Pangilinan reminisces about political beginnings, meets constituents who elected him in his 1st public office

May 4, 2022

Vice-presidential candidate Kiko Pangilinan, “marunong bumalik sa pinanggalingan”, returned to Tatalon on May 3 and met old-time residents who voted for him and his advocacies of social justice when he first ran and won as youngest councilor of Quezon City. PHOTOS COURTESY OF TEAM KIKO PANGILINAN

QUEZON CITY — His voice raspy due to months of speaking in political rallies while his face is marked with creases of the bruising national campaign, vice-presidential aspirant Francis “Kiko” Pangilinan strode towards the center of a makeshift stage on the middle of a street lane along Quezon City’s Araneta Avenue on Tuesday evening.

“Magandang gabi, District 4. Magandang gabi, Tatalon. Alam nyo ho, may kasabihan. Ang hindi marunong lumingon sa pinanggalingan ay hindi makararating sa paroroonan. Dito ako sa District 4 unang inihalal nang ating mga kababayan noong 1988 bilang konsehal,” Pangilinan greeted the crowd, who had been waiting for him for hours under the searing summer sun.

“Maraming salamat sa inyong pagsuporta sa akin noon. Dito ako sa Quezon City unang nanglingkod,” he said.

His fired-up audience shouted “Kiko! Kiko!”

Ageing residents of the flood-prone Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City’s District 4 were among those who first believed in and supported the social justice advocacies of Pangilinan. In 1988, they elected Pangilinan, then 25 years old, as councilor to represent them in the Quezon City assembly.  

“Marami sa inyo na old-timers sa City Hall … sila ang magpapatunay noon pa man ipinaglalaban na natin ang malinis ng gobyerno. Hindi tayo pumayag sa katiwalian, kalokohan, at pang-aabuso,” he continued.

“Sino sa inyo ang batang QC? Taas ang kamay. Ako rin batang QC. Dito ako ipinanganak, dyan kami nanirahan sa 11 Mahusay Street, UP Village, Quezon City. Labing-anim na taon po tayo dito. Dito rin ako sa QC unang umibig,” Pangilinan said.

“I love you,” several members of the audience shouted back.

“Dito rin ako sa QC unang nabigo,” he admitted. The crowd roared into laughter.

“Tatlong beses akong na-busted. At kung hindi, hindi kami nagkatuluyan ni Sharon,” he joked. The crowd laughed boisterously.

“Bago ako naging konsehal, student council (chairman) ako ng UP Diliman. Nagmartsa sa kalye, noong panahon ng diktadura. Lumaban sa pang-aabuso, lumaban sa paglabag sa karapatang pantao noong panahon ng diktadura,” he said.

“Noon pa man hanggang sa ngayon hindi tayo papayag sa abusadong gobyerno. Hindi tayo papayag sa katiwalian sa ating gobyerno. Noon pa man hanggang sa ngayon,” Pangilinan said.

The flood-prone Barangay Tatalon along Araneta Avenue in Quezon City’s District 4 was Pangilinan’s last stop in the one-day May 3 barnstorming of all the city’s districts.

Flying in from Baguio City, he visited the busy Muñoz Market at the corner of EDSA and Roosevelt Avenue where he talked to vendors and ordinary people. He even took selfies and signed autographs.

From Muñoz Market, he proceeded to speak in mini-rallies held in Asamba Covered Court in Sitio Mendez in Baesa, YCL Covered Court in Project 2, Shop N’ Ride in General Luis in Novaliches, and a parking lot in a small mall along Commonwealth Avenue.  

Marivic Aliansas, 53, was only 19, when she campaigned for and voted Pangilinan as councilor.

“Hindi ako nagsisisi sa pagsuporta at pagboto sa kay Kiko,” Aliansas said on the sidelines of the rally in Tatalon.

“Ngayon, maraming bumabatikos sa kanya, lalo na doon sa juvenile justice na batas na isinulong niya. Pero hindi alam ng marami ay nakatutulong nang malaki dito sa Barangay Tatalon ang batas na iyon,” Aliansas, now a mother of three and a street vendor, said.

“Kailangang manalo si Kiko para sa mga anak ko at sa kabataan ng Tatalon,” she said.

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