Alan Peter Cayetano on his family being a political dynasty: "It’s not about kung magkapatid o kung magkamag-anak, it’s about sinong pinaglalaban mo."

Sen. Alan Peter Cayetano relates how he and his wife Mayor Lani make their marriage work despite their careers in publice service: "We just have to make a rule. Sa 9 years, ang rule namin, kung nasan man kami, sa gabi magkasama kami."


His father was the late Rene “Compañero” Cayetano, who served as a senator from 1998 to 2003. His sister Pia Cayetano was elected the youngest woman senator in the Philippines in 2004.

His wife Lani Lopez-Cayetano assumed the mayorship of Taguig City in 2010. His younger brother, director Lino Cayetano, also serves as a barangay captain in Fort Bonifacio, Taguig.

Running for his second term as a senator, Alan Peter Cayetano and his family face the indictment of being a political dynasty.

In response to this, Alan Peter bares his family background, “Alam mo yung two generations ago, yung lolo ko is a mechanic...

“Isa siya sa heirs sa Baccarat Motors kasi lahat silang mekaniko dun ay nagmana ng hanggang sa maubos yung pera ni Mr. Baccarat.

“Ang aking lola ay public school teacher at nagpapautang sa palengke ng San Juan para dagdag na kita, ’no.

“Never niya na-imagine na magkakaanak siya na magiging senador at I don’t think na-imagine ng dad ko na kami lahat.”

This was his statement in a press conference last Tuesday, April 23 at the Imperial Palace Suites in Quezon City.

He continues, “But we worked hard for it. We studied hard. We were very careful na wag madungisan ang aming pangalan.

“So para sa amin, it’s not about us, it’s not about kung magkapatid o kung magkamag-anak, it’s about sinong pinaglalaban mo.”

In their defense, the senator says that whether those in office are dynasties or not will have no bearing on the kind of public service they will render.

He explains further, “So kahit mag-isa ka lang, kung corrupt ka naman at self-interest ka… Pero kahit magkakapatid kami but we always mean well.

“If you have a chance after the elections, I want you guys to be able to visit where we live, kami ni Lani.

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“Maganda yung place but we live in a very humble community because we feel very at home there.

“And kung anong problema ng kapitbahay namin—drugs, traffic, maingay yung tricycle—yun din ang problema namin.

“So, I don’t think it’s about being relatives. It’s really being… how do you serve.

“In fact, mas mahirap sa ’min kasi kapag ang isa may ginawang masama, lahat napagbibintangan. So, we’re all always careful.”

PRESIDENCY. Asked whether he aspires to become a senate president, Alan Peter replied in the negative saying it will entail a lot of compromise. Despite this, he says, “Tatanggapin ko kung ibibigay sa kin.”

Does he dream of becoming the Philippine president? “Siguro lahat ng pari gustong maging Santo Papa, lahat ng artista gustong maging Best Actor, di ba?

“So, you know, all we can do is pray, work hard... if a door opens then take a step of it.

“Kung hindi naman para sa ’yo… and problema kasi sa presidency, you cannot love it so much because it will change you.

“Pag na-obsess ka na yun talaga ang gusto mo, yung magiging plastic ka, lahat na lang sa pulitika.

“And all senators think that they can become the president. Pero ano, e, sabay-sabay kami hanggang starting line pero who finishes first, Diyos na ang namimili nun.

“So, all we can do is put ourselves in the starting line and work hard going to the finish line pero walang makakapagsabi, e.

“Nung 2009, January, si Senator Noli ang number 1 sa survey, pagdating ng April to May, halos nagpapantay na sila ni Senator Villar, pagdating ng December, si PNoy na ang number 1.

“So, kahit plano ka nang plano hindi mo magagawa, e. But I don’t think any Filipino tatanggihan yung chance to serve this country in that capacity.”

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MARRIAGE AND PUBLIC SERVICE. On a lighter note, Alan Peter was asked how he and Mayor Lani are able to make their marriage work while both are in public office.

“It’s very difficult, walang formula. Kasi medyo iba story namin ni Lani,” he said, and ended up recounting their love story.

“When I asked her to marry me kasi, hindi ko siya girlfriend. She was working at the time for my dad.

“So, one year na kaming magkakilala pero hindi naman kami nagpapansinan. Nung nagkasakit yung daddy ko, siya yung nag-aalaga.

“And then, nung nangangampanya si Ate [Pia], siya isa sa few staff na inofferan ng senate pero hindi niya kinuha para tulungan sister ko.

“So, nung nagka-campaign kami, sabi ko sa kanya, ’kung ikaw ba ay niligawan ko, masisira ba yung relationship mo kay Ate?’ And then sabi niya, ’siguro, konti.’

“And then sabi ko, ’sige para walang intrigahan dahil congressman ako, empleyado ka, pakasalan mo na lang ako.’

“May singsing na ’ko dahil nagpaalam na ’ko sa mommy ko. So nangyari, nagtago siya ng three days—walang makakausap, walang makahanap.

“Actually, hinatid ko siya sa bahay niya nasa Baguio kami nun. Pagdating sa bahay niya andun na Ate ko kausap na nanay niya.

“E, yung kapatid niya, 6’7" na PBA player. [Sabi niya] ’Paano mo alam na talagang mahal mo ate ko? Ngayon mo lang nakilala, ilang buwan pa lang.’

“Sabi ko, ‘Pakakasalan ko nga, e. Hindi ko naman niyayayang lumabas lang, e, ’no?’

“So, what happened, pumayag siyang maging mag-on kami. Every single day hinahatid ko siya ng Marilao. Every day dinadala ko sa Taguig, tinutulungan niya ko.

“A few months later, naawa yung Mommy niya, pinayagan na kaming magpakasal. So, every day since then, para lang kaming mag-boyfriend kasi nag-aadjust pa lang kami.”

Nine years later, the senator and the mayor are still happily married, but just like other couples, Alan Peter says they still have disagreements every now and then.

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He says, “Although 9 years na kami, may time na 3-4 months hirap na hirap kami, may time naman na sobrang…

“You just have to be in love with that person every single day. I think that’s the secret, e.

“Iba yung ano kasi, e, iba yung mahal mo, iba yung in-love ka, e. So walang formula.

“Last week lang tampung-tampo ako sa kanya kasi hindi ko na siya nakausap nang 3 days.

“Katabi ko siya, kinakausap ko siya, nagagalit naman siya. Sabi, ‘Tulog ako, kinakausap mo ’ko.’

“Mas late silang umuwi, e... sa ’min. But you just have to give and take. So, nung Sunday pinagbigyan niya ’ko, sinamahan sa Cebu. So we spent some time together.

“But we just have to make a rule. Sa 9 years, ang rule namin, kung nasaan man kami, sa gabi magkasama kami.”


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