Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Pilipinong May Puso Foundation launched with President Duterte and founder/chairperson Wen Velasco

In honor of the late Mrs. Soledad Roa Duterte, the president's mother, fondly known as 'Nanay Soleng', Pilipinong May Puso Foundation was launched at the Garden Pavilion of Waterfront Hotel, Davao City on November 11.

Ms. Wen Velasco is the founder and chairperson of the said foundation with business tycoon Ramon S. Ang as major benefactor.


President Rodrigo Duterte administers the oath to Pilipinong May Puso Foundation founder/chairman Wen Velasco as she is flanked by her husband, Cong. Lord Allan Velasco and their three children. (Photo: Danny Gapasin Jr.)
Excerpts from the President's speech:

Ms. Rowena Velasco; and of course, the man who honored the memory of my mother, Mr. Ramon Ang; members of congress; honored guests; ladies and gentlemen.

Ah, I was not expecting a crowd. Akala ko, ‘yung tayo-tayo lang and that is why, I came here with a T-shirt. But anyway, I was, or I am very, very late because I had to go to a place where we had a hard time negotiating pababa. It was raining very hard in the mountains and you could just not, ah, make it on time. If you want to make it faster, then baka hindi na aabot dito sa gabing ito. 

President Duterte talks about his father and his mother,  'Nanay Soleng',  their humble beginnings, his mayorship of Davao and current challenges of his presidency. Photo: Danny Gapasin, Jr.

So, my apologies to you all for indulging me, waiting for me... 

Ako po’y anak lang ng mahirap. My mother was just a teacher and I remember when we migrated here in Davao City, kami hong mga anak, iniwan muna sa lolo at lola namin sa Bohol where my grandmother, kasi nag-migrate silang dalawa dito, both teachers at that time.

My father was a lawyer, there was not much really to go around those days. Natikman ko po ang kahirap sa buhay. We came here about mga 4, 5, 6, 7 until— you know what, at the back of the Ateneo University, diyan sa Roxas or Jacinto, if you’re on the other side street, ang tatay ko po’y gumawa ng isang bahay, lumber. Hindi naman talaga ‘yung tipong mahirap na mahirap because at that time, at the back of the Ateneo, kayong mga old timers, ang tawag diyan, kumpayan, ‘yung cogon sa tubig na pinapakain sa kabayo. 

Also gracing the occasion were PMPF major benefactor, business tycoon Ramon S. Ang, the former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo and some members of Congress including Cong. Rudy Farinas of the 1st District, Ilocos Norte. Photo: Rudy Farinas

And I thought that since that was early time, my father thought that there was enough land, although he wanted to choose the—yung sa likod nga ng Ateneo ngayon, yung Jacinto, dahil malapit sa main street. Claveria noon yan. 

And you know what, after about mga three years, he found out or he told me, he found out that lahat ng—ang Davao, noon at that early was already titled in the so many names na ang karamihan ho ay mga Tagalog...

...I never had the company of ‘yung mayayaman. Wala talaga akong—yung tipong ano lang ako, ah, middle class na, ibig kong sabihin, ganun lang kami pero you would notice that my father was a soldier. 

President Duterte (second from right), with his partner Honeylet Avancena (second from left), accepts a portrait of his mother Soledad Roa Duterte from San Miguel Corporation President Ramon S. Ang (left) and Pilipinong May Puso Foundation Chairperson Rowena Velasco during the launch of the foundation at the Waterfront Hotel in Davao City.

Actually my father was the first mayor, military mayor of Danao City. Right after the libe—sa liberation ng Philippines. Nakita mo naka-uniporme siya. He was really a soldier. He was a JAGO member and when the Americans started to organize the civil governments all throughout the Philippines, my father was appointed as the first military, civil ano pa noon, mayor of Danao City. 

Eventually, paglipat namin dito, he became governor for two terms. ‘Yan ang buhay ho namin dito. But what really was, what was in the family, simple po.  My father, so you can just rightly assume that when he was called a soldier, he was a soldier. So, the love of country.  

Ang nanay ko naman, ito ‘yung sa civic, having come from a mixed blood. So she— makita mo in the portrayal there, she’s with the Moro. She’s with the Lumads. Ganun ang buhay ng nanay ko, right after she retired as a Supervisor sa Department of Education. She was a teacher. 

So, yan ang istorya namin. She spent most of her time helping, not necessarily the poor, but helping, just to be there to help. 

Jed Madela singing "This is the Moment" upon request of the President. Photo: Danny Gapasin, Jr.

‘Yan ang nakuha ko sa nanay ko pati ‘yung bunganga. My father was— ayyy, talagang tahimik na tao. Pag hindi mo kinausap, hindi ka kausapin nun. And why he became a mayor, eh hindi naman ‘yun kasi he was just picked up from the ranks at that time. But ‘yung naging governor siya, he was a very quiet man. And some—many of the complaints, they could hardly get into his garden sa buhay niya...



At this stage, ah, may kasalanan ho akong malaki. Ang problema, nakalimutan ko, excited kasi ako sa feelings ko, ma’am, my President, Gloria Macapagal Arroyo, welcome at magandang gabi po sa inyong lahat. (applause)

I told you before, when you were still President, it was election time, I said, Ma’am, I am a lawyer friend. Nothing—no big deal. Except that along the way, talagang, lalo na ‘yung nagkagulo-gulo na, I just kept my fate to myself also, that someday, that …. I was never really close to—though, I supported President Aquino, I was never into the—in the company of the elite. For the six years na siya ang nasa Malacanan, hindi ho ako napasok dun ni minsan. 

Panahon ni Ma’am Gloria, almost every week ako doon nagre-report because I was appointed as a consultant for law and order. 


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