MANILA, Philippines -- Hairdressers, unite!
This may be the battle cry of Ricky Reyes as he endorsed on Wednesday the presidential candidacy of Nacionalista Party standard-bearer Manuel Villar.
Villar secured the endorsement of Reyes and his army of haircutters and hairdressers belonging to Filipino Hairdressers Cooperative when the senator served as guest speaker at the 26th Hair and Make-up Trend Competition at Philippine Trade Center in Pasay City.
Ang Ladlad, the first gay political party in Asia allowed to run in the May 10 partylist election, earlier threw its support to Liberal Party standard bearer Benigno "Noynoy" Aquino.
Asked by reporters about this, Reyes, without batting an eyelash, quipped: ?Kaya ngayon, nilaladlad ko na si Manny Villar (So now I'm endorsing Manny Villar). Should I endorse someone else? That's it, he is the one.?
?I always say that the hardship experienced by Filipinos will be solved by having jobs,? declared Reyes, fondly called as ?Mother? by his wards as a show of respect and admiration for the founder of Fil-Hair Coop., which gave birth to the successful privately run community livelihood project, ?Isang Gunting, Isang Suklay.?
Reyes, whose rags-to-riches story inspired fellow beauticians like him to dream big, noted that he and Villar succeeded in business by starting as entrepreneurs.
?I?m one of his fans because of his work for the poor and we both came from the ranks of the poor,? Villar told reporters after his speech, pointing out that both of them succeeded through ?Sipag at Tiyaga,? his campaign slogan which meant hard work and patience.
Reyes said that Fil-Hair had chapters all over the country.
?For me, my sector, the beauty sector?the most beautiful sector in this country?you will not see us in the streets rallying. But what we do is go to our shop, we will cut hair, we will make our own money, and we will feed our families,? she said.
When asked about the nationwide membership of the Fil-Hair Coop, he said: ?I don't count people .. but when I call (them), I can fill the whole ballroom.?
Reyes said he liked ?people who know what business is all about.?
Instead of loitering about in the streets doing nothing, jobless people should work as ?haircutters? to provide food and medicines for their families and pay for house rental and school fees.
His endorsement was music to the ears of Villar.
?The endorsement of Ricky is a big deal for me because I really admire him. I am one of his fans. He is one of the Filipinos who should be emulated. He is helping our society and he really pushed for his profession and industry in the field of entrepreneurship. He is indeed a good example of success through hard work and patience.?
Villar said that Reyes had combined business and love of country.
In his speech, Villar said he had been advocating entrepreneurship as a way out of poverty.
?We should encourage ? hairdressers to go on, to excel, to compete,? said Villar, again harping on his campaign platform to end poverty once elected as president.