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In Pangasinan reunion, Alan finds 200 are kin

/ 01:30 AM January 04, 2016
SEN. ALAN Peter Cayetano takes a selfie with some of his supposedly 200 relatives in San Carlos City in the background. CONTRIBUTED PHOTO

SEN. ALAN Peter Cayetano takes a selfie with some of his supposedly 200 relatives in San Carlos City in the background. CONTRIBUTED PHOTO

SAN CARLOS CITY—’Tis the season for clan reunions and some politicians seeking office in this year’s elections took time to know their relatives better.

In this city in Pangasinan, some 200 relatives of Sen. Alan Peter Cayetano gathered in a family reunion on Sunday, which took more than a decade to realize.

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The reunion, which Cayetano attended, had long been the dream of Cayetano’s father, the late Sen. Rene Cayetano, said Gualberto Cayetano, 72, a resident of Barangay Balococ here.

“Senator Alan’s father had been telling us to have a reunion since we first met him in Metro Manila in 2001. We are happy it finally happened,” he said.

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Senator Cayetano said his father traced his roots to Pangasinan after then President Fidel Ramos introduced Rene to then Hawaii Gov. Ben Cayetano, whose father was from Urdaneta City, during the governor’s visit to the Philippines in 1997.

“Hopefully through the reunion, we will be able to know our lines of ancestry,” the senator said.

“[Ramos] encouraged my dad to look for our roots because there are almost no Cayetanos in the Visayas and Mindanao or the Cayetanos there came from the North,” he added.

Cayetano said his family had not been able to trace its roots immediately because his grandfather’s mother was from Bulacan province and was orphaned when he was 9 years old.

Most of those who attended the reunion here were from four villages of the city and from neighboring Basista town, which used to be a village of this city.

“Since 2012, I’ve been meeting them one by one. But this time, there are approximately 200 [clan members]. There are 10 members who are from 72 to 82 years old,” Cayetano said.

After lunch, each family representative was asked to introduce their members and tell the story of their families.

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“For me it’s the very warm feeling. You know, my mom is an American and she has only one sibling. So I did not grow up with their family,” Cayetano said.

“Although [my dad] had five siblings, three of them are [now based] abroad and they grew up in Pateros. I did not meet my grandparents. So, it’s a good feeling to have a province where you can go to,” he said.

Asked if the family reunion in Pangasinan, one of the country’s vote-rich provinces, will boost his chance in the race for Vice President, Cayetano said his family always had an affinity with Pangasinan. Gabriel Cardinoza, Inquirer Northern Luzon

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TAGS: Alan Peter Cayetano, Cayetano, Pangasinan, politician, Politics, reunion
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