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Mario Bautista, has been with the entertainment industry for more than 4 decades. He writes regular columns for People's Journal and Malaya.

Jan 21, 2010

Joy Belomonte versus Aiko Melendez for QC Vice Mayor

OUTGOING QC MAYOR Sonny Belmonte was once linked to Aiko Melendez. How did his daughter Joy, who's now running against Aiko as vice mayor, feel about this? "I asked him about it and he just laughed," says Joy. "Hindi naman kasi totoo."

What can she say about Aiko's accusation that she's never been an elected public official and yet she's now running against her who served for nine years as councilor? "That's true. But I've always served the public even when still in college when I was with various orgs serving the poor. After I graduated from the Ateneo, I joined the Jesuit Volunteers and served as a teacher in a poor and remote area in Bukidnon na walang ilaw, tubig, at kalye. I later joined my dad in all his projects for the poor in Quezon City at doon ako na-exposed sa needs nila. I'm the current Chair of the QC Performing Arts Development Foundation that brought many local and international awards as one of the best dance companies in the country. I'm also member of the QC Film Commission and Chair of the committe for the Most Gender Sensitive Film Award in the annual Metro filmfest."

Joy is turning 40 on March 15. She married Ray Alimurung (a doctor from UP-PGH who took up MBA in Stanford and now works at Amazon.com) at 34. They now have a one-year old son, Gael, named after the Mexican actor. The youngest and only girl of the four kids of Mayor Sonny and the late humanitarian Betty Go-Belmonte, she said she didn't grow up spoiled at all. How come her brothers Isaac, Kevin, Miguel didn't join politics? "They all prefer to work with our paper (Philippine Star)."

A classmate of Kris Aquino at Poveda in high school and later at the Ateneo, along with Lea Salonga and Luli Arroyo, is she aware previous QC vice mayors (Coney Angeles, Tito Sotto, Bistek) are all from showbiz? "Yes, but in terms of name recall, kilala rin naman ang Belmonte because of the positive things my dad has done for QC. He's now running nga as congressman in the 4th district and no one wants to run against him."