Apr 18
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Roman Romulo: Upholding his family’s legacy

Author: The Philippine Star

There isn’t a moment I’m not aware of the name I carry," says Roman Romulo. Coming from a long line of public servants, he emphasizes that it’s not the prestige but rather the responsibilities of upholding his family’s legacy that become the driving force in his life. If anything, Roman makes it a point to debunk any glamorous assumptions about being a Romulo. "Our family is from a small town in Tarlac," he notes. "My lolo (Carlos P. Romulo, or CPR as he was fondly known) was a small guy. He had to stand on several telephone directories just to be seen over the podium when he became president of the United Nations. He knew he had to distinguish himself through his actions, his words and his convictions. "I myself have lived a simple life here in Pasig," says Roman. "I didn’t inherit any ‘family business’ — if anything, I’ve had to work harder to distinguish myself. " Establishing himself as a successful lawyer, Roman resigned the year he was to make partner at his firm to become a public servant in his hometown of Pasig. His family was less than enthusiastic about it. "My father first got elected in 1984 and it wasn’t easy," he admits. "It certainly isn’t and shouldn’t be glamorous. " Roman adds: "The only advice my lolo ever told my father was during that time. My dad was part of the opposition against Marcos. The dictator’s allies dominated the assembly he was joining. CPR took my dad aside and told him that he needn’t be afraid to stand and be heard. But more important is that he had something important to say. " Roman says he will never forget that, if elected as congressman for Pasig, it is his duty to speak for his constituents. "Congress is a big place and can be overwhelming if you don’t know how it works," he says. "Talking is easy — but to say something that will benefit your city — that is what CPR was saying was more important. " His expertise as a lawyer and his extensive projects for his fellow Pasigueños has prepared him for this challenge. In particular, he was involved in the granting of land titles to the residents of Villa Cuaresma. "Being a Romulo is more than carrying the name," Roman says. "There were times in the past — especially when I was in school — that I felt I didn’t live up my family name. But that didn’t deter me and just made me want to prove myself worthy. If there’s something that I think I inherited it’s that odds or challenges don’t faze me. I just put in the work and make sure that what I say makes sense. "I guess that also comes from being a true Pasigueño," adds Roman, as he makes his first bid for congress in the lone district of Pasig City.

Source: The Philippine Star