It's been a while since I've posted something personal; and I think it calls for something really good.
A few days ago, I was invited to dinner by the one and only Ms. Tingting Cojuangco. Being a lifestyle blogger, a fashion icon always sparks interest... so I said yes of course! I got to read some of her very candid advice on newspaper with Ms. Lucy Torres Gomez and her daughters (for a few years) and some of her columns for a local broadsheet. First of all, let me tell you this first... I don't like talking about elections or politics. Although for this one, I panicked a bit because she is Ms. Tingting Cojuangco. I decided it would be good to maybe get to talk to her in a different light. I honestly don't know that much about her other than being a governor of Tarlac a few years ago (and writes as I said a while ago). I don't even know what she's been doing these past few years because I was more into local city politics and national ones, which I'm afraid is going to be a big disadvantage. I wanted to talk to her on a lifestyle perspective and later on maybe learn to know more about her. How I would be able to squeeze this in a few hours is still up in the air. Honestly, I've seen socialites who are stiff, condescending and one who looks down on others, particularly the poor. So I did lower my expectations.
When we got to the place,we were invited inside a large anteroom full of antique pieces from the south.
Judging from the looks of it, these are probably from different tribe ceremonies and some antique accessories. She even had paintings from national artists.
It was a mix of treasures from that region, fabrics that have intricate patterns and colors; and some small mementos of her family. I saw photos of her daughters Mikaela María Antonia Cojuangco-Jaworski, Luisita C. Bautista, Josephine C. Guingona, Margarita Demetria C. Zini, Regina Patricia Jose Cojuangco and her husband Jose "Peping" Cojuangco, Jr. She's a proud Mom! "I said to myself. I haven't met her yet and to know how much she keeps things just reminded me of my Mom who always keeps remembrances from family/keeps things for heirlooms.
Then she came in dressed in sleek black and white striped top and jeans. Walked in and we introduced ourselves. She was warm and bubbly. She looked happy to meet us and asked us to take a seat. She saw some of us looking around the place so she jumped in and showed us her collection. She spoke softly and had a smile for all of us. She was gorgeous. I was way wrong to have had my mind set that she'd be that strict condescending politician I thought she would be. She made us feel right at home; and told stories about trinkets and pieces laid on this table.
From cosmetic containers, to things that would hold "nganga", to bowls, swords, musical instruments and other things it was a museum of sorts; all had a different story on how she got it. She said some of these things were used as dowry containers in weddings and other special occasions.
Mr. and Ms. Cojuangco sat down and talked to us about politics, current events and what they were busy with. Asked if she was planning to run, she told us she's running with UNA as a part of the coalition between VP Binay and her party PDP-LABAN. She was invited to their lineup and she agreed so as prospective Senator. With tons of experience in the province of Tarlac plus the things she has done at ARMM and her impressive educational background Ms. Tingting confidently said she can take up the role of this national post.
It seems she doesn't mind people who ask her about her stand on the ARMM situation. She's partly sad to have small disagreements with the President but she's very optimistic. After all, the President is part of her family; particularly her nephew. The sadness probably comes from the thought of not having the people of ARMM to choose their leader since President Noynoy opted to appoint an OIC rather than through an election.
Sir Peping Cojuangco on the other hand is the current President of the Philippine Olympic Committee. He's done a remarkable job in the past few years. I bluntly asked him while alone about his plans to run for government office again (like a local post) but he says he's going to run for POC. Evidently, this one is going to be a little hard now that Go Teng Kok (head of Athletics) would probably be challenging him. But I'm sure a lot of people in that sector would be still supporting him. It's his third term.
Nothing fancy, no frills, a down to earth couple who has served countless Filipinos in their home province is now set to continue serving more through the enabling and enacting laws. She's a very humble lady and she is so nice in person. I admit to have been so judgmental about politicians; I never knew meeting such a fine lady would make me realize there are good ones out there. Ms. Tingting never made me feel inferior. Her confidence and passion about public safety exudes from her experience and educational background. Her unquestionable intentions to help people no matter what their religion, ethnicity or beliefs maybe is just one of the things I hope this world would have more of. Thank you very much Ms. Margarita "Tingting" Cojuangco for making me believe there are still good ones in the Philippines. Truly, people need someone like you.
Thank you very much for letting us into your home. Thank you also to the people who made this possible. I hope people would get to know you first like I did on this day. Thank you for your time, showing us how important it is to help those who need it most. There are no limits in doing something good for the country.
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