There's a street named after Jesse Robredo, and it's not in Naga

The late Interior and Local Government Secretary Jesse Robredo was a lot of things: husband to now vice presidential candidate Leni Robredo; father to Aika, Tricia, and Jillian; a prominent name in the ruling Liberal Party (LP) under the administration of President Benigno Aquino III.

Almost 4 years after the plane he was riding crashed off the shore of Masbate, he earned a new “accolade”: an avenue named after him. And it's not in Naga City, where he served as mayor for 19 years, but farther down south – in Koronadal City, South Cotabato.

We learned about this when it was mentioned in an interview by his second oldest daughter Tricia in Koronadal on Monday, January 11. Tricia attended a festival in the city as representative of her mother, who is the LP’s vice presidential candidate.

Tuwang tuwa nga po ako, sabi ko po kay Mayor, na sa Naga City po kung saan naging mayor ang Tatay ko for 19 years, wala pa siyang avenue or street, tapos sa Koronadal mayroon na,” Tricia said.

(I was so happy because, in Naga City, where my father was mayor for 19 years, there is no street or avenue named after him. But in Koronadal, there’s one.)

It wasn’t very surprising, said Tricia, since her father used to visit Koronadal a lot when he was still alive.

Napag-alaman ko po, gustong gusto po talaga ng Tatay ko rito sa inyo. Nakailang bisita raw po siya noong nabubuhay pa,” she added. (I found out that my father liked visiting Koronadal. They told me he visited the city several times when he was still alive.)

Before becoming interior and local government secretary, the late Jesse Robredo was not only mayor of Naga. He also served as national president of the League of Cities of the Philippines.

Robredo also took care of networking with local officials for the presidential campaign of Noynoy Aquino in 2010.

After his death in 2012, his wife Leni, a lawyer helping marginalized sectors, was convinced to run for congresswoman of the 3rd district of Camarines Sur. She won against a member of a political clan.

In the same interview in Koronada, Tricia described her mother as a “tiger mom” who is always supportive of their activities.

Siguro po ang persona niya po kapag abogado siya parang iyon din po ang kanyang characteristics 'pag nasa bahay. Very strict po ang mom ko, very firm. Sinasabi nga po ng Dad ko, for the longest time iyong moral compass niya is ang mom ko,” she said.

(Her persona as a lawyer is different from her persona at home. She’s very strict, very firm. My dad used to say that for the longest time, my mom was his moral compass.)

So talagang ang judgment ng nanay ko very clear, sa aming magkakapatid. Kahit iniiyakan na namin siya for the smallest things, if it’s wrong, it’s wrong talaga. Very strict ang mom, tiger mom siya. All the things na pinapasukan namin whether the piano, swimming, talaga pong nandoon siya to support us,” she added.

(My mom’s judgment is very clear. Even if we cry over the smallest things, when it’s wrong, it’s wrong. She’s very strict, she’s a tiger mom. All of the things we engage in, whether it’s the piano, swimming, she’s always there to support us.)

Tricia and eldest daughter Aika usually serve as proxies for their mother in various engagements around the country. But a few months back, the 3 daughters weren’t so keen on their mother running for vice president. When she announced her candidacy, Leni Robredo said it was because she couldn’t refuse the call to serve.

From a low of 1-4% in election surveys when she started going around the country, Robredo has risen to 19% percent, tying her at second spot with Senator Ferdinand Marcos Jr.