Teodorico Nonong Haresco Jr : how I see him change the TATSULOK

Being a girl who grew up nearby the beach, the sea, the sand, and the sea creatures; Aklan, specifically Boracay has occupied a very special place in my heart. I had been there only once, but the place really captured me that I have always treasured every memory and experience about the island.

In the summer of 2015, we were able to witness the beauty of Boracay and the not so beautiful side of it. While I was happy to see the popular white sand of the island which was awarded as Best Island in the World in 2012 by an international travel magazine, it also saddened me to see the piles of garbage in the esteros, canals and the river.

The national government's effort to rehabilitate the island was a good move but it is still better if the initiative would come from the local government of Aklan province. They know the place better, they know very well what the place and the residents need and they are the only one who can definitely make a big impact and can change the current status of Boracay for the better.

This is the reason why I was so eager to meet some of the local officials from Aklan, I want to know who among them has the concrete plan for Boracay and the whole Aklan as well, so the bodies of water and the agricultural land as well will be used properly and will be protected for the benefit of the locals.

I was happy to meet Teodorico Haresco Jr., Aklan Representative; over a casual lunch which was organized by a friend. He is a proud Aklanon, happily married and a good father of four. He is better known as NonongHarescoof by the lone district of Aklan and now running as Congressman of the Second District.

What surprised me about Nonong is not the 60++ house measures that he has authored and co-authored while he was in Congress, but his being keen in opposing the construction of the 1.9 km bridge which will link Boracay to Caticlan. It is a 3-billion project submitted by the San Miguel Corp to the government which the company said they could finish in 2 years.

The project sounds good, who wouldn't want a developed municipality in terms of infrastructures? But have we realized how that construction would impact the lives of the less privilege and small business owners, the ferry boat operators and drivers, the small vendors at the ports, the peddlers, the tricycle drivers?

Haresco being a firm believer in the microenterprise industry has the soft heart for the less privilege, less fortunate fellows. He encourages his people to set-up their own small business ventures as a means to make their lives better. His love and concern for the small and the needy have led him to oppose the project that this giant company wants to bring to his beloved province.

Haresco's advocacy and passion for small business owners somehow touched me so deeply as I was raised by a single Nanay who was a farmer who earns a hundred peso or less per day. I definitely know how hard life is for those who are striving hard to start a small livelihood of their own.

When my mother was still alive, the likes of us - small market vendor - was not getting any support from the government both local and national. The government's focus is on the big players in the industries, the big names, the big corporations whom they expect would give more revenue to them. Now I realize, we need more NonongHaresco in the government, who would always support the small and the needy who have dreams and who work hard and smart to uplift their own life.

Thank you Nonong Haresco, I believe you are a breath of fresh air in the politics as you value the role of the people who make up the larger part of our society, the people who hold the base of the "pyramid," the likes of us with whom those at the top depend on to keep their spot.

Sabi nga sa kanta ni Bamboo "Habang may TATSULOK, at sila ang nasa tuktok; hindi matatapos itong gulo."

I am hopeful that NonongHaresco's initiative to make the lives of the poor better will serve as an inspiration to others so sooner our society will no longer be a TATSULOK ( I know that might be too impossible but I chose to be hopeful for this country) where the small and the needy are always at the bottom waiting in vain...

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