ILOILO CITY, Philippines—It was a coming home of sorts for Manila Mayor and Aksyon Demokratiko presidential aspirant Isko Moreno Domagoso, as he spoke to a crowd of relatives and townsfolk in San Joaquin town, Iloilo.
At a town hall meeting on Tuesday, December 14, Moreno explained that his father was from the neighboring Antique province, which was just beside the town.
The mayor said that while he was born, grew up, and started his showbiz and political career in Tondo, he was proudly Visayan because of his Antiqueño father and Waray mother.
“Sa Tondo ako pinanganak, sa Tondo ako nag-aral, sa Tondo ako nag-basurero, sa Tondo ako naging sidecar boy, sa Tondo ako nag-artista, akalain mo Domagoso artistahin? Sa Tondo rin ako naglingkod sa bayan, Tondo rin ang nagdala sa akin sa buong Maynila. Buong buhay ko, ang dugong nananalaytay sa akin, Bisaya,” he said to the crowd.
(I was born in Tondo. I studied in Tondo. I was a garbage collector in Tondo. I was a sidecar boy in Tondo. I became an actor in Tondo. Would you, believe, a Damogoso could be an actor? In Tondo is also where I served the country. Tondo is what brought me to the entire Manila. My whole life, the blood that flows through my veins, is Bisaya.)
He also took pride in his father’s hard work ethic, and emphasized that he learned never to steal.
“Kahit na mahirap ang tatay ko, hindi nagnakaw, hindi namerwisyo ng kapwa. Ganun din ang nanay ko. Labandera siya. Yung mga nandirito ngayon, mga nanay, mga tatay, wag kayong mawalan ng pag-asa. Sinong makapagsasabi na maaring maging posible, na dito sa lupang kinatitirikan natin, at sa lupang nakapaligid dito, pwedeng maging president ng bansa? Yan yung nangyari sa akin, yan din pwede mangyari sa mga anak ninyo,” he said.
(Even if my father was poor, he never stole. He was never troubled other people. My mother was the same. She did laundry for a living. Those who are here today – the mothers, the fathers – don’t lose hope. Whoever is to say that those standing here right now, and the land around us, can become president of the country? That’s what is happening to me. That can also happen for your children.)
Moreno told the crowd to contact everyone they know within Iloilo, Antique, and outside of Panay Island and the country, to encourage them to choose him and their slate, because they came from humble beginnings and they were not well-connected.
He said that this was the Ilonggos’ and Antiqueños “opportunity to elect someone of their own.”
“Meron kang kamag-anak sa Iloilo? Sa labas ng Antique? Sa buong Pilipinas? Sa abroad? Mag-text na kayo ngayon. Text niyo na lahat ng ex niyo, mga jowa niyo, kamag-anak, kaibigan, kaklase. Dahil mahirap ang laban ko. Mahirap manalo ang isang kandidiatong katulad ko na galling sa wala,” he said.
(You have relatives from Iloilo? Outside Antique? In other parts of the country? Abroad? Text them now. Text your exes, your partners, relatives, friends, classmates. Because my fight is difficult. It will be difficult for a candidate who has come from nothing.)
After the town hall, he engaged with a local dance crew and danced to the tune “Dying Inside to Hold You”, which he had been dancing to since the days he was a dancer in the 90s.
Speaking with members of the media afterwards, Moreno expressed his happiness that he was able to see members of the Domagoso-Sandoy clan, who also held their reunion on Tuesday.
“Natutuwa lang ako kasi feeling ko marami pala talaga kami, syempre sa Tondo feeling ulila ako. Technically from our lineage, ako na lang natitira sa magulang ko. I’m happy that being with them, it reminds me of my father,” he remarked.
(I felt happy because I realized how big a family we are. In Tondo, I felt like an orphan. Technically from our lineage, I am the only one left.)
Prior to the town hall, he paid a courtesy call to San Joaquin Mayor Ninfa Garin, which was attended by his running mate Willie Ong, and senatorial aspirants Carl Balita, Samira Gutoc, and Jopet Sison. – Rappler.com