Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Mother to Leni Robredo: Put your best foot forward
By Rhaydz B. Barcia

NAGA CITY, Oct. 6 (PNA) -- Salvacion “Sally” Santo Tomas Gerona, the 79-year-old mother of Rep. Leni Robredo, has advised her daughter to put her best foot forward and make her own judgment.

Robredo, who was at first hesitant to be the running mate of Liberal Party standard bearer Mar Roxas following the objection of her three daughters -- Aika, Tricia and Jilian -- finally accepted the offer to be the LP's vice presidential candidate.

Last month, Roxas flew to this city to personally ask Robredo to be his running mate for the 2016 elections.

He wooed Robredo for weeks to be his running mate after Senator Francis Escudero of Sorsogon province announced his candidacy as running mate of Senator Grace Poe.

Gerona -- an artist, teacher and dean of the graduate school of one of the reputable higher institutions in this city, and who is fondly called here as Tita Sally -- said whatever decision her daughter would make, she would support her.

She said her daughter can make her own judgment.

“She was brought up very well and she makes her very own judgment. Whatever responsibility given to her, I told her to put her feet forward and put her best always,” Gerona said.

As a daughter, she said, her daughter was a shy girl during her childhood but talented and belonged to a class of achievers at the Colegio de Santa Isabel, now University of Santa Isabel.

“Once, she was a very shy girl. She didn’t want to go on stage. She was a consistent salutatorian from elementary to secondary school. She passed the UST entrance examination but decided to enroll at the University of the Philippines where she took up Bachelor of Economics and went to the University of Nueva Caceres for her Bachelor of Laws,” Robredo's mother said.

Like many Bicolanos, Robredo is also a devotee of Our Lady of Peñafrancia and walks barefoot during the procession.

“Leni is very thoughtful daughter, loving and independent. She loves everybody. She checks on me every time. She may not stay longer but she keeps on calling and dropping by our home whenever time warrants,” the friendly and full of wisdom teacher and mother of the Camarines Sur lawmaker said.

Robredo will vie for the second highest position in the country against fellow Bicolano senators Antonio Trillanes of Ligao City in Albay, Escudero of Sorsogon and probably Gregorio Honasan also of Sorsogon. (PNA) LAP/PGL/FGS/RBB/CBD