This political ‘late-bloomer’ seeks more than just follow in father’s footsteps


(Editor’s Note: With a little less than a month before the mid-term elections in May, has decided to deviate from the usual platform interviews of senatorial and local candidates that have been aired and written about and instead get to know them up close and, perhaps a little more personal, as we hope so will you our dear readers. The series of interviews will be posted on our special election site, Vote 2013 under INQuest. Is the exercise meant to make these candidates look good? Definitely not. But we enjoin you to watch and listen and let your candidates tell their stories because, believe it or not, their stories are ours as well.)

MANILA, Philippines — Being the son of a senator, Aurora Representative Juan Edgardo “Sonny” Angara admits feeling a big “pressure to  deliver” the first time he ran and won a seat at the House of Representatives.

He says, however, that his father and namesake, outgoing Senator Edgardo Angara, never forced him to go into politics although he ended up following in his footsteps anyway, owing this to his own interest in “political histories.”

In this third installment of interviews with senatorial and local candidates by on INQuest: Vote 2013, the young Angara also talks about his family, interest in books about history, government, and politics.

Growing up, he recalls how his father would spoil them – not with expensive toys or clothes— but with  books.

Angara says inside a mall, they would always have a “trip” to the bookstore where they would be allowed to get as many books as they want.

Studying for five years in England has taught Sonny to adapt and be independent — learning how to cook (he says he can whip up a dish in 30 minutes or less), doing the laundry and budgeting his allowance. He even learned to love the sound of British rock music.

Back in the Philippines where his entry into politics became inevitable, Angara served a full three terms or nine years at the House, describing himself as a lawmaker who would rather “find a solution to a problem instead of giving a speech on it”.

He admits though that he’s a “late-bloomer” in politics but considers himself “hardworking, productive, creative, imaginative and a good decision-maker.”

He says he easily gets irritated when he sees time and money  being put to waste.

The young Angara talks about his happy marriage with wife, Tootsy, and of his bond with their three kids aged 8, 7 and 2.

He says his wife understands his work that in fact she would sometimes help him research for a bill that he would file in Congress.

Asked if his wife was a jealous type, Sonny admits, “A little bit” but quickly adds that she has nothing to be jealous about.

But like any other human being of the male species, he also has  crushes on some showbiz personalities — the “very pretty and stunning” Heart Evangelista (Senator Francis Escudero’s girlfriend) Anne Curtis, Kim Chiu and the “very pretty Rhian Ramos”.

At 40, the young Angara of Team PNoy may become one of the youngest members of the Senate should he get elected in May.

It seems, however, that the young Angara is determined to carve out his own political destiny, borrowing a quote from Japanese poet Matsuo Basho, “Seek not to follow in the footsteps of the wise but of what they sought”.

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