Former House Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano on Friday called for a return to traditional Filipino values to drive the country’s recovery from the pandemic-induced downturn.
“I hope maging part ng ating recovery, hindi lang y’ung health, hindi lang y’ung ekonomiya, hindi lang y’ung presyo-trabaho-kita, pero maging part ng recovery natin, ibalik natin y’ung traditional values,” Cayetano said to an audience of microenterprise owners and barangay health workers in Bauan, Batangas on December 10, 2021.
(I hope our recovery plan would include not just programs on health or the economy, not just the gut issues, but also traditional values.)
The former Speaker went to Batangas to distribute cash grants of P3,500 to small business owners under his signature Sari-saring Pag-asa financial aid program for microenterprises, as well as assistance to barangay health workers in the area.
With him were Batangas 2nd District Rep. Raneo Abu and daughter Dr. Maria Reina Abu, Bauan Mayor Ryanh Dolor, San Luis Mayor Danilo Medina, San Pascual Mayor Antonio Dimayuga, former Mabini Mayor Nilo Villanueva, and provincial Board Members Wilson Rivera and Arlene Bantugon-Magboo.
Cayetano, who is gunning for a Senate comeback on a faith-based and values-oriented agenda, emphasized the need to rekindle different aspects of traditional Filipino culture that may have been dulled by urbanization and changing attitudes towards family life.
“Kailangan po natin ibalik y’ung paggalang sa matatanda ‘di ba, tsaka y’ung pag-welcome po sa mga tao,” he said.
(We need to return to our deep respect for the elderly, as well as welcoming people into our homes.)
He added that hospitality and bayanihan should become mainstream again for Filipinos as these cultural practices have become strained because of pandemic restrictions on gatherings and close contacts even among members of the same community.
Cayetano warned against letting go of common decency, hospitality, bayanihan, and other quintessentially Filipino cultural practices as this may lead society to regress amid a fragile recovery from the pandemic.
“Noong nakita niyo na medyo tinataguyod natin y’ung tamang prinsipyo, walang corruption, tigil y’ung droga, tigil y’ung krimen, gumaganda na y’ung ekonomiya natin,” he said.
“Noong binasura natin ang ating mga prinsipyo, lalong naghirap tayo,” he added.
(When we held on to our principles, there was no corruption, drugs disappeared, crime disappeared, our economy improved. But when we let go of our principles, times got tough for us.)
A total of 1,407 Batangueños received P3,500 in cash aid as additional capital from Cayetano and his allies’ Sari-saring Pag-asa program. Of this number, 475 recipients came from Bauan, 350 came from Mabini, 220 came from San Luis, and 62 came from San Pascual, Batangas.
“Maraming maraming salamat kay former Speaker Alan Cayetano dahil hindi niya nalilimutan ang ating distrito [at] ang ating lalawigan. Mahal na mahal tayo ni Speaker kaya naman nararapat lamang na ibigay din natin ang ating buong pagmamahal sa kanya,” Dr. Maria Reina Abu said.
(Thank you to former Speaker Alan Cayetano because he nevers forgets about our district and our province. We are loved by him, which is why he is also deserving of our love.)
“Hindi niya kinakalimutan ang lalawigan ng Batangas. Hindi tayo iniwanan niya at ako’y hindi ko rin siya iniwan,” Rep. Raneo Abu added.
(He never forgets about the province of Batangas. He never left us and I also never left him.)