Category: Election


It starts from Km Zero

Road to Senate 2019

A couple of days a week, I hop on a bike to work out before I start my day. Today was no different, except I had a specific destination. I was going to ride to the Commission on Election’s (COMELEC) office in Intramuros, Manila to file my certificate of candidacy (COC) for senator for next year’s elections. That ride was symbolic in many ways.

On my way to the COMELEC with friends and supporters

First, it marks the beginning of my journey to return to the Senate, fourteen years after I first stepped on its hallowed halls as the country’s youngest elected female senator (2004-2010). I would later serve a second term (2010-2016).

It’s official! With my supportive younger brother Lino

The battles I fought throughout the twelve years in the Senate and two more in the House of Representatives were not easy. Most of the landmark measures I passed and continue to be involved in – reproductive health, sin tax, cheaper medicine law, anti-age discrimination, expanded maternity leave, and divorce, have been met with so much resistance from different fronts. But I’ve learned to use my training as an endurance athlete to persevere and fight to the very end, until I reach my goal.


Second, I purposely biked to represent my advocacy for sustainable transportation, something that is urgently needed in our society today. It includes the building of efficient mass transportation systems, bike lanes, sidewalks, and pedestrian walkways. A well-designed transport system will ease the traffic situation in Metro Manila and other urban centers, which has been greatly affecting businesses and individual productivity. Sustainable transportation is kinder to our environment, better for our personal health and fitness, and good for the economy.


Third, I wore a skirt. Yes, I did. I took a few spins on my foldable bike around the Rizal Monument in Luneta first to make sure I can comfortably bike in a skirt. And I’m happy to say, I can and I did! It is a nod to women everywhere who are playing multiple roles in society today, and doing a great job at it. On this note, I’m so proud to include an update on my package of laws to support women – the recently ratified Expanded Maternity Leave Bill that gives 105 days of paid maternity leave to working mothers. As a working mom myself, I’ve seen the balancing act women perform to be mothers while working at the same time. But women in the work force are here to stay and it is society’s job to make this environment supportive to working mothers.


Lastly, I started from the Rizal Monument because that’s where Kilometer Zero is. “KM 0” markers are normally located in a country’s capital from which road distances are measured. I see those kilometer posts all the time when biking, and those numbers indicate how far the place is from Kilometer Zero. As a senator, it’s a reminder to me that I represent the entire country, from kilometer zero to the farthest towns north and south of the Philippines.

At Km Zero where I will begin my campaign

And now, I am back on this road to the Senate starting from KM Zero, willing to take on more challenges in the humble service of the Filipino people.

What's in a Name: Alan Cayetano

When I was four years old, my brother Alan Peter S. Cayetano was born. Alan’s namesake is an older gentleman who took in my father, Rene Cayetano as an employee which eventually led him to grad school in the University of Michigan. Peter is my grandfather’s name.

At 21, while still in college at UP, Alan became a councilor in Tagig, and the youngest councilor in the country. At 27, he became the youngest congressman..In the halls of Congress, he was called Alan, Alan Peter or Peter.

Last week, when we all headed for the precincts, Comelec ordered that Alan be stripped of all votes referring to Cayetano, even though the whole country knows that he is the only legitimate Cayetano running for the Senate.

Also, since Comelec refused to resolve this case earlier, all votes in favor of Joselito “Peter” Cayetano, went to Joselito “Peter” Cayetano since his name remained on the ballot.

Today and in the last few days, Alan continues to fight that votes in his own name be credited to him.

Tinanggal na nga nila ang Cayetano, ang Peter Cayetano at ngayon pati na rin ang Alan Cayetano binabawas pa sa kanya. But they do not dishonor Alan by what they do. They dishonor the Filipino people.

Kung binoto ng mga tao si Alan dahil pinaniniwalaan nila ang pangalang Cayetano, dapat ito pahalagahan ng mga tao sa administrasyon.. And it is only right, that the votes the Filipino cast in favor of Alan, be credited to him..

All our life our father reminded us “when I die, I will only leave you two things, a good education and a good name…”

In the end, they can try to strip Alan of his votes, but they can never take away our name and what that name means to us and to those who trust in that name.