An Evening with Honorable Senator Gregorio "Gringo" Honasan

Sunday, August 14, 2011

I'm no expert in Philippine politics nor military knowledgeable or inclined; but I realized I had so many things to thank for when I got the chance to talk to one heck of a great leader... the Honorable Senator Gregorio Ballesteros "Gringo" Honasan.

First time to see him. I was really nervous because I sat right next to him! :)

I never get to talk to people I voted for in the last elections and this was officially a treat for me. I kept asking myself the same question, whilst heading over to the venue. What should I ask him? Would he find my questions intrusive or complicated? How would I ask him about certain issues without holding back? I was put to ease by everyone who made this possible, his whole staff made it easy for us and didn't tell us a single thing not to ask about... it was no holds barred. I felt so good when they told me that.

He didn't hold back explaining everything. Even hard issues in the past!

In hindsight I actually only asked a couple of questions, he already had the mind to explain to us about the controversies or issues with the government we didn't dare ask. That's how open he was right from the get go. The Coup de etat, the jail time, his relation with the officers, the rebellion, the Oakwood mutiny all seemed to be a nono to ask but he went ahead and did answer them. It was idealism and his profound wishes for a better regime and country for everyone + more that made him do some of the things he did in the past. He was an officer and a gentleman, now that he is a Senator and more he said he's already made milestones and accomplishments that he didn't get to do before. He got to help a lot of people in a "general" scale, from Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao; he realized the laws he get to pass in the plenary affect countless lives... plus generations to come. Isn't that admirable? IKR?!

Actually, he understood why he's still being tagged by irresponsible media and government officials every time there is something rebellious in nature that happens in the Philippines... though we laughed it off; it was really preposterous! How in the world can one man do 9++ coup attempts and all the other officer disgruntlement's all by himself... some government officials who pointed an accusing finger at him really need to get checked in on mental institutions IMHO.

The Honorable Senator Gregorio "Gringo" Honasan

Unlike Other Lawmakers

This interview was getting all serious and we got to know how much he cared for the less our less fortunate kababayans. Did you know squatting is decriminalized now? Did you know he extended the rent control law? Did you know he did a lot of things for Agrarian reform, Land use and its proponents? It might be so simple to you guys but believe me a LOT of people benefited from it. He did all those things and more; but you probably didn't think of it that much when you voted the last time right? I did my research and got my vote for him counted because as a citizen of this country I always thought that in order to legitimize each concern that I have I need to do my part. I'm glad to see my vote wasn't wasted. Ask yourself this question next time when you put someone's name on the ballot, will he be worth it?! Mine did.

On His Personal Life

I didn't want to just stay with the serious issues really and since this was a once in a lifetime opportunity I wanted to know about him in a more intimate way. I knew some things courtesy of my Dad and Uncle about the Senator and his musical affiliations in the past. You probably didn't even know that right?! LOL Senator Gringo also almost didn't remember either but I guess some of the names I mentioned suddenly hit a chord and named names like Spanky Rigor, Pepe Smith, VST and other ones I didn't quite know coz you and I probably weren't born yet. It was so refreshing to shy away from politics. He now remembers a couple of things from that era... and I agree those were really the good ole days.

He's not choosy per se with the food he eat but he needs to trim down a little he said so he's sticking to healthy choices these days. He values communication and knows the power of social media. He is a twitter user and at the age of 63 and he's a cool Grandpa to begin with. Today he wants to have all our resources to be equally distributed. He wants solid government programs that turn into good things that people will feel. This light talk about the music industry, bits and pieces of graduating from the PMA, militarism was turning quite good. He also said something about that controversy about answering back to Jim Paredes on Twitter. I think the Senator was right though. He said these life threatening situations like being a soldier isn't a joke. He was apologetic about bursting out like that later on. He contemplated after that incident that social networking has brought the best and worst in us. True, true!

Land use and it's sustainable development is his priority bill. He wanted to do something like "equating" land use. He admits that the country has been exploited too much by the US and China too and I totally agree with him on that. What's ironic is that even if they did these things we still tried to help em. China already made structures on the shoal/Recto bank but we didn't do crap. 9/11 would have not happened if US only listened to our intelligence information, they didn't know that! Those are facts but he's quite optimistic and hopeful about our country and he'll continue to do his best to make efforts reforming the country's defenses, the PNP and AFP through laws.

The Senator candidly tells stories about him at home

I felt that he's got nothing to prove now that it's his 12th yr as a Senator of the Republic of the Philippines. With an accomplished and a reputable resume to boot; we asked about a regular day in the Honasan household. His grandchildren occupies his morning (that alone already counts as a workout he jokingly said *whilst chases around the kids*). Getting married was his happiest memory together with the ousting of Marcos in 1986; he's family oriented, very romantic to his wife and wants to do a lot of things until now. He believes that the right to life is prime, whosoever gets killed in Mindanao is as important as the one in Manila; honor is next.

These days he enjoys reading and exercises as much as he can to manage his weight. He watches movies (Transformers etc.). He also designs furniture, paint and carve wood. He takes care of bonsai trees and believes he's got a green thumb. He sometimes love to pretend he's listening to other politicians nonsense. He's got advise about women too: Love them unconditionally, don't try understanding women because it would be pointless. Senator Enrile btw is like a father to him. He loves listening to new songs too from Amy Winehouse, Mic Jagger, The Beatles and appreciate more of his life through music. Isn't that nice to know?! :)

He loves practicing Kendo these days and makes sure this is a part of his regimen. He's a national champion for combat shooting and a very good skydiver. He lead professionals in ASEAN years ago too. He wants people to know that the greatest unexplored part of the Philippines is his hometown Sorsogon. A swim in Donsol Sorsogon is bliss! he says. He loves seeing and touching those gentle giant whale sharks. He agrees that we have so many things to be explored in our own country and people should really take a look at them soon!

In a nutshell, I was really inspired to ask questions because talking and listening to him was indeed a pleasure. He's a soldier, a rebel, an artist, a lover, a good looking guy like me (no pun intended hehe) among others; but best of all he's a great law maker and public servant. I'd like to take this bit and thank Senator Gregorio Honasan and his staff for being so nice to me that evening. He inspired me to make smart choices and tell the people I love about how to choose someone to have the heart serving my countrymen. I hope this wouldn't be the last time that I'd get to talk to such an honorable gentleman. I hope my readers get to do the same thing and make sure they research (if possible talk to them) first before they support someone in the next elections. I just did. =)


1 comment:

Arvin U. de la Peña said...

wow..magaling siya..buti at nakaharap mo na siya..