Lito Yap David: Senatorial Candidate of Ang Kapatiran Party

Lito Yap David leading a rally vs the Reproductive Health Bill

Lito Yap David leading a rally vs the Reproductive Health Bill

I made it through the rain

by Lito Yap David

I can only sum up the circumstances of my life through the following lines immortalized by great singer/composer, “I made it through the rain, I kept my world protected … I kept my point of view … and found myself respected by the others who got rained on too and made it through”.

I was born in a “manger” in the slums of Tondo to parents of very modest means – a homemaker and a laborer. I was sickly and seen as a weakling by my neighborhood playmates but still had to work with my mother on her Divisoria sojourn every 4 am of each day before again walking a kilometer or two to attend my primary classes at Manuel L. Quezon Elementary School and later on at the Isabelo delos Reyes Elementary School, both in Tondo. I spent some of my afternoons tending to a small kiosk in front of our house where my mother sold her wares but most of the time went back to school to help out in remedial classes for the lower sections while doing catechisms. I also served in our parish chorale at the Sto. Nino de Tondo and was pretty much active with the Legion of Mary.

For a while then I thought my life would go on in much the same way year in and year out until my mother landed a job in San Fernando, Pampanga. It was there that I spent my intermediate years at the San Fernando Central Elementary School while serving as a member of the Knights of the Altar at the Shrine of our Lady of Lourdes.

I thought of becoming a priest as my beloved grandfather wanted me to be but this never went through to my great frustration as my would be sponsor died three days before my scheduled entry to a seminary in San Fernando, Pampanga. It was indeed a disappointment that to this day I would often wonder, what might have been?

I was given to a life of science and scientific adventures when I landed in a special science program at Jose Abad Santos High School in Binondo, Manila while still maintaining my engagement in church activities and my active involvement with the Student Catholic Action.

I was granted a scholarship at UP Los Banos to pursue a degree in the sciences, an answered prayer since we hardly had the wherewithal for a decent college education. I was left to fend for myself at an early age reminiscent of my juvenile years in Tondo. I must say that I enjoyed my years at the University in the company of brilliant but likewise struggling and financially challenged students. I enjoyed too my days as an activist for causes very close to my heart that placed me among those included in the military’s order of battle at the tender age of 19. Well that was martial law then. I had to struggle to make it through while unmindful of the blessings that God had bestowed on me.

I made a career in government service, first as an academic at UPLB then as a community organizer and later on as a strategic planner at the Department of Environment and Natural Resources. My more than a decade of stint at the Senate of the Philippines and the House of Representatives accorded me with the knowledge and experience very few really are fortunate to have. I owe so much to Senator Kit Tatad the kind of intellectual discipline he made sure was rubbed on to his staff and the kind of devotion he had to his Faith that was simply contagious. Senator Sonny Jaworski’s inspiring “never say die” attitude kept us working together which made him one of the most prolific author of new laws during his time in the Senate. I am happy to have served him too.

Through all these, I have experienced how life can be so difficult especially for those of us who were not born in affluent families. I went through poverty. Saw it, ate, slept, lived with and struggled against it, often at the risk of losing what I have established for myself and my family. I always thought that GOD never willed, as I am certain HE never did, to create a world where so many are poor and living in abject situations -inhuman in fact.

That millions and millions of our brethren would live in unjust and iniquitous arrangements was only possible because of the very few who sought to make it so for their benefit and self-aggrandizement. I believe in a caring and loving GOD. The One GOD who is just, wills the best and most prosperous life for everyone. The society we are in is not as GOD contemplated it to be. This is not it!

I feel that I am blessed, as in fact I am. I have been gifted with the faculties to serve as an instrument, as many of us are, to fight and ultimately bring forth a society where GOD’s contemplations are realized and enjoyed by everyone and not just a few. I personally feel, surely as all of us in the Ang Kapatiran Party are, to make it possible and see this through.

I made it through the vicissitudes of life. I resisted many a temptation and kept my values intact. I still have the courage to maintain the idealism of my youth and did not succumb to the pragmatism of current days. I have gained the respect of many of my peers who went through the same challenges in their lives.

I am not a saint, though I pray that I would be one someday, but a sinner and a continuing one, I must emphasize. I am still in a constant struggle, an unceasing one at that as I hold on to the line – “every saint has a past and every sinner has a future”.

All these I view as Blessings to which I am very thankful for.

My life’s circumstances, my own story of ceaseless battles, prepared me for this. Yet again, as I have done before, share my blessings, take on the responsibility in another plain in bringing the certainty of a better life for every Filipino.

I am again seeking the people’s mandate and God’s affirmation, for a seat in the hallowed halls of the Senate with the conviction that I shall be the people’s “most loyal servant but God’s first”.

May God Bless us all!

(Note: Thanks to Norman Cabrera of Ang Kapatiran Party for sharing to me this article.)

About Quirino M. Sugon Jr
Theoretical Physicist in Manila Observatory

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