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It was an honor to have breakfast talk with Senator Gringo Honasan at the New Horizon Hotel in Mandaluyong. He's known to many as a soldier and a revolutionist, but he is a man of faith and principle.

Famously called as Gringo Honasan (Gregorio Honasan II) his name Gringo was baptized by his upperclass when he was in the PMA. They decided that Gregorio is not as glamorous as his nickname - Gringo, a generic term for Caucasian during the peak of Clint Eastwood's career. (tawag sa mga amerikano noon ay Gringo).

He served 42 years in public service; 17 years as a soldier, 7 years as a rebel, 18 years as a senator of the republic. He won 4 times in national elections, now he is running for VP under UNA party.

 

The defining character of his life would be God, country and family. 

He says "This has been my consistent guiding principles but talking about differences and lessons learned; 'When I was a soldier, the lines were clear, di ba pag sinabing go against the criminal elements, the terrorists, yung mga nanggugulo. (because I represented one of the few authorized legally armed groups) the lines are drawed.

But when I stayed in politics, (not by choice) I find the lines were blurred...kausap ko nakangiti sayo, pag talikod ninyo you're being hit already from behind. But that's part of it...that's part of the territory.



Being a soldier, his relationship with his family is such an interesting story to hear. He tells it in a serious way but jokes in between. 

When asked about his decision to run, he shares that it was not an easy process. He had a heart to heart talk with his family, specially with his youngest child, his daughter Kai. The story begins when one day he went home, Kai was crying because of his decision to run again.

I came upon my youngest child, my daughter, she's a musician. She is not a singer, but we asked her to join the singing contest for exposure. And I was ordered by my wife to give moral support. (smiles)

Umiiyak, sabi niya Papa please dont run, ganun ang sitwasyon. So pag-uwi ko hinanap ko siya. Sabi ko Anak, anong problema sabi niya;   
Alam mo ba Pa! Nung pinanganak ako,  you were not there. When I was baptized you were not there. When I graduated from high school you were not there. Pag nasa stage ako, my other classmates are with their parents. I was praying and hoping that when I close my eyes and open you will be coming...wala pa rin. 
So nung nag 18 years old ako wala ka rin, in short ang dami mong atraso sa akin. At ngayon na malapit na kitang maging friend ulit, tatakbo ka na naman.  
Sabi ko...but I'm a good soldier, if I allow the standard bearer of the party, the UNA party which I'm helping organize as Vice president of the party to run without a running mate I would end up resigning from the party, that's the most honorable thing to do, so sinamahan ko. 
Ako'y mabuting sundalo you just have to understand this, I don't expect you to embrace this but just try to understand why am i like this. So sabi nya okay lets not argue over it.
Isa lang ang request namin and I speak for the entire family including my Mama, Okay if you decide to run, you run pero pwede ba pagbalik mo sa amin, sa amin ka na talaga 100%.  
Sabi nya I think our country cannot ask more anything from you. You've served, you've risked your life, your family, your honor, your career. 42 years yan. So pagbalik mo sa amin ka 100%. 
You must enjoy your grand children, you must enjoy our company. 
And their second request is pag-uwi mo try to come home alive, nasanay kasi itong mga anak ko na they don't know where I am. They don't know in what condition will I come to them. 
...still breathing or inside the box? So nasanay sila.
One thing is for sure, Gringo Honasan has a full heart of serving the country, he is gonna pour out 100% effort and nobody can stop him even death.

***
On Being a Hero. Watch Sen. Gringo Honasan as he talks about the importance of our History;

 



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