60 MINUTES: How much information can you get out of a 60-minute interview? The Students and Campuses Bulletin puts this idea to the test as it interviews notable Filipinos about their lives, their philosophies, and their achievements, all within the self-imposed time limit. 60 Minutes aims to teach, inform and inspire todayâ€™s Filipino youth.
Interview by: Rachel C. Barawid, Ina R. Hernando, Jaser A. Marasigna, Ivy Lisa F. Mendoza. Photos by: Pol Briana, Jr.
Sunday, June 21, 2009
Students & Campuses Section
He may be tough and gung-ho leader that people know him to be, but strip him of every position, accolade or achievement that he has ever attained, Senator Richard Gordon is first and foremost a dedicated dad, a loving father, and a proud son.
Gordon has come face-to-face with the biggest tragedies and calamities, or even tough political issues, but he is not ashamed to admit that he still breaks down and cries at the memory of his father James Leonard Gordon who was assassinated during his term as first mayor of Olongapo in Zambales.
â€œIt was very hard coping with that tragedy. Itâ€™s still here. I still cry. I only cry for two things, my father and my country. You never forget your parents. When you talk about your father the way he died, talagang tatamaan ka dun. So you teach your children and grandchildren that.
You make your own history. You don’t want your family history to end with you. You want it to begin with you, to higher heights,â€ reveals the 63 year old solon.
Despite those melancholy moments, Gordon makes sure he passes on the lessons he learned starting from his great grandfather Col. Jose Tagle, a revolutionary hero whose bravery freed Cavitenos against the Spaniards in the Battle of Imus; and of course, his father who gave up privileges of being an American to serve his people as a Filipino.
I’m firm but fair, the same way I am with government, the same way I am with myself. I teach them to live within their means, to respect everybody. Never fear the future. Do not put people in a category. Do not accept fate. Do not accept chance na talagang ganyan ang buhay or wala tayong magagawa. Analyze the situation. You have to lead by example, he shares.
It may seem out of character for Gordon, a father to four children and lolo to 11 grandchildren, but he is actually the doting and affectionate type who regularly keep track of his kidsâ€™ whereabouts and even say I love you on the phone. He explains that this gives his children the assurance that they’re special people but they are not to be specially treated.
Gordon has always been active in his endeavors even as a student. But like any ordinary high-schooler, he had his share of mischiefs, neglecting school for parties and movies. For this, he flunked in his sophomore year at the Ateneo, a failure he regrets to this day.
From then on, he strived to become a good leader in school, excelling both in academics and joining in every extra-curricular activity imaginable.
I was active all the time. I was class president. I taught catechism. I was a sacristan. I was in debating, I was the head cheerleader, part of the track team, active in cub scouts and drum and bugle corps, and an officer at the ROTC. I was everywhere, he proudly recalls.
This same energy and drive to excel later on brought him to government as the youngest delegate(at age 24) to the 1971 Constitutional Convention even when he was yet to finish his studies as a sophomore law student at the University of the Philippines.
In high school, Sen. Gordon also learned the value of hardwork and perseverance during his summer jobs as waiter, cashier, shoeshine boy and entrepreneur selling teddy bears, love bags, and Zippo lighters.
Armed with perseverance and leadership, Gordon transformed Olongapo from a sin city to a model city when he was mayor for 14 years(1980-1993). He introduced various innovations in local governance. After the dismantlement of the US Military Bases in 1991, he led an army of 8,000 volunteers in making Subic into a premiere investment hub. The Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority attracted over 300 investors and provided some 90,000 jobs for Filipinos.
As Secretary of Tourism in 2001, Gordon worked wonders for the then tarnished reputation of the Philippine tourism industry, plagued by kidnappings, damaging travel advisories, the SARS disease and the continued threat of terrorism. He used the same volunteer spirit to inspire a culture of tourism among Filipinos and paved the way for a cultural renaissance in the Walled City of Intramuros. With his WOW Philippines! More than the Usual! campaign, tourist arrivals increased; the country was placed back on the world tourism map with him serving as World Tourism Organization(WTO) commissioner for East Asia & the Pacific in 2002 and chair of the Pacific Asia Travel Association(PATA) in 2003; and Intramuros became a glittering tourist destination offering the best of the regions culture, cuisines and products.
In this 60 Minutes interview, Gordon reveals more of his adventures in the Senate, hi passion for helping people through the Red Cross, his fatherhood style, and grand plans if ever he becomes father of the country.
RICHARD GORDON(RG): Is this for Father’s Day? Father na father na ako eh (laughs proudly). I have 11 grandchildren, eight boys and three girls. The eldest is Leo, eight years old.
STUDENTS AND CAMPUSES BULLETIN(SCB): Are you a spoiler?
RG: Ah no, I’m firm but fair. That’s the way I am with government, the same way I am with myself. W enjoy one another. I teach them values. I’m a very happy grandfather, and father too.
SCB: Do you spend a lot of time together?
RG: Weekends. Or sometimes they spend the night with us. Except with our youngest who is always in Olongapo. We just stay home where I’m at peace. We eat out once in a while or sometimes I take them to the basketball game, nung mga bata pa sila, Ateneo-La Salle. Or when we have time in Subic, we go fishing, boating or swimming.
SCB: How do you teach values in this day and age?
RG: I taught my children to live within their means. They’re taught to respect everybody. So they don’t just say˜yes, they say â€˜yes lolo, yes ma’am, yes sir. Ganun din kasi ako pinalaki. They just donâ€™t go and get anything without permission. They grew up watching TV for a few hours only. And it shows in the resuts of their schooling.
SCB: And your kids are passing these on to their children?
RG: Yes, yes, just like my kids. Pag aalis sila, they have a self â€“imposed curfew. They always call every night. Up to now. When they were kids, I would call them every night kasi nasa Olongapo ako, nadito sila sa Manila. So when they go to a party, they have to call first before they go home para I can expect them. When they arrive home theyâ€™ll call. They have this sense that theyâ€™re special people but they are not to be specially treated.
SCB: Donâ€™t you run out of things to say to each other because you call each other everyday?
RG: No. We just say â€œI love youâ€ to each other. The call always ends with â€œI love you.â€
SCB: Kids today are no longer that affectionateâ€¦
RG: Ngayon? Well my grandchildren are affectionate.
SCB: Arenâ€™t grandparents supposed to be the spoilers?
RG: I donâ€™t live by a category. I never categorize people nor myself. Iâ€™m a grandparent, Iâ€™m still a father. I donâ€™t father my grandchildren. But when I see something that I donâ€™t agree with, I tell my son, I tell my daughter. Iâ€™ll tell them this is the way I think. Itâ€™s up to them. One of the best compliments Iâ€™ve ever had was when I was out one night and my grandchildren were asked, â€œWhereâ€™s your lolo?â€ â€œHeâ€™s out helping people at night in the storm.â€ So they know. You have to lead by example.
LESSONS FROM DAD
SCB: You have set very high standards for yourself and your family. Arenâ€™t you being too harsh on yourself?
RG: You have to be. Otherwise you become a hollow man. What do you live for? To be comfortable? You donâ€™t live forever. You live to respect yourself. When you no longer care, you no longer have a soul. Am I too harsh? Of course not. I exact leadership. I exact character. Some of us donâ€™t demand from ourselves, we donâ€™t demand of our fellowmen. You have to earn respect.
SCB: Did you learn this from your dad?
RG: Yes, of course. My father was unafraid. And he probably learned it from my grandfather. They were both high school graduates, they were successful. They did not have to steal. They work hard. I teach the work ethic. Dika pwedeng tamad pagka-Gordon ka. Dapat masipag ka. Tatay ko, nanay ko masipag.
SCB: What do you remember most about your father?
RG: He was a great man. In spite of the fact that he lacked formal education, he was a high school graduate, my mother was the same thing, I tell my kids that, can you imagine how great he would have been if he studied more.
But he was never afraid to face the challenge of the future. He chose to be Filipino.
That takes a lot. Komportable ka, Amerikano ka, may insurance ka, you belong to the most powerful nation in the world. He chose to be Filipino.. All his brothers went to the States. Siya Amerikano pinanganak, mestiso siya, katulad ng kapatid niya. Pinili niya Pilipino and he died a Filipino.
He raised me as Filipino. Why did he do that? Because he had a father who was an American, who loved the Philippines and never went back to America. And his other grandfather, was the first Filipino who won the battle against Spain and saved the revolution. Jose Tagle with Aguinaldo won the battle of Imus. That is his sword there. Jose Tagle won the first battle of the revolution. But nauna sa kanila yung Muslim. Tinalo ni Lapu Lapu.
SCB: Whatâ€™s the most important lesson you learned from your father?
RG: Never fear the future. Never make fear get in the way of your future.
SCB: In what context was that taught to you?
RG: Well yung buhay niya.Meron siyang paniwala na aayusin niya yung bayan niya. Binabaril, pinapaputukan siya ng Granada, hindi siya tumigil. So when you think of the Gordon na inalis ni Cory, naninindigan, o inalis ni Erap, naninindigan, or lumalaban kay Marcos o tumitindig sa Senado, at hindi pinapalambas yung mga nagungulimbat dito.
SCB: Is this the same lesson you want your kids to learn from you?
RG: Yeah. Sa kanila, siguro hindi naman ako namatay. Ang tatay ko namatay, pwersado ako na magtrabaho sa bayan. Sila nakikita nila, may diin sa kanila yun. Iâ€™m never always around, so yung eldest son ko, he doesnâ€™t want to go to politics. He wants to take care of his family. Wala silang yayaaand they bring their kids to school. Tatlong anak niya lalaki, isa lang yaya nila recently lang.
THE ENTERPRISING YOUNG MAN
SCB: Was there a time when you were discriminated when you were a boy because you were carrying an American name?
RG: Hindi naman na â€“discriminate. I would not let anybody discriminate me. Sasabihin nila GI baby ka, suntukan na. (laughs) Pag Kastila yung nagsasabi lumalaban ako talaga. Pag tinanggal yung sumbrero ko, kasi crew cut ako noon, hindi ako pwedeng magpahaba ng buhok, kukunin nila yung sumbrero ko. But look at that, I was in Letran. Look at my desk, all the schools that I attended are there.
SCB: What schools are those?
RG: UP, Ateneo, Letran. Wala lang dyan yung Lourdes, wala pang bandera ang Lourdes.
SCB: But where lies your loyalty?
RG: All of the above. (laughs)
SCB: Safe answerâ€¦
RG: No, because they all formed me. Pagpasok ko sa Letran anong sinasabi nila? Aguinaldo was from Letran. Quezon was from Letran. Baka maging presidente ako.
SCB: How were you as a student?
RG: Active all the time, never a doormat. I was class president. I was active in the cub scouts. I was active as drum and bugle corps, grade 1 to 3 yan. I taught catechism. I was a sacristan, Sanctuary Society. I was in debating, I was in ROTCCC, I was an officer. I was everywhere, thatâ€™s why I was a hall of famer. I was in the track team. I was head cheerleader.
SCB: Where do you get the drive to excel, then and now?
RG: From my mother who had a lot of energy. She never pushed me, she just showed me by her example. My mother hardly slept. I knew she was trying to get us through school, and my father. So we had our duty when we came home, we had four restaurants, we had theatres, we had a hotel, we had a piggery, we had jeepneys. Very entrepreneurial ang mga magulang ko. I was never in want. I was never in want for anything. But I was always told, you have to keep moving. You have to work. And Iâ€™ll go home, maglalagay ako ng comics na binili ko ng grade school ako, or nung high school ako, ilalagay ko sa sampayan. Tatawagan ko yung mga kapitbahay, magsa-shine kami ng sapatos ng Amerikano. Pagpasok sa restaurant namin kami nagsa-shine, eh di kumikita kami. Tapos nag-aarkila sila ng comics, nagbabasa sila. So entrepreneurial ako.
Later on I would sell teddy bears, love bags. I was also barking orders, â€˜porter house medium well.â€™ Tutulungan ko yung mga waiter. Magbabasa ako ng libro, I tell the waiters, alam niyo ang mga waiters, you are the most trusted because noong araw, kaya nagkaroon ng mga waiter â€˜yung mga hari, kailangan may magsisilbi ng pagkain, kailangan pagtiwalaan ng hari â€˜yun at kailangan magalingdahil mapapahiya yung hari pag balasubas kayong magsilbi. Tinuturo ko sa mga waiter naming yan, kailangan malinis kayo.
SCB: So you held summer jobs?
RG: I worked for my parents. Nagkakakaha ako.
SCB: With pay?
RG: No. nagungupit ako. (laughs) No, pinapaalam ko naman sa tatay ko yan. Kukuha ako ng ganito ha, pag sumobra, tatawagan ako, ang laki naman ng kinuha mo. (laughs) But I was never in want. May pera ako eh. Kumikita ako. Nagpapalit ako ng dollar sa mga waiters. I collected Zippo lighters. Tapos ibebenta ko sa mga classmates ko. Mga USS America, USS Constellation.
SCB: Was there a time na you felt that you failed in something?
RG: Oh yeah.
SCB: How did you deal with it?
RG: The biggest failure in my life was when I repeated second year high school. I love the movies, I love going to parties at that time, and then ang sama ng timing nagbago pa mga teachers. Yung mga Filipino Jesuits pumasok bigla. Pinalitan yung mga Amerikano. They were very demanding.
SCB: Where were you then?
RG: In Ateneo. So when I flunked, that was a big failure. And when you come back to it, it wasnâ€™t really a failure because if you learn from your failures, thatâ€™s the time I decided I would be very active in meaningful things. Not just parties. Thatâ€™s the time that I decided that I will be a very meaningful leader in school.
SCB: What did you parents say when you flunked?
RG: My mother was livid and my father was quiet. Sabi niya Iâ€™ll take you to school and Iâ€™ll tell you what youâ€™ll do. So nung dinala niya ako sa eskwela, sabi niya, you made a mistake, pick it up. Mag-aral ka, and if you reall try as diligent as you can and canâ€™t get honors, get honors in another way, by being a leader: Ayun, lalo ako naging active sa leadership.
SCB: What was your first ambition?
RG: To be a pilot. (laughs) â€˜Yung pari tinatanong ako, sabi ni Father, well your exams show youâ€™re not diligent in Math. I went to take up History and Government. History is my first love. When I graduated, I applied sa Procter and Gamble, Unilever, lahat â€˜yan tinanggap ako. Pero nung kumukuha ako ng exams sabi ng mga classmates ko, uy Dick may Math dito, History ka eh, business ito. Tawa-tawa lang ako, mga cum laude sila. I got the job and I got offers from all the companies.
SCB: Which company did you chose?
RG: Procter and Gamble. I handled Tide and Safeguard. I stayed for a year, umalis ako dahil pinatay tatay ko. Sabi ko no, iba na ito. Pinatay na ang father ko.
SCB: How did you cope with the tragedy?
RG: Very hard. Itâ€™s still here. I still cry. I only cry for two things, my father and my country. You never forget your parents. When you talk about your father, the way he died, talagang tatamaan ka dun. So you teach your children that. You teach your grandchildren that. You have a great history but your history is not borowing from the. You learn from them, you make your own history. You donâ€™t want your familyâ€™s history to end with you. You want it to begin with you, to higher heights.
SCB: In the face of tragedy, nandun ka sa gitna, how do you feel about sa ganun?
RG: Iâ€™m the bravest when Iâ€™m in the middle of a tragedy. Hindi ako umiikak in the middle of a tragedy. I have to be brave. I have to be strong.
ON THE PRESIDENCY
SCB: It seems you have never lost in faith in the Filipino, despite their attitude todayâ€¦
RG: I have never lost faith in the Filipino because all countries go through a period of strife, of difficulty, of questioning. Can you imagine if you were black in America? Today you have a black American president. If they had lost faith, eh di wala na â€˜yan. You never lose faith. Imagine if you were black during the time of Lincoln. How can you lose faith?
SCB: Are you going to run for president?
RG: You know the reason why I am not announcing is because if I announced, lahat ng gagawin ko sasabihin politika. I could be charged with premature campaigning.
SCB: But a lot of them are doing thatâ€¦
RG: Just because everybodyâ€™s killing people, I should start killing people?
SCB: So why aren’t they charged?
RG: Because itâ€™s a very apathetic society. Complacent. Tamad tayo mag-analyze. Thatâ€™s one of the things I teach my children and my grandchildren. Analyze ninyo lahat. Do not put people in a category. Do not accept fate. Do not accept chance na talagang ganyan and buhay o wala tayong magagawa.
If you analyze the situation tama ba na surveys ang magdidikta kung sino ang iboboto natin? Na susuko na sasabihing huwag na tumakbo â€˜tong si (Bayani) Fernando, sila Gordon, (Gilbert) Teodoro dahil hindi sila nagre-rate. Bakit nasuri naba kung ano ang record namin, ang integridad, ang vision?
Ang ibig sabihin porke lamag na sa isang survey dahil nag-aadvertise siya, eh ibig sabihin huwag ka na lumaban? Eh di survey nalang ang gamitin natin sa pagboto. Huwag na tayong gumastos pa ng automated elections, survey na lang naman pala eh.
SCB: But it’s damned if you do, damned if you don’t. Even your work at Red Cross is being said as politickingâ€¦
RG: Ah so 40 years na pala ako namumulitika, kasi 40 years na ko sa Red Cross eh. Sixty years na nanay ko sa Red Cross.
SCB: Para kasing whether you do it or not, people will take it that wayâ€¦
RG: Ah hindi. Malinaw ako eh. Mapapaliwanag ko yan. Nanalo naman ako as the youngest Con Con delegate, I was only 24 then. Ibig ba sabihin Red Cross ang nagpanalo sa akin? As mayor, Red Cross and nagpanalo sa akin? Hindi ko naman pinagkakalandakan na Red Cross ako eh.
Ang masama dito yung gumagawa ng masama hindi niyo sinisingil, kundi yung gumagawa ng mabuti, yung may track record. Sinisingil ng tao, sinisingil ng media. Pero nakikita ninyo sa ating lipunan may mga tao na manunugal, pumapatay ng tao, pero pag bumanat takot lahat eh.
STARTING WITH HIMSELF
SCB: So what are you afraid of?
RG: Me? I would be lying to you if I say Iâ€™m afraid of nothing. Iâ€™m afraid of an immediate threat.. But Iâ€™m not afraid of a long term threat. I can fix it. Yung bigla na lang lalabas, siyempreâ€¦youâ€™re in a plane, baka mag-crash, siyempre matatakot ka.
Am I afraid to run for President? No, Iâ€™m not afraid. Am I afraid because I have no money?
SCB: Are you afraid to lose?
RG: No. I think I will win. When I decide to run, I will win. Because masigasig akong mangampanya. Number 29 ako ng tumakbo ako sa Senado. I had no Iglesia ni Cristo, I won number 5. I had no money. Nanghihinayang ba ako? No, I just feel let down by society na nakukuha sila sa pasayaw-sayaw, sa mga slogan na walang ibig sabihin, na hindi sila tumitingin sa kakayahan ng tao. Diba pag mag-aaply ka sa trabaho, ano bang nagawa mo? What is your experience? Where did you go to school? Anong values mo? Saan ka pupunta dito sa kumpanya? What will you contribute to the company? We donâ€™t even ask our people that. Diba malinaw nung nakita niyo ako sa ABS-CBN sa ANC, sinong hero mo? Tatay ko. Hindi naman ako nagpa-pause sa answer ko.
SCB: You have a solid group of volunteers, how are you going to bring this to the natinal levelâ€¦ kasi parang most of the people are apathetic?
RG: Didnâ€™t I win as Senator with those volunteers? The only thing that they have in the Senate that they can claim is marami silang poster, or TV ads. Starting off in the presidency, all this things being equal, mas marami kang pera lamang ka dahil marami kang advertising.
Pero marami rin akong track record at naniniwala ako sa tao. Minsa sinasabi ko, ano bang nangyayari sa bayan natin? Bakit pinapayagan â€˜to? And thatâ€™s the reason why youâ€™re running. Thatâ€™s the reason why you will run because you have a people na gusto mong baguhin ang attitude.
SCB: Did you shine in the ANC Forum because of your track record or because you speak so well?
RG: All of the above. You have to communicate. Communication is not verbal exercise. May laman dapat ang sinasabi mo. Wala kang laman kung wala kang nagawa. Hindi sapat yung pinag-aralan mo pag hindi alam gamitin yung pinag-aralan mo. Did you think I shone?
SCB: Yeahâ€¦ Specially because when you were asked who your hero was, you did not hesitate with your answer while another presidentiable froze and was not able to answer.
RG: I always say that. Pag tinatanong ako kung sinong mga role models ko, sasabihin ko tatay ko, nanay ko. For motivational capabilities si (John) Kennedy at saka si (Ronald) Reagan. For political will, si (Harry) Truman.
SCB: With your track record, you have all the reason to win. But what would make you lose if you run as president?
RG: Kapag ang tao hindi nag-aaral, talo tayo. But then naniniwala ako na nag-aaral sila sa presidency eh. What would make me lose is hindi ko ma-communicate yung message ko na yun.
SCB: So who should be afraid of Dick Gordon?
RG: Yung mga corrupt. Yung mga nang â€“aabuso. Because if Iâ€™m president, you will see action agad. I donâ€™t wait. Kapag may nag-complain sa akin, I call people right away.
SCB: Malilinis ninyo ba yun?
RG: Kaya ko.
SCB: Where do you start?
RG: With myself. Kapag nakita ninyo ako na nagnakaw, magnakaw na kayo.
SCB: Pero alam na ng tao na hindi niyo gagawin yunâ€¦
RG: Thatâ€™s precisely it. Kung sino yung konduktor, kung lazy ang kudukotor, lazy ang tao. Ang tao kasi ide-define mo eh. Ako, Iâ€™m going to be honest, you can expect that I will be honest and you know that I will be honest. But I want you to be honest and I want you to be a watcher. People can call me on this phone and I donâ€™t know them. They ask for blood, they ask for help in hospitals, they ask â€œYung anak ko na OFW kunin ninyo.â€ And you donâ€™t see that on TV but I do that everyday.
Heto tignan ninyo yung phone ko (hands the phone over to SCB staff). Iâ€™m the Red Cross chairman and they report to me. Thatâ€™s the kind of presidency that I will have. They are required to tell their chairman kung ano ang nangyayari. It could be a landslide in Compastela Valley and if they donâ€™t report kung ano ang nangyayari in their area and I find out, lagot sila.
DREAMS FOR HIS COUNTRY
SCB: Tech-savvy po ba kayo?
RG: No, I hate it.
SCB: So how do you relax?
RG: I relax while am working. Ngayon relaxed ako. (laughs)
SCB: Which books do you read?
RG: I am now reading â€œHouse of War: The Pentagon and the Disastrous Rise of American Power,â€ by James Caroll, itâ€™s 600 plus pages, ganyan kakapal.
SCB: Do you have time to watch movies?
RG: Not lately. Sa bahay na lang kami nagdi-DVD ni Kate.
SCB: Hindi naman pirated?
RG: Hindi, Iâ€™m a lawyer of the industry. (laughs)
SCB: Ano yung guilty pleasures ninyo?
RG: Thatâ€™s for me to know and for you to discover. (laughs)
SCB: Among the many hats that you wore, whatâ€™s the most fulfilling?
RG: Red Cross. Wala naman akong sweldo dyan eh but I enjoy doing it. Like my mother who is still with the Red Cross. Yung mga taong nagmamahal sa akin kasi they know that no one is high or low, we help period. Nobody will be left behind.
SCB: Briefly what kind of president will you be?
RG: Hardworking, focused, fast, friendly, flexible, forward-looking president.
SCB: Puro â€œFâ€ yun ah.
RG: Thatâ€™s a slogan, thatâ€™s me. Iâ€™ll be a teaching-president. I will enable and enoble you, this country. Ako sometimes, I ask myself how I am different. Sila nagngangapa pa sila kung ano ang sasabihin, ako you ask me, Iâ€™ll answer right away. No pausing, no â€œahâ€¦â€ walang plastic. Ako, I tend to cry. Naiiyak ako minsan eh. I watch a movie, I cry. Is that a sign of weakness? No, itâ€™s a sign that you are human.
SCB: Do you have regrets?
RG: Kapag tapos na, I donâ€™t. I donâ€™t dwell on it. I donâ€™t dwell on what could have beens. Of course I have regrets but I donâ€™t dwell on it. Do I regret being a Filipino? Do I regret my father choosing to be a Filipino? Can I do that? Thereâ€™s no time for that. I meet with my staff and I tell them, â€œQuit na tayo. Gusto ko mag-quit eh.â€ Iâ€™m just saying that because sometimes Iâ€™m perplexed. This country wants change and yet kapag nag-survey ang mga iboboto nila yung mga bobo! And am not saying that because Iâ€™m not rating but because I donâ€™t know if these are real surveys. How can you trust that?
Ano regret ko? Na wala akong pera? Can I blame my parents? Weâ€™ve had enough. Should I tell myself, â€œSorry, hindi ka kasi nagpa-smuggling eh.â€ And I tell you this, I donâ€™t think I should spend my own money to campaign. Magnanakaw lang ako eh.
SCB: So what are your dreams for the country?
RG: I have many dreams for this country.
First of all, I want every Filipino to be assured that when they work someday, they have enough to send their kids to school, they have enough for their insurance, they have enough to retire on. Thatâ€™s a dream, a real dream, an aspiration and it will take time.
I want this country to be proud of itself. I want this country to stand tall, be respected because we have earned it. Thatâ€™s my dream, enable, enoble, yung hindi tayo pala-hingi, hindi pala-asa. For the country, you have to be a stakeholder. How can I best make the Pasig clean? If I show them that there is a nice walkway and there are businesses out there that they can earn income from. And they will say â€œDapat pangalagaan natin huwag nating bastusin.â€ And thatâ€™s how to build a country.
There will always be pain in this life and you have to alleviate human suffering, thatâ€™s a Red Cross motto. Uplift human dignity… You cannot give that unless they know I have dignity and I have earned that.
Look at this place(referring to his office), everywhere you look, Knights of the Round Table – thereâ€™s a higher goal, a lofty goal, use might for right, hindi might is right, but might for right. Don Quixote De La Mancha â€“ a book and a sword, a dreamer because he thinks of the way how it should be. Thatâ€™s me, thatâ€™s what I want your children to be. Because without that aspiration, you are not a human being. You are created by the Lord to be better than what you think you are.
Aim high, you have the power. Bawal ang Tamad. Lalong bawal ang Tanga. You should have a sense of duty, donâ€™t be waited on. Duty first. You have to have dignity, you have to have determination. Those are my slogans. Self-help, self-reliance.
So do you expect me to give them money? No, because if I give you money, I have power over you. But if you earn it, you have dignity.