BUSY YEAR – 2017 promises to be a busy year for Alfred Vargas.
He’s back on television via “Encantadia” on GMA. A film meant for Cinemalaya is in the pipeline, about an illiterate farmer who teaches – a twist in the plot. Surely a fine actor like Alfred – a pleasure to work with – won’t be lacking in offers, be they for the big screen or TV.
But then he’s priorities are family and public service, on his second term as Quezon City congressman.
PROUD TO CALL – Speaking of Quezon City, Alfred pens this piece titled “Proud to call QC my home.”
And Highspeed is proud to use it. Here it is:
I have always considered Quezon City my home since childhood. Yet, I might have ended up as a completely different person had my parents not chosen to raise a family in what has come to be known as the City of Stars.
I consider the story of how I ended living in Quezon City quite fascinating, only because both sets of my grandparents hail from the province.
Atty. Alfredo Vargas, Sr., my paternal grandfather, was from Estancia, Iloilo, while my grandmother, Mrs. Rosario Reyes Vargas, a pharmacist, was from Sta. Maria, Bulacan. On the other hand, my maternal grandfather, Engr. Pablo Dumlao, was from Paoay, Ilocos Norte, while my maternal grandmother, Juanita Tansinsin Dumlao, was a teacher, from Bulacan.
My Dumlao grandparents then migrated to Surigao City and raised my mom and her siblings there. So, basically, my genetic makeup is a fusion of Ilonggo, Bulakenyo, Ilocano, and Surigaonon. Quite an interesting mix, right?
MOM AND DAD – So who was the first in our family to live in Quezon City? The answer would be my mom and dad.
My mother, a lawyer, and father, a businessman, met at an event in Bulacan through common friends. They instantly fell in love. They got married and wanted to start a family immediately.
As a determined and idealistic young couple in the ’70s, my mom and dad looked for a place where their future children can get the best education and grow up to become responsible Filipino citizens. They carefully considered a place where it was best to provide a safe environment for their kids.
My parents wanted to make sure their children can dream big and have a good chance of reaching these dreams. They looked for a city where dreams and opportunities co-exist — a city where anything is possible as long as you work hard and never give up. There were several flourishing cities in Metro Manila then. But they chose the charming Quezon City. Since the day my parents decided to raise a family in Quezon City, it has become a home to me.
WIFE AND KIDS — I met my first friends here, studied, learned to play basketball, graduated from elementary, high school and college, discovered my talents, auditioned for my first TV show, put up my first business venture, ran for public office and got elected in this city.
Now, I have a beautiful wife and two lovely daughters who are growing up and experiencing the similar cycle of QC life I went through when I was a little boy. This city taught me the important lessons in life and even the not-so-important ones. This is a city I have come to love with all my heart despite its imperfections.
While Quezon City has its own share of challenges, it remains as resilient and spirited as ever. Development has since outpaced the urban blight, while hope is felt by many despite some people’s despair.
HOPE AND INSPIRATION – In spite of its flaws, Quezon City will always be known for the hope and inspiration it brings to everyone because the greatest asset of this city is its people. In this city, you can find talented, hardworking, brilliant, and passionate citizens who have compassion for the place they live in.
My father once told me: “You have to love what you do to excel at anything in life.” As a public servant, I translate this to: “You have to love the people that you serve and the PLACE that you live in to truly effect positive change.”
QC educated me, nurtured me, and gave me the most beautiful opportunities. It defined me as a person. And it inspired me to give back. I would have grown up to be a totally different human being if I lived elsewhere all my life.
I would always be grateful and happy that my parents decided to raise their family in Quezon City because for me, this place will always be home.