Titas de Bacolod

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Rogue Metrobank VP Not A Real Lopez - Lopezes of Bacolod and Iloilo

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Over the usual Sunday Ilonggo family lunches in Bacolod, Iloilo, and the villages in Makati, the topic for the day was the rogue trader VP of Metrobank who was arrested last July 18  and charged for defrauding Metropolitan Bank and Trust Co. (Metrobank) in a scandal that sent the lender’s shares tumbling on Friday.  Negrense fashion, the question was, "Sin-o ina sya ya nga Lopez?" (Which Lopez branch or clan is she from?).









Oh we know how it usually is.  Mere acquaintance is accelerated into friendship (or enmity) based on the family you hail from.  So the Lopezes in the villages were quick to reply that the person in the spotlight is not really the Lopez but as we call it, "tapik".  Madam VP is a Lopez by affinity.

That being said, many netizens are wondering why an executive earning 250k per month could not be content with what she was getting.  For us in Bacolod and Iloilo, suffice it to say that she was living up to being a Lopez.

As of the latest news, the "tapik" has kept mum on who else may be involved in defrauding Metropolitan Bank and Trust Co. (Metrobank).  




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Follow me on Twitter @TitasdeBacolod


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Sunday, July 23, 2017

Ego and Greed : Metrobank Incident Exemplifies How The Filipina's Moral Fiber Has Eroded

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When the news broke out in the press last week about the Metrobank executive who was arrested and charged for defrauding Metropolitan Bank and Trust Co. (Metrobank) in a scandal that sent the lender’s shares tumbling on Friday, there was a mix of reactions among the public.  Some were alarmed, while others were already desensitized given the string of incidents in the banking sector beginning with the RCBC money laundering scandal last year and the two latest glitches with BPI and BDO.  For those who knew about it before the news hit the press, the coffee shop talk left most of the Titas shaking their heads in despondence.

When I first heard of it, my mind was brought back to 1992 when
the spectacular collapse of Barings Bank, the United Kingdom's oldest merchant bank, was brought about by the rogue trader, Nick Leeson, because of his fraudulent, unauthorized speculative trading for which he was sentenced to prison.  During that time, the headline of TIME Magazine stated "EGO and GREED : The inside story of a 28-year old trader who blew a billion dollars, broke a bank and stunned the world".










It is not quite difficult to explain how a 28-year old  single,  male, expat in Singapore, in the days following the popularity of Michael Douglas' performance in the movie, "Wall Street", as
Gordon Gekko could get entangled in the collapse of Barings.  Ego and Greed in operation is obvious.

What is a bit disturbing is how Ego and Greed has creeped into the moral fiber of the Filipina.  Liken it to fiendish and frenzied cancer cells which attack what's healthy in one's body, Ego and Greed no longer know any gender.  It also knows no race.

For a while back, we have preserved the Filipinas image as a God-fearing, selfless, caring, and motherly person who would uphold what's right and cascade such values to the next generation.  Sadly, the news about individuals such as Janet Napoles, a businesswoman who is believed to have masterminded the Priority Development Assistance Fund Scam, and the former Jupiter St-Makati branch manager of the Rizal Commercial Banking Corp. (RCBC) linked to the $81-million Bangladeshi bank heist in 2016 is a big blow to obliterate that image.










In the case of the the 54-year-old Metrobank executive, Marivic Lopez, reported to own the Menage chain of salons, it is somewhat unthinkable how one could not be satisfied with a 250k monthly salary plus merely a year's run until retirement. 

Here in Bacolod (and in Iloilo), the talk over this Sunday's lunch will surely be, "Sin-o ina sya ya nga Lopez?" (Which Lopez branch or clan is she from?).

As of the latest news, Ms. Lopez has kept mum on who else may be involved in defrauding Metropolitan Bank and Trust Co. (Metrobank).  

Such a sad day when Ego and Greed take over.




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Follow me on Twitter @TitasdeBacolod


Related Post:
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Saturday, April 1, 2017

Jeepney Transformation : Bacolod City Will Soon Have Hummers for Jeepneys

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Hummer Jeepney : A new kind of Jeepney
BACOLOD CITY, Philippines - In line with the move to phase out old and environmentally-unfriendly jeepneys, a new kind of jeepney will roll out in Bacolod City. 

Known for its world famous MassKara Festival and delectable chicken inasal, Bacolod, the City of Smiles will be known for another first - the use of Hummers as public transport.

The Filipino Jeepney has for many years been a symbol of Filipino ingenuity being the most popular means of public transportation in the country.


Originally made from U.S. military jeeps left over from World War II and improvised and refitted through Filipino resourcefulness, the jeepney will take on a new shape this year when ingenuity meets the legendary decadence of Negros Island. 

Bacolod City will be the first city in the Philippines to see the rollout of the new generation of jeepneys using GM Hummers as its platform.  The project is spearheaded by a visionary from Bacolod who requests to be made anonymous at this time. 







The visionary sugar farmer relates, "There is really nothing new about this except the new platform using Hummers.  Jeepneys are here to stay.  The "Humjeep" project is faithful to the original intentions of the of the jeepney, and that is to convert a military transport vehicle into a form of public conveyance".  He adds, "My close friends who know this project tell me I'm nuts, but I tell them that you're the ones who don't know what legacy is all about. Years from now, tourists in the Philippines will go to Bacolod just to ride one of the five Hummer jeepneys I'll be deploying".

"Love it or hate it, the Jeepney will never go away.  All that's needed is a new platform for which the Hummer is perfect.  The fact that the Hummer was also a military vehicle adds to the novelty". 





A look at the current "Humjeep" hidden in a Negros gamefarm shows that it has been modified by eliminating the rear side doors and creating a single rear door which is typical of regular jeepneys.

The Bacolod-based visionary adds, "For the additional Humjeeps, we will be sourcing two more from Port Irene and we are eyeing to buy Piolo Pascual's H3 and Angel Locsin's H2."

Soon, riding a jeepney will really be more fun in Bacolod.

Visual peg of the interiors of the Bacolod "Humjeep" project (source : PDI)




Follow me on Twitter @TitasdeBacolod


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When the news broke out in the press last week about the Metrobank executive who was arrested and charged for defrauding Metropolitan Bank and Trust Co. (Metrobank) in a scandal that sent the lender’s shares tumbling on Friday, there was a mix of reactions among the public.......Read More



Sunday, September 11, 2016

I'm Excited About Saravia Blue Crab at the 31st Negros Trade Fair

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The one time when crab mentality is good and is advocated.  Saravia blue crab sells crab meat in different variants- claw meat, cocktail claw fingers, special, super lump, and jumbo! All will be available at the Silay Export booth on Sept.14-18 at the Negros Trade Fair!


 

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Follow me on Twitter @TitasdeBacolod


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Wednesday, August 31, 2016

The Photo Which Launched Ten Thousand Feeding Programs

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There are three events which led to my writing of this piece.  Two are in the future, and one just happened over the weekend.

Just a few days ago, we celebrated National Heroes' Day.  Often, we think of heroes as someone who valiantly fought a war or stood up against tyranny.  For us Titas, Joan of Arc is the default icon that comes to mind as we grew up in schools who took pride in their order stemming from Europe.  Inasmuch as there are the Filipina heroines such as Gabriela Silang, nothing comes quite close to the romanticism of being burnt at the stake.

With Joan of Arc as a mental peg, I am drawn to think of our modern day Joans.  These were the many women of Negros Island during the Marcos years who took their valiant stand not just against tyranny but against the onslaught of widespread hunger in the political volcano that was Negros.

Flashback to 1985.  Negros Island was a boiling cauldron of political unrest.  The sugar planters were stuck in the doldrums and reeling from the systematic pillage of the sugar industry by Ferdinand Marcos and his college buddy, Roberto S. Benedicto - RSB as he was unfondly known.  Insurgency as brought forth by the communist rebels was alive and well in the countryside and in the hinterlands of Negros.  A massacre had just been perpetrated in the northern town of Escalante.

All over, the collateral damage were the children who hardly had anything to eat.  Malnutrition was widespread.  Many children, numbering over a hundred thousand Negros-wide were in critical or third-degree malnourished state. A third degree state is when a child weighs only 40% of the weight for their normal age.

It was an emergency situation which summoned the attention of various relief and aid organizations the world over.  And meanwhile, the party went on in Malacanang.  The first family must have been gleefully counting their gold bars.  Yes, the same gold bars they brought to Hawaii, borne of the sweat of the sugar workers and more.

If social media were alive back then, people would be putting forth hashtags such as #prayfornegros and #savethenegroschildren.  But there was no social media to bring this to the public.  The government-controlled media back then could only publish what was beautiful and acceptable in praise of the Marcos regime.

Amidst that grim landscape, a photo leaked out.  It was one photo among many by 1987 Pulitzer Prize Winner Kim Komenich.  It was the iconic photo of Joel Abong, the son of a fisherman.  His malnourished state and dire facial expression triggered the mobilization of a thousand feeding programs and sacrificial lunches.  No, not a thousand, make that ten thousand.  Leading the charge were the international agencies such as UNICEF and Oxfam.  They were our heroes. They were the ones who literally stood on the top of the Ford Fieras and rented jeepneys with megaphone in hand putting order into the feeding sessions conducted.










Parallel to the international agencies' efforts were the numerous feeding programs put together by the housewives of the planters.  They did not need any media to alert them of what was happening.  They knew there was hunger.  It was not just reported, it was felt first hand.  Thirty one years on from those days which led up to the snap elections and EDSA revolution of 1986, I wish to take this moment to honor all the women of Negros who silently went out of their way and organized themselves to feed the poorest of the poor.  


Beyond the feeding, these women of Negros took it one step further.  Cottage industries were set up to somehow provide a means of livelihood for the women in the farms who no longer had any work in the canefields.  Out of the hunger in the countryside, a chain reaction was set in motion.  Feeding programs, cottage industries, and eventually, the showcase of the industries born out of adversity - what we know today as the Negros Trade Fair - the longest running provincial trade fair in the Philippines.

This happens in a few days time.  The second of the three events I mentioned above will take place in the Glorietta Activity Center in Makati.  It is a time of jubilation for the triumph over adversity - adversity which was epitomized by the photo of Joel Abong.

The last event I need to mention is that of the imminent burial of dictator Ferdinand Marcos' remains at the Libingan ng mga Bayani.  Unlike the upcoming Negros Trade Fair, this is no time for jubilation.  Words cannot describe how in one quick moment, the burial of FM at the Libingan ng mga Bayani immediately implies that we are all traitors for having ousted him.

There are those who say let us move on and allow him that burial for he is a president after all.  I will not waste time and words to argue.  Just look at the face of Joel Abong above.  And then perhaps you could close your eyes and simultaneously imagine Imelda rocking the night away in her rooftop disco in MalacaƱang.


(Note : Joel Abong died six days after this photo was taken)


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Follow me on Twitter @TitasdeBacolod


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Word has been out in the circle the EastWest bank is now taking over the retail banking business of Standard Chartered. This means saying goodbye to Priority Banking of Standard Chartered. Over at HSBC, they said that they would be closing down trust services and that clients ......Read More



Sunday, August 14, 2016

Security Bank Reaches Out Regarding Faux Pas

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A post last week entitled "How An Endorsement By Vicki Belo Is Spoiled" made the rounds of social media.  In a nutshell, it had to do with Security Bank not matching up to what it promises in its advertising.  The post talks about Tata, who entered Security Bank's main office to open an account but left in dismay because no able person was positioned strategically in the bank's  Head Office Branch to entertain the query.

You can read the story by clicking,
"How An Endorsement By Vicki Belo Is Spoiled".

In response to the blogpost, a comment came in by a certain Mark Bantigue, who is the E-Commerce head at SB.  His reply to the post was:


Hi Titas of Bacolod,

My name is Mark Bantigue and I am the E-Commerce Head at Security Bank.
We just saw your post and are very sorry to hear your friend Tata had a mixed experience at our head office branch. We completely agree that her servicing officer should have immediately contacted our Wealth Management department and very surprised to hear that wasn’t the case.
At Security Bank, we are serious about customer service and believe it is everyone’s responsibility. Given the opportunity, I would like to learn more about her experience and hopefully make things right. Please pass on my contact details to Tata.

Best regards,

Mark Bantigue
E-Commerce Head
(02) 867 6788 x7093
mbantigue@securitybank.com.ph





Thank you, Mark Bantigue, for reaching out.  Hijo, allow me to point out a few things.  Tata did not have a mixed experience.  She had a bad experience, period.  I honestly think your group has to study the flow on how you receive walk-ins.  The clients that you seek for which you spent millions on advertising to reach have a totally different mindset.  One has only to walk out of your office and go to Standard Chartered to your left and HSBC to your right.  Walk down Paseo to BDO and Citi.  Do some research.  See how it's done.  Until then, maybe SB does not have any right to chase after HNWIs.

After her experience, none of us will follow for now.  Unless of course you come out and say, "Yes, we have fixed the kinks and are ready to treat you better than the other banks".  Go back to the drawing table.  I'm sure your ad agencies will help you modify what you are touting as better service that we deserve.  The heads of your ad agencies are clients of your competitor banks and they know what it really is like to be pampered by a real Relationship Manager.




Hold off your Vicki Belo ads please.  We love Vicki Belo and it pains us to see her endorsing something that doesn't deliver.  The ad agencies did a great job in delivering the message to us.  The addition of Dra. Belo is superb.  Only the product/service falls way short of what is promised in the advertising.

Lastly, thank you for providing your contact details.  I don't think Tata will be contacting you though.  To use your tagline and the words of Megan Young, She Deserves Better.  Thus, she went down the road and took her business elsewhere.



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Follow me on Twitter @TitasdeBacolod


Related Post:
Word has been out in the circle the EastWest bank is now taking over the retail banking business of Standard Chartered. This means saying goodbye to Priority Banking of Standard Chartered. Over at HSBC, they said that they would be closing down trust services and that clients ......Read More



Thursday, August 11, 2016

How An Endorsement By Vicki Belo Is Spoiled

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Word has been out in the circle the EastWest bank is now taking over the retail banking business of Standard Chartered.  This means saying goodbye to Priority Banking of Standard Chartered.  Over at HSBC, they said that they would be closing down trust services and that clients would have to look for other banks to receive their instruments and investments.  At Citi, they've also closed down their Alabang branch.

Tata said she was shopping around to look for a bank to take on what she's pulling out from Standard Chartered and HSBC.  Her knee jerk reaction was try out Security Bank.  She had two good reasons to try Security Bank.  One of her friend's sons is a top executive there.  Second, she was always an avid follower of Vicki Belo.  So when all these ads started coming out two weeks ago with Vicki Belo and Megan Young endorsing Security Bank, it was just a matter of time before she would succumb to the advertising.

A few days ago, she visited the main office along Ayala Avenue.  Who would not be familiar with Security Bank building when the Philippine Sugar Millers Association is perched on the upper floors of the same building.

Tata talked to one of the ladies among the desks which would be the equivalent of the new accounts counter.  Lady was utterly clueless about referring a Relationship Manager.   What?!!!  This is what Megan Young was bragging about and she's utterly clueless.  All she does is say, "Ma'am, can I get your number and I'll let the Wealth Management services call you?".  Security Bank's Wealth Management is just a few floors upstairs.  Least the girl could do was call for someone to come down, or escorted her upstairs.

The long and short of it, Tata left.  She still believes and admires Vicki Belo.  She just thinks Security Bank's offering doesn't match up to their advertising. 




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Follow me on Twitter @TitasdeBacolod


Related Post:
To see Imelda at the food court without the pomp and splendor normally attached to her wherever she goes brought up a myriad of emotions. I felt a bit sad seeing this. It reminded me of my Mama's last days. But I quickly snapped out of that sadness because I was reminded of the incident two years ago ......Read More



Sunday, August 7, 2016

Negros : An Island of People With Super Short Memories

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I couldn't believe my eyes the other day as I walked into Rustan's Makati through the back entrance where the steel carpark is.  There, on the mini-food court tables between the Vargas Kitchen and Via Mare Express sat the Imeldific one.  She was on her wheelchair having merienda with her attendants, two nurses in white, while her bodyguards were seated in the next table watching the Madam.

Imelda in the mini food court?!  Now that was a sight to behold!  When I told this the next day to Tata and Inday, their reaction was, "Wow, wala man lang sya nagpa-Benny's na lang? (Wow, shouldn't she have just gone to Benny's?)".  Benny's is of course the restaurant named after the husband of one of her Blue Ladies.

To see Imelda at the food court without the pomp and splendor normally attached to her wherever she goes brought up a myriad of emotions.  I felt a bit sad seeing this.  It reminded me of my Mama's last days. But I quickly snapped out of that sadness because I was reminded of the incident two years ago when at the Ayala Museum, I came early for the Rush Hour series of concerts where Dr. Ingrid Sala Santamaria was to play not just one, but two concertos with the Manila Symphony Orchestra.  Being the early bird, I sat at the front row in the best possible seat to allow me a view of the pianist's fingers.  There was no sign whatsoever that the seats were reserved.  Nada! 

The room started filling up over the next 45 minutes until it filled five rows from the front.  Then, someone from the Ayala Museum walks up and says, "Ma'am, these seats are reserved".  It puzzled me because there was no sign that the seats were reserved at all.  So I moved two seats to the left which would then make me miss my view of Ingrid's fingers but instead give me a perfect view of her back.  Lady from Ayala Museum says, "Umm, Ma'am, it's the entire row that's reserved."

In my mind I said, "What?!!!  You didn't even have a sign here that these were reserved!!!".  If there was a sign, I would have taken the second row and still have a nice view of Ingrid's fingers dancing on the keyboard.  I wasn't in the mood to argue and make a scene anymore.  You know how we are once we get started.  Noblesse oblige took over and I just went my way to get a seat at row 6 as rows 2 to 5 were already filled by those who likewise came early enough to earn their space.

Then after 5 minutes, she arrived.  SHE arrived!  The one for whom the seats were "Reserved" for.  Imelda came in a green dress with the signature butterfly sleeves.  Gwapa gyapon (still pretty) - though bloated through age.  Assisted by the lady who booted me out of my seat, she took the front row.

So here I am at row 6, my view of Ingrid's back, obstructed by the people in the forward rows and most of all, obstructed by the one who took my seat - the Imeldific one.  She was in the very same line of sight to viewing Ingrid's back.  So I said to myself, "Ahhh, I will just close my eyes when the concert starts so I can just concentrate on the music."

I tried closing my eyes even though the concert hadn't started. Honestly, it made things worse than actually seeing Imelda up ahead in my former seat.  With my eyes open, I could see Imelda, I could see the musicians, and I was in the 'moment'.  With my I eyes closed, I was quickly teleported out of the Ayala Museum and brought back to Negros of the 1980s where turmoil and uncertainty pervaded the island.  I can remember.  I can feel it.  It's just like it happened yesterday. 

Sadly, many Negrenses do not remember.  They no longer remember the systematic pillage of the sugar industry that was carried out during the Marcos years through Roberto S. (Bobby) Benedicto a.k.a. RSB. People say, Filipinos have short memories and they do not learn from the lessons of the past.  Well, welcome to Negros, the island where people have even shorter memories than the rest of the country.

A large number of Negrenses now based in America forget that the main reason why they are now in the US was because they fled Bacolod in despair and hopelessness.  Oh, they will not admit it openly, but that's the truth.  They will not admit to despair and hopelessness, only to "seeking greener pastures".  Yes, any pasture elsewhere was greener when overlaid against the background of the countryside insurgency and widespread hunger where NGOs and charities had to come in and do a splendid job of helping alleviate the hunger.

People in Negros hardly remember anything.  Recently, the Philippine National Bank celebrated 100 years of existence.   Despite the centenary, people forget their odd bond between themselves and PNB. Back then, it was said that Negrenses had to "go to mass" three times a week.  Once in the Catholic church for spiritual upliftment, and twice at the PNB main building along Lacson street to nurse misery because of their crop loans.

They forget that there was such a thing as the California Overseas Bank which the Marcos crony, the late Bobby Benedicto, created in order to launder funds for former dictator Ferdinand E. Marcos.  In 1990, RSB agreed to turn over to the Philippines, the California Overseas Bank as a way to avoid racketeering and conspiracy charges.

RSB as we recall was indicted in 1988 along with Ferdinand and Imelda Marcos on charges of fraud, racketeering and conspiracy in the US. Back then, Benedicto, a fugitive at 73, avoided arrest by using fictitious names and multiple passports to shuttle clandestinely among such places as Hong Kong, Spain and Venezuela, where he had extensive investments - with thanks largely to the Negrense people.

Negrenses even forget that the main reason why there is the successful Negros Trade Fair today, is because the hacienderos wives, stepped up to the challenge to find ways to augment incomes among the farm workers by giving them work through cottage industries.  It goes back again to the plunder of Imelda and Ferdie, and of course our very own, RSB.

I write this because I did see the Imeldific one in a momentarily lonely state at Rustan's.  But that is not for long.  In about a month's time, she will be happy and overjoyed when the apparent remains of Ferdie from that cold box in Ilocos are finally interred at the Libingan Ng Mga Bayani.

When that day comes, it will not be an interment of sadness to the immediate family.  It will be an interment of triumph.  Definitely, it will be a sad day for those who remember the atrocities and plunder which Marcos has committed. 

Tragically, most Negrenses could not care.  They could hardly care not primarily because they are detached physically in another island 700 miles away from the Libingan.  They could not care anymore because they could not remember.

Welcome to  Negros : An Island of People With Super Short Memories.


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Related Post:




Negros Island was in a woeful state at the eve of the snap elections in 1986.  Negros as a word was synonymous to "Crisis" in those days.  For the longest time, the sugar industry, romanticized by the well-heeled landowners of Negros and Iloilo, was the prima donna of Philippine ......Read More






Monday, July 18, 2016

After Going Viral with 90 Thousand Views, Titas de Bacolod Opens Up "Hey Tita!"

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Tita did not expect the virality of yesterday's open letter of Gabie Gasataya to go crazy.  It was insane really!

Now we have people messaging us with their problems via the Send Message button on the Titas de Bacolod Facebook Page ( https://www.facebook.com/lastitasdebacolod/ ) .

So now, as the "Tita Mayor", I am opening up "Hey Tita!".

"Hey Tita!" is a venue for all who love Bacolod to send in their questions on life, love, and anything that you might want to share or seek advice on.  We will try our best to respond in a timely manner but please remember, we are Titas.  Daw mahinay, hinay na ang amon kamot mag type.

 
So Ladies and Gentlemen, Boys and Girls, Lovers of Bacolod, Send in your messages via our Facebook Page. 
( Please do not message Titas de Bacolod Facebook Account )





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Follow me on Twitter @TitasdeBacolod


Related Post:




Negros Island was in a woeful state at the eve of the snap elections in 1986.  Negros as a word was synonymous to "Crisis" in those days.  For the longest time, the sugar industry, romanticized by the well-heeled landowners of Negros and Iloilo, was the prima donna of Philippine ......Read More






Sunday, July 17, 2016

Bacolod Congressman's Daughter Sends Open Letter To Dad

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Hinablos Gabie Gasataya used social media yesterday to call the attention of her biological dad, Congressman Greg Gasataya in relation to child support.   In her post, the Canada-based Gabie said, :

(the reason i asked for child support is that i'm going to university this Fall. My program will cost me $50,000 by the end of 4-5 years which has to be paid starting 6 months after graduation. i was hoping to be spared of the huge debt -- even to minimize it with help from the congressman - my "dad" who has been champion of education in bacolod).

An open letter to Congressman Greg Gelvosa Gasataya
Bacolod City, Philippines

Dear Congressman Gasataya,

Hello! This is Gabie, your biological daughter whom you have neglected in the last 15 years or so. I thought I would let you know that I have successfully finished high school here in Canada, through hard work and perseverance and by the grace of God and my family’s support, my mom, step dad or uncle and half-brother. My highest mark was in my Writer’s Craft class where I got 91% and so I hope that mark is reflected in this letter.

Though I bear your name and your blood runs in my veins, you have never been a father to me. I am now 18, and about to start a new chapter in my life in university. It’s a whole new world to explore and I’m excited and nervous at the same time. But before I start this new chapter, I feel the need for closure on what you did and didn’t do when I reached out to you earlier this year.

Congressman Gasastaya (I’m sorry but I cannot even call you “father”) when I left the Philippines in 2009, you broke my heart when you didn’t show up to say goodbye. My mom has arranged for us to meet for the last time because she knew it will be years again before I will be able to see you. But you stood me up at the last minute for some flimsy reason of having a meeting out of town. My 11-year-old mind didn’t understand why you couldn’t make it. I remember holding back the tears as I asked my mom why… but she didn’t have any answers for me.

In my last seven years here in Canada, I haven’t received a single phone call from you… not one Christmas card nor a birthday card. I am Gabie Gasataya, daughter of my mother, step-daughter of my uncle, sibling to my half-brother, granddaughter to my nana, grandpa and lolo… I am Gabie Gasataya, daughter of the universe, but not yours. I stopped asking why a long time ago. I know that dwelling on it will only screw me up. I am smart enough to keep that thought sealed in the deep recesses of my brain.




But, where our father-daughter relationship stops, your legal responsibility does not. As a member of the newly installed Philippine Congress, I know you have full understanding of family law. But even with that understanding, you have clearly and deliberately abandoned your obligation to me by not providing child support. You did so only in 2012 and 2013 when you sent $100-$150 from time to time which you abruptly cut off. Back then, my mom asked you for child support knowing it was only a matter of time before I go to university. Your financial situation has significantly improved that time after being elected into public office a number of times already.

Before my 18th birthday earlier this year, I told my mom I will ask you again for child support because it is my right as your biological child. I was also burdened with the thought of finishing university with a $50,000 student loan. My mom found a lawyer in Bacolod to represent me and an undertaking was drafted for you to sign. The undertaking stated that you swear to pay a monthly child support until I finish university. But you never signed the undertaking. On April, 2016, the child support that you started sending on January, 2016 stopped. Similar to what you’ve done in 2013, you cut me off without any explanation.

After this, I know that the next logical thing is to push through with my child support case to compel you to fulfill your responsibility. Believing in the justice system, I know that the court can compel you to act responsibly. What an irony when your campaign slogan in the recent elections said that you champion education for the poor. And here I am, your own flesh and blood, and you intentionally cut me off. You became every poor student’s champion, except mine, your own daughter. You are sending your step-daughter to one of the most expensive universities in the Philippines -- and yet you have abandoned me.

When it was brought to your attention that I am pursuing the child support case, you and 3 of your political friends and donors contacted my mom so I won’t pursue the case. On an internet phone conference with my mom, your political friends offered to pay for my child support in the amount of 2 million pesos on your behalf. They told my mom that they are doing it because it is the right thing to do. They said your second wife is preventing you from sending the child support so they will do it as a favor to you. While you barely said a word in the phone conference you thanked your friends and told them you owe them one. You and your friends then told my mom to delete all the negative posts she wrote on Facebook against you, Mr Congressman Gasataya. Afterwards, you asked my mom how much I needed for the first year and you told her that your friends will take care of everything. Your friends asked us to drop the child support case because they will take care of me. And then you Congressman Gasataya told us your group will send $4000 by the end of May, 2016 to cover for the university deposit.

The month of June, 2016 came and went and you and your friends have forgotten about our conversation/ agreement. Once again I became a victim of your schemes. Your political friends were worried that your name will be tainted and your transition from the city government to congress will be a rough one with a child support case on your head so you stopped me from pursuing the case with another false promise… another lie. Should I have expected anything less from you?

I have applied for a student loan which has to be paid when I finish my university. I know my mom has my back and she will do everything to help me in my new journey. But it would have been a huge help, if you had championed my education too – in the same way that you had championed the education of the poor students of Bacolod.



It was wrong for me to think you had the decency to help me since you are now doing better than 10 years ago when you were just starting in your political career. Congratulations Mr. Gasataya! You are now a true-blue politician who can deceive and play on the hopes and future of an 18-year-old girl like me. I am dismayed that you have lost your humanity when it comes to me.

Somehow, I thank you for opening my eyes... that people like you become less human and more greedy with more power in your hands. How you treated me with false promises, lies and deception is a real reflection of who you are. I cannot imagine how you credit your victories to the Glory of God and profess to be a good Christian when you can do this to me.

This letter is my closure. I want you to know how I feel. I am dismayed. When before I felt robbed of a relationship with you, now I feel disgust of what a politician you have become. I want the people you serve to know who you really are. You do not serve them, but you serve the interests of your political friends. I want your President to know who he is working with -- an irresponsible father, someone who owes favor to political friends, someone who has strings attached. Thank you for the bitter life lessons. I have learned to be brave and strong, to believe in myself and my capabilities. I asserted my rights. I took a stand. But I am just a girl. I do not have your elaborate schemes of deception. I do not have your resources. But this here, is my payment and my closure – to expose you for who you really are.

Just a girl,
Gabie Gasataya

Cc: President Rodrigo Duterte
Philippine President

National media – GMA, ABS, Philippine Daily Inquirer, Bacolod Media, People of Bacolod




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