa akin; ang ating mga abogado, na nagpuyat para bantayan ang ating mga boto at siguraduhing mabilang ang bawat isa; ang aking mga kapartido at kaalyado na kasama kong nangahas mangarap; at ang milyun-milyong Pilipinong nagkaisa, nagtiwala at hindi nawalan ng pag-asa – nasa inyo ang aking taos-pusong pasasalamat.

Hindi ko makakayang harapin ang aking mga magulang, at kayong mga nagdala sa akin sa yugto ng buhay kong ito, kung hindi ko maisasakatuparan ang aking mga binitawang salita sa araw na ito.

My parents sought nothing less and died for nothing less than democracy, peace and prosperity. I am blessed by this legacy. I shall carry the torch forward.

Layunin ko na sa pagbaba ko sa katungkulan, masasabi ng lahat na malayo na ang narating natin sa pagtahak ng tuwid na landas at mas maganda na ang kinabukasang ipapamana natin sa susunod na henerasyon. Samahan ninyo ako sa pagtatapos ng laban na ito. Tayo na sa tuwid na landas.

Maraming salamat po at mabuhay ang sambayanang Pilipino!

(Delivered on June 30, 2010 at the Qurino Grandstand, Luneta, Manila)

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TRIVIA ON PRESIDENT-ELECT NOYNOY AQUINO

Current Affairs

TRIVIA ON PRESIDENT-ELECT NOYNOY AQUINO

1 Comment 25 June 2010

By Manuel L. Quezon III

From the time Congress proclaims a candidate as the duly-elected president, the candidate becomes known as the President-elect.

The Constitution is clear and specific: the title of the chief executive is “President of the Philippines,” and takes his oath of office as such, although in certain cases involving formal diplomatic usage, “President of the Republic of the Philippines” is used for diplomatic documents. The honorific for the President of the Philippines is “His/Your Excellency,” but the proper form of address is “Mr. President.”

At 42.08% Aquino’s percentage of the votes is the highest plurality since the restoration of democracy, and under the 1987 Constitution. The biggest first-term landslide was Magsaysay in 1953 (68.9%), followed by Quezon in 1935. The biggest second term landslide was Quezon in 1941 (81.78%) followed by Marcos in 1969 (61.5%).

1 He is the first unmarried president in the history of the country.

He is the first president with no children.

The first deputy speaker of the House to later become president.

He is the first marksman to be come president since Ferdinand Marcos (who belonged to the U.P. rifle team).

He will be the first president since 1992 inaugurated into office without having been vice-president first.

He is the first president since Diosdado Macapagal to be elected as the candidate of the Liberal Party; also the first president since Macapagal not to have changed political parties (three presidents had no political party membership/positions: Aguinaldo, Laurel, Cory Aquino).

Aquino is the first post-Edsa president to exceed Garcia’s 1957 plurality. Majority Presidents: Quezon (68% in 1935 and 81.78% in 1941), Roxas 54% in 1946(, Quirino (51% in 1949), Magsaysay (68.9% in 1953), Macapagal (55% in 1961), Marcos (54.76% in 1965, 61.5% in 1969), Aquino (approx. 51%). Plurality Presidents: Garcia (41.3%) was the only president elected by plurality prior to 1972. The lowest plurality ever was Fidel V. Ramos in 1992 (23.6%). Estrada at 39.6% in 1998 was the first post-Edsa president to nearly match Garcia’s 1957 plurality.

He is the first to use the suffix -III (there have been no Juniors or the Thirds elected president previously).

He is the first president to have a February birthday. Two presidents were born in January: Roxas (Jan. 1), Cory Aquino (Jan. 25); three in March: Laurel (Mar. 9), Ramos (Mar. 18), Aguinaldo (Mar. 22); two in April: Arroyo (Apr. 5), Estrada (Apr. 19); two in August: Quezon (Aug. 19), Magsaysay (Aug. 31); three in September: Osmeña (Sep. 9), Marcos (Sep. 11), Macapagal (Sep. 28); two in November: Garcia (Nov. 4), Quirino (Nov. 16).

The President of the Philippines uses license plate No. 1.

2 The second child of a former president to become president in his own right (he succeeds the first presidential child to become president).

The second president from Tarlac.

He is only the second president (Aguinaldo was the only non-drinker previously) who does not drink.

He will be the second president to be sworn in by a Filipino associate justice of the Supreme Court (his mother was the first), but the fourth president sworn in by an associate justice of a Supreme Court (Quezon in 1943 for the indefinite extension of his term, and Osmeña who succeeded into office in 1944, were sworn in by U.S. Associate Justices Felix Frankfurter and Robert H. Jackson, respectively, in Washington, D.C.).

He is the second president to have studied at the Ateneo de Manila, but the first to have graduated from the Ateneo de Manila University.

Two presidents only partially resided in Malacañan Palace: Laurel, and Estrada (who stayed in the Guest House).

Two presidents were elected by the legislature and not in a national election: Aguinaldo and Laurel.

Two presidents were re-elected to second terms: Quezon and Marcos.

Two presidents were brought to power by People Power revolts: Corazon Aquino and Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo (our two female presidents).

3 Benigno S. Aquino III is the third president with no spouse: Quirino was a widower, Corazon Aquino, a widow. Unlike Quirino and Corazon Aquino, who had children, Aquino III has none.

Aquino at 50 will be the third-youngest elected president (Magsaysay remains the youngest ever nationally-elected to the presidency), and the fourth-youngest president after Aguinaldo, Magsaysay and Marcos.

He is the youngest of the presidents who became chief executive in their 50s (age at inauguration/succession: Aguinaldo, 29; Quezon, 57; Laurel, 51; Osmeña, 67; Roxas, 54; Quirino, 57; Magsaysay, 46; Garcia, 60; Macapagal, 51; Marcos, 48; Aquino, 53; Ramos, 64;Estrada, 61; Arroyo, 54).

The third to use his second given name as his middle initial (as Quezon and Laurel did).

The third to engage in shooting as a sport (Quezon and Marcos engaged in hunting).

He will be the third president who will only hold office in, but not be a resident of, Malacañan Palace, following Corazon Aquino and Fidel V. Ramos.

4 Four presidents were not inaugurated either on December 30 or June 30: Aguinaldo (January 23, 1899), Quezon (November 15, 1935 and November 15, 1943), Laurel (October 14,1943), Roxas (May 28, 1946).

Four vice-presidents who succeeded to the presidency also took their oaths on dates different from the traditional inaugural date: Osmeña (August 1, 1944); Quirino (April 17, 1948), Garcia (March 18, 1957), Arroyo (January, 2001).

Most number of times a president has taken the oath of office: four, for Marcos (1965, 1969, the 1981 and 1986 “inaugurals”); followed by three, for Quezon (1935 in Manila, 1941 in Corregidor, 1943 in Washington, D.C., also before three different individuals); Quirino (1948 in Malacañan, 1949); Garcia (1957, twice: upon succession in March Malacañan and election in December); Arroyo (2001 in Quezon City, 2004 in Cebu).

5 Aquino comes from a family of five siblings.

At age 50, is going to be the 15th President of the Philippines.

Officially, his fourteen predecessors will be: Emilio Aguinaldo, Manuel L. Quezon, Jose P. Laurel, Sergio Osmeña, Manuel Roxas, Elpidio Quirino, Ramon Magsaysay, Carlos P. Garcia, Diosdado Macapagal, Ferdinand E. Marcos, Corazon C. Aquino, Fidel V. Ramos, Joseph Ejercito Estrada and Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo.

He will be the 5th President of the 5th Republic. The present republic was established with the ratification of the 1987 Constitution. The previous republics are the First (Malolos, 1899-1901); Second (The Japanese Occupation, 1943-1945); the Third (from independence in 1946 to 1972); the Fourth (the “New Republic” proclaimed in 1981).

Aguinaldo was the lone President of the First Republic; Quezon was the first President of the Commonwealth and Roxas the last; Laurel was lone President of the Second Republic; Roxas was the first President of the Third Republic and Marcos, the last; Marcos was the first President of the Fourth Republic and Corazon Aquino, briefly served under the Fourth Republic but proclaimed a revolutionary government. The Fifth Republic came into being with the ratification of the 1987 Constitution, and Corazon Aquino, Ramos, Estrada, and Arroyo have been the presidents of the Fifth Republic.

He was elected on 05/10/10.

He received over 15 million votes; his winning margin was over 5 million votes.

If he does not have his inaugural at the Quirino Grandstand, he will he will be the fifth president to have an inaugural outside Manila: Aguinaldo and Estrada at Baraosain; Quezon (1941) in Corregidor; Cory Aquino in San Juan in 1986; Arroyo in Quezon City in 2001 and Cebu in 2004.

He will be the fifth president not sworn in by a chief justice: Aguinaldo was the first. Quezon, when his term was extended in exile in 1943, renewed his oath of office before Justice Felix Frankfurter. Osmeña, who succeeded to the presidency in exile, was sworn in by Justice Hugo Jackson (thus, two presidents have been sworn in by foreign justices, both because they headed governments-in-exile). Corazon Aquino was sworn in by Associate Justice Claudio Teehankee.

Eleven presidents were sworn in by a chief justice: Quezon (1935, 1941), Laurel, Roxas, Quirino, Magsaysay, Garcia, Macapagal, Marcos, Ramos, Estrada, Arroyo.

He will be the fifth president to take his oath of office on June 30: Marcos, Ramos, Estrada and Arroyo being the others.

Starting with Quezon’s second inaugural in 1941 until Marcos’ second inaugural in 1969 (with the exception of the special election called in 1946) presidents were inaugurated on Rizal Day, June 30. Six presidents Quezon (1941), Quirino (1949), Magsaysay, Garcia (1957), Macapagal, Marcos (1965, 1969) had inaugurals on December 30.

Aquino is also the fifth public smoker to be president: Quezon, Roxas, Garcia, Estrada were/are all smokers.

6 He is the sixth president to have been elected to a single six-year term (Quezon in 1935 [term subsequently extended by constitutional amendment], Aquino in 1986, Ramos in 1992, Estrada in 1998, Arroyo in 2004).

7 Aquino will be the seventh president to be inaugurated at the Quirino Grandstand. Six presidents were inaugurated at the Quirino Grandstand: Quirino (1949), Magsaysay (1953), Garcia (1957), Macapagal (1961), Marcos (1965, etc.), Ramos (1992).

He will be the seventh to use a middle initial after Quezon, Laurel, Garcia, Marcos, Corazon Aquino (who used her maiden name as her middle initial), and Ramos. (Aguinaldo, Osmeña, Roxas, Quirino, Magsaysay, Macapagal did not use middle initials at all; Estrada uses a special name combining his real family name, Ejercito, with his screen name; Arroyo prefers to use the hyphenated Macapagal-Arroyo).

8 If you include the pipe/cigar smoking of Laurel, Ramos and Macapagal and his daughter Arroyo who were/are occasional (social) smokers, Aquino III is the eighth president who’s a smoker.

9 Juancho Dulay Barreto on Twitter also pointed out BSAIII was proclaimed president-elect on June 9, 2010. That’s exactly 9 months after his declaration of candidacy on 09/09/09.

He is the ninth to have been proclaimed president-elect by the legislature: the first was Manuel L. Quezon, followed by Manuel Roxas, Ramon Magsaysay, Diosdado Macapagal, Ferdinand E. Marcos, Fidel V. Ramos, Joseph Ejercito Estrada, Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo (eighth if you don’t count Arroyo’s proclamation on the basis of the Quirino and Garcia precedents). While Congress certified the election of Elpidio Quirino and Carlos P. Garcia, they had succeeded into office previously, and were already serving as president when elected to a full term: thus, were not referred to as presidents-elect. Aguinaldo and Laurel were not elected president in a national election, they were made president by a vote of the national assembly and thus never president-elect. Corazon Aquino assumed the presidency by means of the People Power Revolution and was not proclaimed by the Batasan Pambansa.

The ninth president to have served as a congressman.

Nine presidents lived in Malacañan Palace: Quezon, Osmeña, Roxas, Quirino, Magsaysay, Garcia, Macapagal, Marcos, Arroyo. Three presidents (Quirino and Garcia upon succession, Marcos in 1986) have take oaths of office there. Four presidents have had to flee because of war or revolution: Quezon, Laurel, Marcos and Estrada.

10 The tenth senator to become a president.

He will be the tenth president to be inaugurated in Manila: the nine previously who were inaugurated in Manila: Quezon in 1935, Laurel in 1943, Roxas in 1946, Quirino in 1949, Magsaysay in 1953, Garcia in 1957, Macapagal in 1961, Marcos in 1965 etc., Ramos in 1992.

Aquino III, who will likely use the Aquino family bible his mother used, will be the ninth president to swear on a bible and the second to use the same bible. Magsaysay was the first to take his oath on a bible: Garcia, Macapagal, Marcos, Aquino, Ramos, Estrada, Arroyo followed suit. Aguinaldo, Quezon, Laurel, Osmeña, Roxas and Quirino (belonging to generations closer to the revolutionary era, did not take their oaths on a bible). Magsaysay and Marcos took their oath on two bibles each in 1953 and 1965.

(The author is spokesperson of the Aquino inaugural.)

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MICROFINANCE: A WAY OUT OF POVERTY

Current Affairs

MICROFINANCE: A WAY OUT OF POVERTY

2 Comments 22 June 2010

By Pepper Marcelo

Microfinance is considered one of the most viable solutions to licking poverty. Locally, it has been implemented and sustained by strong-willed individuals, including the late former President Cory Aquino.

In essence, microfinance provides much-needed funds for the poor who lack access to formal sources of funding like banks and are too poor to qualify for bank loans, to jump-start small businesses.

The key to its success is a strong repayment rate, which in turn, goes back to the members to further grow and develop their enterprises. Forbes magazine stated that microfinance has “raised the provocative notion that even philanthropy aimed at alleviating poverty can be profitable to institutional and individual investors.”

It was through the efforts of Muhammad Yunus of Bangladesh that microfinance earned worldwide recognition and attention. Yunus set up the Grameen Bank in his home country, which provided loans and credit to the poor, eventually winning the Nobel Peace Prize for his visionary work.

The idea was adopted locally by Dr. Jaime Alip, who founded the Center for Agriculture and Rural Development (CARD) Bank in San Pablo, Laguna, to build sustainable capital for poor and unemployed women from the rural countryside. Initially mocked for his idea, Alip persevered and in no time CARD eventually became a success, earning a total of more than $100 million in assets, at a 98% repayment rate, and helping approximately 1.2 million women.

In 2008, Alip and CARD received the Ramon Magsaysay Award for public service for “its successful adaptation of microfinance” in the Philippines. In the wake of CARD’s achievement, other non-government organizations (NGOs) have sprouted to emulate its business model and to help their own communities.

Not surprisingly, one of the biggest problems that CARD faced was securing financial backing. This is where the late beloved President Aquino came in.

Mrs. Aquino was so impressed with the story of Alip and microfinance in general, that she invited the doctor-banker to speak to her and a group of the country’s most prominent businessmen and entrepreneurs. Those in attendance included business magnates Washington Sycip, Jaime Augusto Zobel de Ayala and Manuel Pangilinan, former Finance Secretary Ramon del Rosario, former Ambassador Howard Dee, former Negros Occidental Governor Daniel Lacson and Vicky Garchitorena of Ayala Foundation.

In his talk, Alip narrated how he and his group developed their microfinance venture, as well as the concepts and processes of microfinance and microcredit. Afterward, Mrs. Aquino implored the businessmen to contribute funds to a foundation that could assist start-up microfinance institutions. She gently reminded them that 30% of the 90 million Filipinos were living below the poverty line.

Sycip and Pangilinan offered Php5 million each, Meralco’s Oscar Lopez gave Php2 million, and Zobel donated Php1 million. In total, Mrs. Aquino was able to raise Php20 million, paving the way for the establishment of both the PinoyME (which stands for “Filipino microenterprise”) Foundation and the PinoyME Consortium in February, 2006 during the 23rd anniversary of Edsa I.

The Foundation acts as a social investment banker for microfinance institutions (MFIs) and microentrepreneurs, while the Consortium is focused on strengthening the microfinance industry. With Mrs. Aquino’s goal of “turning around” the lives of five million families by 2011, Pinoy ME’s mission is “to contribute to nation-building by making the entrepreneurial poor self-reliant and self-sufficient.”

Mrs. Quino convinced former Land Bank President Deogracias Vistan to be Chairman, and former National Coordinator of CODE-NGO and Development Bank of the Philippines Director Danilo Songco to be President and CEO.

“PinoyME sees itself as a primary risk-taker in an area where none of the traditional financial institutions wish to invest,” Vistan said in a presentation before the Makati Business Club and the Management Association of the Philippines.

In an interview with Planet Philippines, Songco states that the former president saw microfinance as the rare model of empowering the poor to lift themselves out of poverty through their own efforts.

“She was amazed at how providing them with much needed capital, usually very small amounts, enables them to engage in livelihood activities that increase their income and helps them contribute in their small way to the economy.”

The original intention of PinoyME was to help MFIs reach five million poor people and to tap Php5 billion in new capital for MFIs in five years.

Five years later, the government reports that microfinance organizations are now serving approximately seven million families, with more than Php12 billion in combined portfolio.

According to PinoyME, microfinance is still very much an urban and retail/trading business phenomenon. Songco says it needs to reach rural areas where 70% of the poor in our country reside and where rural finance is still very much wanting. Among the areas needing microfinance services are the upland communities of Mindanao and Bicol, as well as remote places in Eastern Visayas.

“Thus, our next goal is to help MFIs reach more of the rural poor with microfinance and microenterprise development services. We would like to help MFIs become more conscious about reducing the poverty of their clients while also being more profitable,” says Songco.

Currently, PinoyME Foundation has a loan portfolio of P65 million. “We intend to grow that to P100 million in the coming years but we also hope to provide financial advisory services to MFIs to enable them to tap non-traditional funds for microfinance from the capital market,” adds Songco.

Besides going through conventional channels for funding, Songco would like Filipinos overseas to make a contribution to alleviating poverty in their home provinces. PinoyME has a social investment fund to which OFWs can donate and, in turn, it will be lent to microentrepreneurs in their home province and municipality.

The funds donated will be collected back and revolved to other poor microentrepreneurs in these areas. In addition, PinoyME is also prepared to help microentrepreneurs find markets for their products.

Songco wants to insure that Mrs. Aquino’s legacy continues with PinoyME. “Though she passed away, the leaders of PinoyME are committed to pursuing her goal of making microfinance reach the poorest families in our country. Her life and her advocacy will continue to inspire us in making her dream a reality.”

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JED MADELA: THE VOICE

Entertainment

JED MADELA: THE VOICE

No Comments 20 June 2010

By Pepper Marcelo

Singing competitions, always filled with drama, passion and impressive array of new vocal talents, are a veritable gold mine for overnight superstars. Programs like American Idol in the U.S. and Pop Idol in the U.K. have showcased the best and brightest in their respective countries. At home, we had the now-defunct Tawag ng Tanghalan in the ‘60s, which produced the likes of Nora Aunor and Diomedes Maturan. Countless other singing competitions followed, including the ongoing talent shows Pilipinas Got Talent and Talentadong Pinoy.

Have you ever wondered what would it be like, say, if our own homegrown singers competed against the world’s best? Outside of the Madrigal Singers and UP Concert Chorus, perennial winners in choral contests abroad, we could only think of one relatively unknown Pinoy talent who shot to instant fame via the World Championships of the Performing Arts in Hollywood, where up to three thousand singers (and dancers) from over 50 countries display their wares in an intense, Olympic-style contest. (Broadway star Lea Salonga, Journey soloist Arnel Pineda and pop sensation Charice earned international acclaim via other routes.)

Iloilo-born Jed Madela is the lone Pinoy Grand Champion of the global competition. Only 24 years old then, Jed reigned supreme in 2005, winning all six categories he joined in, two Champion of the World plaques, the World Star Trophy for Grand Champion Vocalist of the World and the ultimate title, “Senior Grand Champion Performer of the World.” His feat earned this comment from Lea Salonga: “Jed Madela possesses one of the most clean, clear and the most powerful voice that any man can humanly possess.”

Since then, the vocalist referred to as “The Voice” and “The Singer’s Singer” has been working at a breakneck pace, soon becoming one of the most prolific entertainers in the country. His debut album, I’ll Be Around, carried the single, Let Me Love You (From The Bottom Of My Heart), which became a radio hit. His second and third albums, Songs Rediscovered and Only Human, respectively, each went Platinum (with the latter reaching Double-Platinum status). His last album, Songs Rediscovered 2: The Ultimate OPM Playlist, became the biggest-selling OPM (original Pinoy Music) album of 2009.

Jed feels ecstatic about his phenomenal success. “Ako kasi, kapag gumagawa ako ng album, very hands-on ako. Kahit itanong n’yo pa sa Universal (Records, his label), from conceptualizing, recording, arrangement, so, para yung album na umabot ng platinum, malaking reward talaga. Lalo na ngayon na sobrang hirap mag-produce ng album at ma-convince ang buying public na bumili sa kabila ng mga piracy.”

Although Jed never had any formal vocal training, he benefited from a musically inclined family (his father was a choirmaster). “Every evening, yung choir niya dinadala niya sa bahay. Yung training niya napi-pick up ko. On my own I practice, and siguro sa pagbabanda ko rin dati dun ako nahasa. I trained by myself.”

Despite his musical upbringing, his father had wanted a more stable career choice for his son, which included becoming a flight attendant or medical representative. After graduating from the University of San Agustin in Iloilo, however, Jed decided to pursue his dreams of becoming a singer and moving to Manila.

“When I got here in Manila, there was this audition for a band, hanggang nagkaroon ng chance na sumali ako sa contest. So, I consulted my parents about that. I’m glad naging supportive naman sila sa akin.

His first major achievement came in 2003 when he won the People’s Choice Award and the Best Voice of Asia Male Singer in faraway Kazakhastan. Upon his return to Manila, Jed was featured in a TV talk show where he talked about his feat. A surprise was waiting for him backstage: his father, flown specially from Iloilo to personally congratulate him.

“My dad said to me that he had accepted me. He told me, ‘Pinagkait ko sa iyo ang happiness. I didn’t want to let you go because ayoko kitang makitang masaktan. Like any father, I wanted the best for my son, but I can clearly see that you are happy with what you are doing.’ I was crying the whole time he said this. Happy and sad at the same time. That was the time that he gave me his blessing.”

To be sure, competing on the much bigger and most challenging stage, the World Championships of the Performing Arts, was a different experience. Accompanied by fellow vocalist Rizza Navales, he flew to the US without entertaining any great expectations. “In a way, pressured kami kasi pioneer kami. We didn’t know what was going on and what was supposed to happen. Naging underdog kami ni Rizza. We were just in one corner, supporting each other.”

After winning six medals in individual competitions, Jed was already more than satisfied. But when it was announced that he won the Grand Championship Prize, he said “Nakita sa video, blank ako.”

Since that momentous triumph, Jed has been working hard to be the best vocalist and entertainer he can be. “I’m not settling for what I have right now. I’m still honing my craft and striving for more. To continue in this business, you have to maintain the quality of the voice. Improvise. Don’t stay like before. Magsasawa ang tao sa iyo.”

Not only to have the best vocal performance, but it’s also very important for Jed to create the most entertaining live show overall. Thus, he likes to take a hand-on approach behind-the-scenes to make this happen.

“With my live performances, the concept and stage design, I do all of it. I involve myself in the whole production of the show. I tell them my ideas ‘I want it to be like this, ito yung flow’, coz I believe that yung concert for every artist is a story, so it’s your personality na pinapakita mo sa tao.”

Besides displaying his vocal prowess, Jed likes to showcase his talents outside singing as well. “Like for example, there was one time may nag-ask sa akin to perform for their event. Sabi 30 minutes singing, 30 minutes na comedy talk, so para akong stand-up comedian to them.”

He says he is open to appearing in movies or TV shows but stresses that his focus is on being the best professional live singer. “Siniseryoso ko lahat ng mga ginagawa ko so gusto ko pag pinasok ko ang isang bagay, like showbiz acting, prepared na ako. So as of now singing lang muna talaga and performing on stage. Gusto ko talaga live. At the right time, maybe I can get into acting through musical theater.”

Jed says he is happy to be part of a resurgence of Pinoy music in which local talents can bloom and be appreciated around the globe as well. “Actually our music is doing very good. Mahina talaga yung mga albums, but with the recognition of Filipino performers mas malaki na yung opportunities ngayon. It all started with Lea Salonga and then si Lani Misalucha, and then now with Charice Pempengco and Arnel Pineda. Parang nage-establish na tayo ng label na the Philippines is the breeding ground of seasoned performers talaga.”

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HOW NOYNOY CAN GAIN THE MORAL HIGH GROUND

Current Affairs

HOW NOYNOY CAN GAIN THE MORAL HIGH GROUND

No Comments 14 June 2010

By James Putzel

London School of Economic

If President-elect Noynoy Aquino wants to demonstrate that his new government represents generational change, he should convince his family to abandon efforts to hold onto Hacienda Luisita and finally allow it to be covered by the agrarian reform law. The longer Hacienda Luisita remains exempt from the land redistribution provisions of the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Law, the less credibility the new president’s government will have among the rural poor and the more vulnerable will be his government to charges of hypocrisy and the protection of family and elite interests and privileges by opponents of all political hues. READ FULL STORY

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SO YOUNG, SO TALENTED

Entertainment

SO YOUNG, SO TALENTED

No Comments 08 June 2010

By Pepper Marcelo

Few families and clans in local showbiz can come close to the contributions of one individual in terms of number of offspring that have followed in his footsteps.

Mark Gil, the eldest son of Eddie Mesa (Eigenmann in real life), the singing idol of the sixties, and dramatic actress Rosemarie Gil, holds the unique distinction of having five children in show business, perhaps unmatched in the industry.

Himself an acclaimed actor, Mark has five children with three different women: Sid Lucero and Maxene Eigenmann, by former model Bing Pimentel; Gabby and Ira Eigenmann, by former actress Irene Celebre; and Andi Eigenmann, by dramatic actress Jaclyn Jose. (Younger brother, Michael de Mesa, also an actor, and his ex-wife, actress-director Gina Alajar, have three sons in showbiz: Ryan, Geoff and AJ, all surnamed Eigenmann.)

Like their grandparents and parents, the eight Eigenmann cousins are all mestizo-looking, fair-complexioned and physically stunning – all desirable attributes in showbiz. Their acting prowess, discipline and determination will surely reward them with stardom given the right packaging and lucky breaks.

Of the eight Eigenmanns, it is Andi (real name is Andrea), one of the youngest among he brood, who is showing the way, at least for moment. Turning only 20 in June, Andi is the lead star of ABS-CBN’s primetime teleserye Agua Bendita. Her rise is phenomenal by local standards considering that her previous acting stint is a minor appearance in the afternoon soap opera Prinsesa ng Banyera in 2007. In 2008, she was one of the aspiring talents that competed in Pinoy Big Brother Teen Edition Plus. (She left Bahay ni Kuhay after 53 days due to homesickness and the pressures inside the house and did not complete the only task assigned to her by Kuya.)

The management of the ABS-CBN network handpicked Andi for the lead role in Agua Bendita without an audition, a rather risky move considering that the show is a primetime offering competing with other programs featuring big-name and tested stars.

Andi is aware that her luck might have raised not a few eyebrows but she is ready to prove the skeptics wrong. “Hindi ko po ine-expect na ngayon ko makukuha yung ganitong opportunity. Pero kung kinuha po nila ako ibig sabihin para sa kanila ready na ako. So kahit nakakagulat, naisip ko na din na I guess kaya ko po talaga.”

In the show, Andi plays two characters – twins Agua and Bendita, who have opposite personalities and physical differences. (The network previously produced a similar version a few years back with Shaina Magdayao in the title role.)

“Our take is different [this time],” explains Andi. “For one, the previous Agua, the one with Shaina, is shorter. It was a two-part series only. This time, we’re going to take time fleshing out each character. We will also make sure that we will be able to serve out the story really well.”

As per show’s concept, Andi is required to swim underwater wearing rather revealing bathing suits. Asked whether she would follow the sex-infused career trajectory of her mother, who starred in many “bold” roles in the ‘70s and ‘80s, Andi remains undecided.

“Honestly I don’t know,” she says. “But you see, I am not thinking about that. At this point, I’d rather concentrate with the work at hand which is Agua. If you could see a hint of sexiness in the trailer, for me, it’s all just kind of suggestive. I’m still young. I’ve still a long way to go. We’ll see.”

Andi credits her mother with giving her invaluable advice and directions on how to navigate the intrigue-laden and dog-eat-dog world of showbiz.

“I feel very blessed and thankful kasi bukod sa meron akong nanay na pinalaki ako nang maayos, natutulungan din niya ako sa gusto kong makamit na dream kasi alam na alam niya kung paano mag-work yung industry. Binibigyan din niya ako ng mga advice na kailangan kong malaman. Dahil nanay ko siya, mas malaki yung chance na maging successful ako.

When asked about her father, who split up with Jaclyn when Andi was still very young, the young actress says that she bears no ill will towards him and continues to maintain a cordial relationship with him. “Kasi bata pa ako nung nangyari yun. Kumbaga yung normal na hindi nakatira sa isang bubong yung mommy at daddy ko. Tanggap ko yun kasi madalas ko naman makita at makausap yung daddy ko. Meron kaming bonding moments kaya hindi dumating sa point na nagalit ako sa kanya,”

Although she is the first among the Eigenmann cousins to star in a TV series, Andi dispels the notion that there’s an unfriendly competition among them.

Hindi naman po siguro siya maiinsecure sa akin kasi kahit nandito sila sa industry magkaiba naman po yung career path na tinatahak namin at saka yung kapalaran namin. And kapag magkasama naman kami, ang turingan namin magkakapatid. Hindi po namin pinag-uusapan yung posisyon namin sa showbiz. And most of all, alam ko na mahal ako ng Ate [Maxene] ko kaya I’m sure masaya siya for me.

Speaking of comparisons, many have commented that Andi’s delicate beauty resembles that of Angel Locsin. But she demurely dismisses the comparison: “Sobrang na pa-flatter po ako sa mga nagsasabi noon. Dahil napakagandang babae po ni Angel at alam naman po natin ‘yon.”

Andi says she doesn’t mind being compared to others but she intends to carve her own niche in the industry. “Maybe some people won’t give me my own identity. For them, I’m not Andi Eigenmann or Andi, I’m just a girl who looks like Angel Locsin. I hope they give me a chance to show who I am, as myself, who doesn’t look like anyone.”

When she is away from the camera, Andi studies fashion design at the College of St. Benilde in Manila. During her free time, she loves to design clothes. “Basically I just stay at home and use the computer or I draw. I make the most of my time by drawing stuff. I’m so into fashion.”

When not busy at school or work, she likes to catch up with friends. “Pero not so often kasi my other friends are at school din naman or the others are busy with work,” she says.

Though she had admitted to having celebrity crushes on Jake Cuenca and John Lloyd Cruz, she reveals that she is not in a relationship at the moment. “I’m not dating anyone. It’s not that I don’t want to, it’s just that I’m the type who actually waits. I can tell if that person is right or if he’s worthy to be given a chance for me.”

For now, Andi wants to focus on Agua Bendita and her career. She wants to do more projects (she recently signed a three-picture contract with Regal Films) and perhaps even a stint hosting as a VJ.

Jaclyn, who is a mainstay in the ongoing primetime soap Kung Tayo’y Magkakalayo, says that although she cares deeply about her daughter’s career, she is not a stage mother. Whenever she gets the chance, she visits Andi on the set but not often. When Andi joined showbiz, Jaclyn did not give specific advice about showbiz. She just gave her daughter important pointers in honing her acting skills.

Umpisa pa lang, binigay ko na sa kanya lahat,” relates Jaclyn. “Nilatag ko na sa kanya lahat, ‘tapos pili na lang siya roon. ‘Tapos kapag may problema siya, sabi ko sabihan niya na lang ako to help her. Ang binigay ko lang sa kanya ay sincerity, be the character, be the person, act naturally from the heart, be the person just by the character because every human being is very important.”

Jaclyn says that as a child Andi picked up lessons in showbiz from her example. “Yung nakikita ni Andi sa akin, kailangan maging magandang example. You know, Andi saw me growing up working this way with discipline. Kahit na ano, you have to attend and you have to go to work kahit masama ang pakiramdam mo. She grew up seeing me na ganun magtrabaho. So, ‘yon ang namana niya. She doesn’t wanna be late, ayaw niya ng pressure. Gusto niya alam na niya ang gagawin niya pagdating sa set. She’s like me!”

The most valuable piece of advice her mother gave her is: “As long as you believe in it, it will come true. Like whatever your heart desires, if you really want it then it will really happen.”

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