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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.

Dec 14, 2019


cong. alred at the thanksgiving presscon he hosted for the press

REP. ALFRED VARGAS couldn’t believe it when he got a phone call a couple of days ago informing him that he was named one of the 2019 TOYM (Ten Outstanding Young Men) awardees. “Akala ko, may nagre-relay sa’kin ng fake news, but it turned out to be true and my hand was shaking as soon as I put the phone down,” he says.

He knew that he was nominated by the Quezon City Jaycees. “But there were 100 of us nominated, so I wasn’t expecting anything. The number was trimmed down to 60, then 15 and finally just the 10 of us winners were left and it’s an honor to be in their company as they’re the movers and shakers of our nation.”

He has received acting awards but the TOYM honor is totally different as it’s in the field of public service.  “It’s the most prestigious award for young men in the country and it’s a lifetime commitment. As a public servant, I have been sacrificing a lot, like my showbiz career, time spent with my family, but I have no regrets. I can now feel that it’s all worth it.”

In a thanksgiving lunch he hosted for the press after he got the award at Manila Hotel last Friday night, he offered the award to his constituents, to his wife Jasmine and their three children and to his late mom, lawyer Susana Dumlao, who really wanted him to be a lawyer like her.

The TOYM recognized his efforts in providing afforable house and lot to several depressed communities in QC. “The housing problem is no joke specially in Novaliches, my turf, and in QC where about 60 percent of the popular are informal settlers without their own lands,” he says. “I got three death threats from syndicates because of my efforts to find common grounds in having sustainable solutions as I want everyone’s voice to be heard.”

Eventually, his Palupa Program got to provide many squatters with their own house and lot in QC. He also got recognized for his National Integrated Cancer Control Act for cancer prevention that will create cancer centers throughout the country that will also help cash-strapped cancer patients. But of course, he continues to make his presence felt in showbiz.

“We have four recess periods in congress and tuwing may recess, sinasamantala ko to accept acting jobs, which is also a passion,” he adds. “I’ve now just finished two new films, ‘Kaputol’ with Cherie Gil and Angel Aquino, and ‘Tagpuan’ with Iza Calzado and Shaina Magdayao, both written by Ricky Lee and directed by Mac Alejandre. Abangan nyo kasi ipalalabas na namin sila early next year.”