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We Don't Always Take After Our Parents, And That's Not a Bad Thing
PHOTO BY INSTAGRAM /UNOEMILIO /SUPREMODP
  • More often than not, our parents are our first teachers. We learn the little things for the first time at home - how we eat, take a bath, and whether we say “po” and “opo.” Family also influences us with our big beliefs - our religion, the values we hold close to our hearts, and gender norms.

    But as we grow older, our perspective becomes wider to include what we observe from outside our homes, what we pick up in school, and what we realize about our society. We read up on things we know (and, more importantly, what we do not know), criticize what we have been taught, and find the missing pieces about our identity (morals and values included).

    It is expected, therefore, that we develop our own character—and everything that goes along with it—whether or not it’s aligned with our own family’s views.

    An important (and often quoted) passage in chapter nine of Lualhati Bautista's Dekada '70 goes: “Ang inyong anak ay hindi n'yo anak. / Sila’y mga anak na lalaki’t babae ng buhay! Nagdaan sila sa inyo ngunit hindi inyo, At bagama't pinalaki n'yo, / sila'y walang pananagutan sa inyo...” This is a Filipino translation of Kahlil Gibran’s poem titled On Children, which also mentions, “You may give them your love but not your thoughts, / For they have their own thoughts.”

    The Philippine national elections is on May 9, and more and more voices have risen—including the offspring of strong political families. And in an unexpected turn of events, a few of them have made loud dissenting sentiments. As in, against their own parents' beliefs.

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    4 political children who made brave statements on PH elections 2022

    1. Lorenzo Legarda Leviste

    On May 4, Wednesday, Rappler came out with a scathing opinion piece by 31-year-old Lorenzo Legarda Leviste—the older of the two sons of Antique representative and senatorial candidate Loren Legarda.

    "I have no choice but to publicly declare that I am absolutely disgusted by my mother and what she has decided to do," he writes. This is weeks after learning that her mother is running under the UniTeam slate—an electoral alliance led by presidential candidate Bongbong Marcos and vice-presidential candidate Sara Duterte. "I need everyone to know that Loren Legarda lost her son forever because of this. Paint her bright red with that shame."

    READ ALSO: 'Heartbreaking For A Mom!' Parent Reactions And Lessons From Loren Legarda's Son's Open Letter

    Unlike his younger brother Leandro, who is the founder of Solar Philippines, Lorenzo managed to keep away from the spotlight. He left the Philippines at the age of 18 to study abroad, and hasn't seen his mother in half a decade, he narrated.

    Leandro meanwhile wrote an open letter to his mom, saying he is proud of her.

    2. Jake Ejercito

    Ejercito is a familiar name in the Philippines, whether in showbiz or politics or both.

    The family patriarch, Joseph Ejercito Estrada, served as the 13th president of the Philippines from 1999 until he was impeached in 2001. The sons of Estrada are also in public office including Jinggoy Estrada, who is once again running for senator under the UniTeam ticket; and JV Ejercito, who is also eyeing a senatorial comeback. Jinggoy in 2014 was indicted and charged with plunder for his alleged involvement Priority Development Assistance Fund scam. He posted bail in 2016 and was released from jail while trial is still ongoing.

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    READ ALSO: Politics Is Becoming Toxic: How Not To 'Unfriend' Family And Friends

    While Joseph Estrada’s political party Pwersa ng Masang Pilipino is backing the Marcos’ UniTeam, his own son, Jake Ejercito, is one of the celebrity supporters of presidential candidate Leni Robredo, who is running as an independent. Donning his pink shirt, Jake is often present not only in the grand rallies of Team Robredo–Pangilinan but also during house-to-house campaigning.

    During a campaign rally in Pasig on March 20, Jake said "But it ain’t about colors for me; it’s about being Filipino. No hero-worship here, but candidates who are as genuine, as qualified, and as capable as her don’t come around too often. Let’s not waste this rare opportunity to let someone like her lead."

    3. Wanna Ver

    On May 2, Rappler published an investigative piece titled "General Ver’s daughter reckons with her father and the legacy of Martial Law." It was "the result of an investigation by a team of journalists at the University of Gothenburg, Sweden. Wanna Ver is part of this collaboration as both a source and co-author for this article," according to the footnote.

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    In it, Ver's daughter recalls how she "spent her early childhood in a lavish Forbes Park mansion flanked by foreign diplomats’ homes." She is the daughter of General Fabian Ver, after all, the most trusted ally and military officer of former president and dictator Ferdinand Marcos, Sr. Self-aware about growing up with privilege amid the dictatorship and knowing only the information that her family filtered for her, the now 44-year-old Wanna was able to confront the truth as she began writing her memoir in 2020.

    "Her research revealed opposing martial law narratives, but it was viewing Lauren Greenfield’s documentary, The Kingmaker, that had the most impact," said the Rappler article. It was a step toward finding out the truth about the Marcos regime, including stories about her father who was colloquially known as Ver-dugo (a wordplay on "berdugo" or executioner).

    "I feel like a million sorries is not enough. I needed to learn the truth of what happened so I could tell a different story, to help those without a voice to tell their story…because of the role my father played in their suffering," Wanna wrote.

    4. Daniel Padilla

    In a Facebook post by Director Mandy Reyes on March 9, Daniel Padilla was seen standing next a poster of Robredo. "Aba ewan ko sa inyo. Basta kay #LiderLeni kami ng tropa kong gangster," Reyes said in the caption. Robredo's camp also came out with video on April 24 where Padilla is seen participating in painting a pink-colored mural that said "Rosas ang kulay ng bukas." This is in contrast with his mother's Karla Estrada support for Bongbong Marcos' campaign.

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    Daniel is the nephew of Robin Padilla, who is running as senator under PDP–Laban and the UniTeam slate.

    READ ALSO: Magkaibang Boto Sa Isang Bahay: Karla Estrada Says Kids Like Daniel Padilla Allowed Their Own Opinion

    This story originally appeared on Spot.ph. Minor edits have been made by the SmartParenting.com.ph editors.

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