Leni Robredo on new book on Jesse: 'Best birthday gift'

MANILA, Philippines – Vice President Leni Robredo received an early birthday gift on Saturday, April 22: a new book for children depicting the life of service of her late husband, Jesse Robredo.

The Vice President attended the launch of 'Nay, Ano ang Bayani? Ang Kwento ni Jesse Robredo (Mother, What is a Hero? The story of Jesse Robredo), a children's book authored by Karla Angelica Pastores-Keh.

The Vice President will celebrate her 52nd birthday on Sunday, April 23.

“Ito po ay talagang napakalaking regalo, hindi lamang po para sa aking kaarawan pero regalo po sa mga anak ko na muli, isinasabuhay 'yung kanilang tatay na talaga naman pong pinagyayabang naming parati,” Robredo said at the book launch organized by the Jesse M. Robredo Foundation,  (READ: VP Robredo: Jesse's spirit lives in me)

(This is a great gift not only for my birthday but for my daughters as well. It relives the life of their father that we are so proud of.)

'Nay, Ano ang Bayani? Ang Kwento ni Jesse Robredo is a children's book that tells the life of service of the former Naga City mayor who served as interior secretary during the administration of President Benigno Aquino III – his final government post. He died in a plane crash in 2012.

It aims to educate children on what makes a "hero."

Service is heroism

Pastores-Keh believes that heroic acts need not be grand.

“Ang gusto kong maiparating sa mga bata, ang bayani ay hindi lamang 'yung mga lumalaban sa giyera na namamatay na madalas mabasa but also the people who do the right thing – 'yung pinalaki nang maayos at 'yung matino at mahusay," she said.

(I want children to know that heroes are not only those who fight wars and die as martyrs, but also the people who do the right thing – those who were raised well and are decent and excellent.)

The author is confident that the book will have a positive impact on families. (READ: 10 easy steps to become a Filipino hero)

Karyl Cordero, a Grade 3 student from Cubao Elementary School, told Rappler that she looks forward to learning the values the book seeks to instill.

“Ito ay napakahalaga dahil matututunan ko kung paano maging isang bayani at malalaman ko rin ang buhay ni Jesse Robredo,” Cordero said. (This [book] is very important because I will learn how to be a hero and I will also learn about the life of Jesse Robredo.) – Rappler.com

Kurt dela Peña is a Rappler intern