‘Accidental’ senator is deliberate with work, intolerant of mediocrity



(Editor’s Note: With a little less than a month before the mid-term elections in May, INQUIRER.net 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 — By “accident” is how re-electionist Senator Loren Legarda describes her entry into politics.

Guesting on INQUIRER.net’s INQuest: Vote 2013, Legarda says she was interviewing then President Fidel Ramos when he says suddenly that she can run for the Senate if she wanted to.

Legarda, an award-winning broadcast journalist and producer, thought the idea ridiculous at that time because, she says, she was happy and fulfilled with her job and couldn’t ask for anything more.

Not one to back down from a challenge, however, run Legarda did, and the rest, cliche as it sounds, is history.

Legarda admits she’s a “perfectionist”, a trait she carried  over to the Senate from her more than two decades in broadcasting.

She clarifies reports about her vaunted “temper”, calling it an “intolerance for mediocrity”, saying she expects the same from the people she works with.

But there’s no hint of that  intolerance when Legarda talks about her family, whose “good genes” she credits for whatever success she’s enjoying.

She describes her roots as “middle class” but where her uncles and aunts were either “cum laudes or magna cum laudes”, with Jose Bautista for a grandfather, once editor-in-chief of the old Manila Times from whom she has inherited her “news sense”, and parents who enrolled her in top schools so that she may reap the benefits of a good education.

And if anything or anyone can light up Legarda’s face, well, there are her two sons, whom she goes out with on “dates” and who have supported her causes, traveling and sampling people’s customs and traditions, and protecting the environment, a life-long advocacy for which she has authored a number of laws for as senator.

When re-elected (almost a certainty based on her consistent top ranking in almost all the election surveys), Legarda says she plans to continue with the advocacies she has started and will introduce new ones, including a bill that will fund scholarships for deserving but financially challenged students.

And with her work seemingly cut out for her even before she returns to the Senate, how does Legarda manage to keep her sanity?

“I’ve learned to laugh at myself,” she says.

More of the interview on Loren Legarda on INQuest: Vote 2013.

Get Inquirer updates while on the go, add us on these apps:

Inquirer Viber

Disclaimer: The comments uploaded on this site do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of management and owner of INQUIRER.net. We reserve the right to exclude comments that we deem to be inconsistent with our editorial standards.

  • http://twitter.com/ellen_zzz ELLEN

    Legarda is still #1 senator. And Alan Cayetano is so jealous (and greedy) he launched smear campaign against her.

    • nano

      If its true , than its really greed,being consistently in the magic 12 among 30 plus candidates is more than enough . Why destroy the reputation of others if youre a sure winner ? Is there more as winner ?

  • Fulpol

    after Chiz went down in survey, now its Loren received the attack..

    she accused Alan Peter Cayetano.. but I think he is not the mastermind..

    since the onset, I always commented that in 2016, Liberal Party will support Chiz, in favor of Mar Roxas..

    now Chiz, seemed to lost the no. 1 or 2 position.. so who is now the new threat for mar Roxas? it’s Loren Legarda..


    • m1ghtym0use


    • orlypbatallones

      to lost????

    • Guest

      Huwag ng iboto si Alan Cayetano,ilang taon siyang naging senador wala naman tayong napala di ba?Mas maraming deserving na kandidato

    • sanjuan683

      Pareho kasi magugulang ang mga yan kaya nag-aaway. Wala kasing plata[orma ang mga kandidato yan. Ang plataporma nila kung sino ang nasa number one. hehehehehehe

  • http://twitter.com/gfarishta gibreel farishta

    “a bill that will fund scholarships for deserving but financially challenged students”.. why only now?

  • DingGalang

    One of the most hardworking senators that I know. I’ve been her fan since she became a senator and for sure, she’s going to be reelected this year again.

    • EKmanubag

      Cayetano has blessing of Mar Roxas in black prop vs Legarda, Grace Poe.. sakim talaga sila Alan

  • carlorocci

    Accidental Senator maybe.
    Pare-pareho lang yan mga politikos na ito. Mga pansariling interest ang nasa isip mga balimbing. Pare-pareho lang kayo ng kulay mga kupal at pokpok. May mga itinatago pero nabubuko dahil din sa kapwa gahaman na kaalyado kuno.
    Gaya rin kayo ni Fulpol may itinatagong baho. Itago nyo na lang mga baho nyo.

  • penoy2012

    Loren, taga-Malabon ka pa naman, magpakita ka naman doon paminsan-minsan. Sobra dami ng basura, sa tapat pa mismo ng mga baranggay halls.

  • http://twitter.com/ButchKehada Butch Kehada

    Sinong maniniwala kay Louis Biraogo sa paninira niya kay Loren Legarda,e isa siyang college drop-out noon at gun for hire ngayon

  • http://twitter.com/NerPu Avner Puanga

    Grabe pati ba naman si Loren Legarda hindi pinalagpas ni Alan Cayetano sa black propaganda.Wala bang maglalabas ng psychiatric report ni Alan?

  • KenKhoy

    accidental din ba yong non declaration sa SALN nya?

    • Analee_sis

      Panalo si Alan Cayetano
      pagdating sa panloloko at katiwalian. Pati si Loren sinisiraan na niya

  • Guest

    Ang saya daw ni Alan at Lino Cayetano nung nag-OUT si Jason Collins.Bakit,ramdam ba nila yung pinagdadaanan ni Collins?hehe

  • Guest

    Hindi lahat ng malapad ang noo matalino tulad ni Alan Cayetano.Yung kanya feeling
    matalino lang.Kulelat nga siya sa paggawa ng batas e

    • http://twitter.com/kuyagerry kuyagerry

      We need Jamby and her strong anti-corruption advocacy at the Senate. Walang inuurungan kahit kappa senador

  • BoyBakal

    Loren is born in Malabon, grew up and still lives in Malabon as her address.
    She has been a senator for so many years.
    Why in the hell, Malabon is still flooded rain or shine.
    This goes to show that she does not help and care for her town mates
    Poor Malabon, the only thing left in Malabon is their pancit which I think is wet..

  • http://twitter.com/kuyagerry kuyagerry

    Team Jamby Madrigal kami. Matino, mahusay, walang ill-gotten wealth

    • Benigno the Turd

      That’s because an ancestor, Vicente Madrigal did it for her through war profiteering and Japanese collaboration.

  • Guest

    Si Mar Roxas ang dahilan kung bakit umangat si Alan Peter sa survey.
    Gusto niya kasing magtandem sila sa 2016.

  • joboni96

    pa cute naman itong si loren

    accidental daw e kolehiyo pa laang
    plinaplano na

    • AngLagay

      One more thing… parang posporo na strike anywhere, at parang paro-paro, palipat-lipat ng partido. lol

      • RMsantiago

        Walang pakialam si LP
        president Mar Roxas sa away ni Loren at Cayetano. Di daw kse sila Liberal Party

  • sheilababes

    Its magical talaga for me dahil accidental lang to but look at her now, consistent na number 1 sa ratings and has done a lot lalo na for the environment. I really envy her.

  • thecop

    Sana po ma-translate yung pagiging perfectionist mo sa ikauunlad ng mahihirap kasi ilang taon ka na ring sa senado pero dami pa ring mahihirap na naghihirap hanggang ngayon. don’t be a perfectionist for your own good ambition only…

    • Guest

      Kakampi pala ni Alan Cayetano si Mar Roxas sa paninira kay Loren. Ano ba yan!

  • http://www.facebook.com/lamiyth.alim Lamiyth Alim

    u know walang eleksyon na kandidato si Loren na hindi namin binoto, bagamat matapos nming mapanood ang kanyang pagboto sa Impeachment ni dating CJ Corona napagtanto nmin na fake ang kanyang paninindigan at nawala lahat ang kanyang kredibilidad sa aming mga malilit sa southern Philippines.

    • Guest

      Kawawa naman si Loren, inaapi sa Team PNoy. Wala bang gagawin dito si Mar Roxas?

      • Ulipur

        Sen Angara and Sen Enrile know how Loren acquired her mansion in Forbes Park…..Alam din ni Many Pacquiao.

  • Guest

    Mar Roxas sleeping on the job. Team PNOy breaking up without his knowledge

  • regd

    Accidental and has been downhill ever since.

  • Flugie

    Accidental means it just happened without nary an intention or a plan for it to happen – it just happened. The mere fact that she campaigned during her newbie years means it’s not accidental – everything was planned and well thought of beforehand. Also, a good source that I have told me she had aspirations of becoming senator during the height of her media career. Had the circumstance been, like, she was an 11th hour substitute during her 1st time out, it could be argued that indeed she is an accidental senator. But that’s not how it happened. I’m not discounting Sen. Legarda’s abilities. She has a good head on her shoulder. Lastly, bagay sa kanyang theme song eh “paru parong bukid”. Why? Go figure.

  • Karabkatab

    What happened to her “Luntiang Pilipinas Project”, if indeed she is a perfectionist. Eh, sa concept pa lang sablay na. What a waste of government money.

    • Ulipur

      Have a closer look into the SALN submitted by Loren…….
      Para malaman ang katotohanan…

      SALN ng mga iba pang kandidato at mga Senador….Tingnan na rin……


  • Brix Villapando

    ang sarap mangurakot ng 200 million taon taon….kahit kalahati lang ok na rin..para kang tumatama sa lotto yearly..tsk tsk tsk no wonder sandamukal ang ari-arian nila sa RP at abroad….sarap buhay ng mga pulitiko natin….Kelan kaya matatanggal ang pork na ito..ito lang ang dahilan kaya sila tumatakbo sa election…

    Di bale matitigok din sila at di nila madadala sa hukay ang kanilang yaman. At ang makikinabang lang ay ang ibang tao na magiging asawa ng kanilang mga anak. Pati in-laws ng kanilang mga anak ay makikinabang sa nakaw na yaman. Yan Loren ang mangyayari ….di mo madadala sa hukay ang kayamanan mo..ninyong mga senador at congressmen…ang lahat ay may hangganan….

    • Dax Cogitlog

      well said !

  • Brix Villapando

    perfectionist kaya perfect din mangurakot……Lahat yan kurakot..walang matino na pulitiko babae man o lalaki..lahat yan ay masisiba sa pork barrel….wala silang kabusugan///Look at the Villars , Binays, marcos, etc. sandamukal na pera nila pero gusto pa rin maging senador, congressmen at President……PERA lang ang dahilan at wal ng iba…..wala silang kabusugan..parang mga hyena at piranha…..kung kaya nilang ngasabin ang buong RP ay gagawin nila ito…..

  • nano

    I agree with Senator Loren Legarda , if you do anything do it right from the very beginning , its very productive besides it gives happiness to see the results which is properly done.

  • rod

    As fas as I am concerned, siguro natutulog lang ako, pero wala ako naramdaman na nagawa ni senator Legarda na nagkaroon ng malaking impact sa buhay ng Pinoy sa haba ng kanyang term.

  • pcosmachine





  • http://www.facebook.com/lace.yecas Lace Yecas

    Ramon Magsaysay Jr. is on top of my list!! Still considering Legarda for my top 12.


    Ang accidente ay si Nancy Binay!kasi nagback out si JDV jr. ngunit kahit pa aksidente ay may pera na pangkampanya!and for that she is the bigggest accident happened in the phi

  • Fancy Tan

    Pera-Pera Lang yan!!!

  • commentator

    Can Legarda mingle with the poor? Or does she thinks that poor people are mediocre?

  • TinimbangNgunitKulang

    This reads like fiction.

  • BoyBakal

    She describes her roots as “middle class”….

    That’s why Loren cannot relate to poor.

  • BoyBakal

    By “accident” is how re-electionist Senator Loren Legarda describes her entry into politics.

    Really….I thought her ex husband Leviste was former Governor of Batangas.
    There must be some mentoring and influence and not by accident.

  • Patotz

    a accidental gift then :) dami mo ginawa sa senate mam legarda and we the people appreciate it

    • LadyBalmaceda

      i have to agree with you! i think its amazing how much shes done for the people

      • DennisTan

        and also what shes done for the environment! we are actually one of the top ranking countries in disaster preparation right now :) oh and climate change! hehehehe

  • risamyloves

    thanks for all your all your hard work po! and your continued hard work when you win in this 2013 elections! :) im sure you will win po! we are all supporting you

    • JuliusContis

      im sure she will continue to work hard for our country!

  • BoyBakal

    Accidental’ senator is deliberate with work, intolerant of mediocrity…

    Intolerant of mediocrity….. Loren puts herself in the pedestal
    She has this bourgeois attitude, no mediocrity, a perfectionist as how she describes herself.
    In short, No patience.
    She is in the pedestal out of the reach of poor filipinos.

  • $14971196

    she’s a black widow spider…a very clever user.

  • DanielMarquez

    accidental? well thank god it happened, you’ve done so much for the country

    • StephenHalili

      yes! we dont have that many senators that show they really care. we need more like you in the senate…

  • AngelSantos

    all her hard work for the environment and filipino’s women’s rights wouldn’t have happened if there was no accident. god bless you po…

  • MarieUntalan

    such a wise women with so much care for the philippines. she’s definitely going to do great on her second term

  • JohnBernabe

    that was a pretty interesting video of ms loren. compared to other candidates, its no wonder why she’s constantly number 1.

  • Roberto Ladao

    I think all Senators and congressman should be audited of how they spend their PORK.

  • eight_log

    Talaga namang deliberate si Loren … hehehehe … yung mga cellphones … yung mga condo … talaga namang ginawa niya yun …tapos papalusot pa. Tanungin kaya si Angara kung ano masabi niya?

  • ED_almansa

    Nagsisimula ng magkawatak-watak ang Team PNoy ngayon. Sila-sila na rin
    ang nagsisirain. ang pasimuno si Alan Peter Cayetano.

To subscribe to the Philippine Daily Inquirer newspaper in the Philippines, call +63 2 896-6000 for Metro Manila and Metro Cebu or email your subscription request here.

Factual errors? Contact the Philippine Daily Inquirer's day desk. Believe this article violates journalistic ethics? Contact the Inquirer's Reader's Advocate. Or write The Readers' Advocate:

c/o Philippine Daily Inquirer Chino Roces Avenue corner Yague and Mascardo Streets, Makati City,Metro Manila, Philippines Or fax nos. +63 2 8974793 to 94


editors' picks



latest videos