Saturday, August 25, 2012

Enchong Dee Grateful For Good Memories With Sec. Jesse


Manila, Philippines – Enchong Dee has found a role model in the late Sec. Jesse Robredo, whose kindness and wisdom the former will never forget.

The Kapamilya actor was among the scholars of the beloved government official in his home town Naga, where Sec. Jesse served as mayor for 18 years. Enchong caught the latter’s attention through his achievements in competitive swimming—his inclination prior to joining showbiz. Sec. Jesse eventually became a family friend of the Dees. One of his daughters, Patricia, was also Enchong’s team mate.

In his interview with Marie Lozano for ABS-CBN News, Enchong related, “Everytime na nagko-compete kami, may nadadala akong gold medals, may nadadala akong honor for the Philippines. Nag-decide siya na gawin akong scholar sa Naga.”

His older brother, actor AJ Dee, also became a scholar through then-mayor Robredo.

The scholarship was well-cherished by Enchong, enthusing that it became a source of pride for their family.

“Simple life kami, hindi kami sagana, hindi rin kami ganun ka-kulang, and nakaka-proud kapag nasasabi mo na ‘yung anak mo scholar,” he said.

Nevertheless, he pointed out that Sec. Jesse was never the type to “broadcast” his deeds.

Why him?

Enchong was in disbelief upon hearing the news that Sec. Jesse was among the victims of a plane crash in Masbate last Aug. 18.

"Sabi ko, 'Bakit siya?' Bilang na lang natin 'yung talagang matatawag natin na public servant, tapos siya pa 'yung nawala. Nakakalungkot, nakakapang-hinayang. Hindi pa rin ako makapaniwala,” the 23-year-old lamented.

In his last meeting with Sec. Jesse in Naga last year, Enchong particularly remembered the latter’s advice: Never forget your roots.

“Sabi niya sa 'kin, 'Enchong, kahit anong mangyari sa 'yo, kahit saan ka mapunta, huwag na huwag mong kakalimutan na Nagueño ka, na Bikolano ka… Bumalik ka sa Naga, tapos tulungan mong mapabuti ang kabuhayan ng mga Nagueño.”

Those last words from Sec. Jesse left such a deep mark in him that made him realize, “Parang ang sarap din maging public servant kung ganun 'yung nakikita mong role model. That's why I'm going to try my best na masunod 'yung inutos niya.”

“Ang daming good memories na sana marami pang ma-inspire dun sa ginagawa niya,” he added.

Enchong wishes for the recovery and healing of Sec. Jesse’s surviving family, and that they may continue his legacy given that they “are such good people.”

In his K-Text update to fans on Aug. 23, Enchong imparted this message for the late Secretary of Interior and Local Government and Ramon Magsaysay awardee:

“Wala man ako twitter kaya dito ko nalang sasabihin: #salamatjesse for making my childhood in naga very inspiring and believing that our country can be great again through your leadership. I will forever be thankful to you.”

The Dee family plans to visit Sec. Jesse’s wake in Manila either on Aug. 24 or 25.


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