As the son of an outgoing senator, Sonny Angara’s own achievements may be easily overshadowed by the accomplishments of his father.
After all, Senator Edgardo Angara was the 16th President of the Philippine Senate, 15th President of the University of the Philippines, and elected senator for three terms.
The older Angara also held important executive posts such as Secretary of the Department of Agriculture from 1999 to 2001.
EDUCATION. For someone who is only beginning to etch his name in Philippine history, Sonny has had some considerable feats himself.
He graduated from the London School of Economics, took up Law in the University of the Philippines, and went to Harvard Law School for his Masters in Law.
Then, he served as representative for the lone district of Aurora in 2004 and was assigned as the Chairman of the House Committee on Higher and Technical Education.
No wonder, the thrust of Sonny’s campaign is education.
On the legislations he will champion once he lands a seat in the senate, Sonny says, “Yung father ko nakilala sa pagpasa ng free high school at yung scholarships to private education.
“Kami naman, together, we worked on the free kindergarten.
"Tapos ang nakikita ko ay sana ipagpatuloy natin hanggang college yung suporta sa mga mahihirap na pamilya dahil I was chairman ng Committee on Education sa Congress, e.
“Nakita ko na ang porsyento ng kabataang Pilipino na nakakapag-aral sa kolehiyo, paliit nang paliit, e.
“Halos eighty percent, hanggang high school na lang sila. Papano sila, anong klaseng trabaho ang makukuha nila?
"Yun ang dapat i-focus ng gobyerno in terms of educational assistance.”
NO PRESSURE. When asked whether Sonny was forced to run for senator, the older Angara answered, “A, hindi. Eto, talaga, on his own volition. Choice niya eto. Walang pressure from me or any member of the family.
“Ang totoo niyan, kung magbobotohan sa pamilya, siguro negative ang boto, na wag siyang tatakbo, e.
“But, sa akin naman, because ganun din yung attitude ko at the beginning, e, I don’t want to get into politics.
“Sa UP, galing sa corporate practice…very predictable at yung resulta ng trabaho mo, nakikita mo kaagad.
“So ayokong to jump into an uncertain field na hindi mo malaman kung ano’ng mangyayari, kung yung nagawa mo ito’y nakatulong sa kapwa, so entirely new world.
“But later on, naintindihan ko din na kailangan din may mga ilang tao na kailangan sa public service sapagkat isang pagkakataon ito, a unique opportunity na maging isa sa 24 senator."
A BELIEVER IN PINOY TALENT. Though he was not the author, Sonny said that he voted in favor of a law cutting amusement taxes when he was still in Congress.
He said, “I think maraming paraan na puwedeng matulungan ang [movie] industry.
"We passed a law, nagpasa kami ng batas na lowering the amusement tax.
“Tapos ang iniisip ko, every year, merong mga film festivals, so I think dapat mabigyan ng suporta ng gobyerno yun.
“Yung Cinemalaya, yung Metro Manila Filmfest, sinu-support siya ng government, but you can also be bigger, di ba?
“Tapos yung mga bumabiyahe sa foreign film festivals, dapat suportahan din yun. Like yung pupunta sa Cannes Film Festival.
“So talagang nakikilala na ang Philippine film all over the world. Parang ironic na dito sa ating sariling bansa ay parang lumiliit ang industriya.”
A believer in the creative talent of Filipinos, Sonny wonders why this potential remains untapped and does not translate into economic advancement.
He continues, “Sabi ko nga, it’s not just limited to the film industry, e. Parang pati sa ibang creative industries, nangyayari yan.
“Pumunta ka sa Silicon Valley, yung mga gumagawa ng animation films. Pumunta ka sa video games industry, yung mga gumagawa ng video games mga Pilipino.
“So tingnan natin, bakit…Ano yung nangyayari sa ibang bansa na napo-foster nila yung creativity? Nagta-thrive yung mga magagaling na malikhaing mga Pinoy.
“Bakit dito sa sarili nating bansa, hindi natin nagagawan ng paraan na mag-thrive yung mga creative natin?
“Like, even furniture makers sa Cebu, why is it na tayo ang gumagawa pero iba ang tumatatak na ito ay gawa sa amin?
"Parang hindi natin iniisip yung global market, e.”
The younger Angara believes that something must be changed in the Filipino mindset if we are to move forward as a nation.
He declares, “It’s time to think globally, I think. Globally kasi mahusay ang Pilipino, e.
“Pero parang, there’s something about... I don’t know if it’s culture or bad policies, pero meron tayong… there’s something in our country that’s holding us back, e.
“We must think… Kailangan maging bold tayo, kailangan maging visionary, kailangan maging matapang tayo in…
“Kailangan tumaya tayo, in other words. In short, kailangan tumaya tayo sa magagaling na Pilipino.”