In the latest episode of his interviews with the families of the 2022 presidential aspirants, TV host Boy Abunda sat down with Aika and Tricia Robredo, the two elder daughters of Vice President Leni Robredo. Netizens commended the sisters for the way they conducted themselves in the interview, showing how well their mother raised them. Here are some of the highlights of the interview, ones that you may want to keep in mind as the elections come closer — and maybe even for life in general.
On doing the right thing
When asked what their thoughts are on their mother’s decision to run, the sisters admitted they were actually opposed to it. In fact, VP Leni herself previously shared that she promised her daughters that the 2016 vice presidential race was the last elections she would join.
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But once Leni submitted her certificate of candidacy, the Robredo sisters were all-out in their support for their mom, because it’s “the right thing to do.”
“Parang alam namin na dun na yun patungo. Baka yun na talaga yung destiny or kailangan niyang gawin in the end,” Aika said.
On being a daughter and a Filipino
The sisters said that despite their initial reluctance on their mother’s decision to run for presidency, they as Filipinos understood the country’s need for a leader.
“Kahit kung tatanggalin mo yung daughter factor, even kami, yung sagot namin is siya talaga yung best person for the job,” Aika said. As a development worker and a doctor respectively, Aika and Tricia said they both recognize the “importance of having good governance on a national scale” in their line of work.
On carrying the family name
While she has always been more than thankful to have Leni and Jesse Robredo as her parents, Tricia said that she also wants to be recognized beyond being her parents’ daughter, to be recognized for who she is and what she does as an individual. She admitted that she introduces herself as Dr. Tricia in the hospital, instead of the more conventional Dr. Robredo.
OMG I’m watching Boy Abunda interview with Tricia and Aika and sobrang I was in awe with Doc Tricia’s answer?!
“Ako po, I’m more than just a daughter of my parents. On the side, I’m still a doctor.” ANG GALING. We are more than just someone’s somebody. We are our own person! 💗
— Bea 🎀 #95KABATAAN (@btrzkji) March 17, 2022
“‘Di ako nagpapakilala bilang doktor Robredo sa ospital. Nagpapakilala po ako bilang Dr. Tricia, so [that] whatever they say about my work, it’s because of the kind of work I put out. Not because of my name,” Tricia said.
Aika agreed with what her sister said, adding that there was much pressure growing up as the daughters of their parents. “Kasi kung pumalpak ka, sasabihin na ano ba naman to, anak [ni Leni] tapos palpak pero pag nag excel ka naman, ah kaya yan magaling kasi… So kami, paghusayan nalang natin para wala kang talo either way,” she said.
But the sisters also credited their parents for encouraging them to pursue their passion. “Kahit ‘yung magulang namin encouraged kami parati na ‘go after ‘yung gusto niyong gawin, just make sure na maging productive ‘yun and make sure you give something back ‘pag naabot mo na yung dapat mong abutin, and just continue to really self improve along the way’,” Aika added.
On listening to constructive criticism
When asked how they navigate the space between praise and hate, Tricia said that their mother taught them to choose your battles. “Laging paalala ni Mama: Ang mapikon, lugi. Ang importante lang ay yung totoo.”
Aika added that they make sure to filter the criticisms and listen to the valid and constructive ones.
On keeping an open mind
When asked if they’re able to discuss serious and more controversial topics with their mother, the sisters said that their parents have always been openminded.
Case in point: abortion and the different views of the mother and daughters. Leni has been firm on her stance against abortion, but her daughter said that their mother listens to “divergent voices”, including apparently theirs.
“It’s not something we’d choose for ourselves, but … Ang unfair na i-blame natin sa bata ’yun [pregnancy], tapos ’yung youth niya robbed sa kanya,” Tricia said. “Ang dami tuloy na nagre-resort to extreme and unhealthy means hindi lang nu’ng nanay kundi ng bata na binubuo.”
“Just because illegal siya, it doesn’t mean na ’yung mga tao hindi naghahanap ng underground means para gawin ’yun,” Aika added. The sisters emphasized that they are able to share their concerns and arguments with their mother, who listens and openly discusses the issue with them.
On ‘quiet strength’
The sisters shared that despite their mother’s overwhelmingly busy schedule, Leni makes time to be involved in their lives. “Kahit alam namin na madaming demands yung trabaho niya, hindi siya nagkulang sa pagiging ina sa amin” Tricia shared. “Hinahayaan niya kaming mag-succeed on our own, but she’s always there.”
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Meanwhile, Aika praised her mother’s “quiet strength” in juggling her roles as a mother and a national government official. “I think it takes a lot of strength to restrain yourself. I think it takes a lot of strength to choose your battles and kailangan kalmado ka sa gitna ng storm,” she said.
She also described her mother as “genuinely unaffected” with the hate being thrown at her. “Lugi yung trolls sa kanya kasi hindi talaga siya naaapektuhan,” Aika said with a laugh.
“Hindi siya nagpapatinag talaga sa kung anong mga sinasabi,” Tricia continued. “Dead set, focused talaga siya sa trabaho,” Aika said.
On their mother’s self image
When asked why their mother is the best candidate to be the next president of the Philippines, the sisters said that her history, track record, and accomplishments “speak for itself.”
“Sa tingin ko, yung lifetime of preparation niya na unintentional at hindi deliberate, tingin ko walang substitute yun sa readiness niya to take on a bigger role kung siya yung mabigyan ng chance na manalo sa May,” Aika said.
She also added that her mother doesn’t view herself as a superhero: “I think yung important, leadership trait niya, she inspires other people to act as well kasi tingin ko yun lang yung only way din para malampasan natin yung napakaraming problema na haharapin natin. Kung mainspire niya yung napakaraming groups, napakaraming tao to come together and work together, tingin ko yun yung best fighting chance din nating lahat.”
Netizens are all praises
After the Boy Abunda interview aired, the names of the Robredo sisters trended online as netizens showered them with praise and commendation for their answers and conduct in the interview. Netizens described the sisters as “natural”, “sincere”, and “intelligent” among many praises.
Watch the full interview below:
What do you think of the Robredo sisters’ interview? Share your thoughts with us!