The Alan Cayetano I know @alanpcayetano

      32 Comments on The Alan Cayetano I know @alanpcayetano

Updated April 3, 2013– I am reposting this since Alan is running again for senator (Check Senator Alan Cayetano’s profile and platform here). In May 2007, I wanted to write about Alan just before election day but I felt uncomfortable writing about politics in 2007. I only became active in citizen media during the latter part of 2009. My question back then was “is there a way to write about politics without selling your soul?” I found out that it is alright to disclose any affiliations with a politician or a political party.

It is on this note that my affiliation with the Cayetano family started when my husband, Alan’s father Rene Cayetano among other lawyers were partners of a law firm in 1998. The CASElaw firm still exists today but my husband is now just a name partner.

This is the Alan Cayetano I know…


alan cayetano and us

I meant to post this before the May 14 Philippine Elections to get more votes for Alan but decided at the last minute to delay the posting. Alan is meant to win and no amount of good or black propaganda can stop him from being a senator

I am glad that Alan Cayetano is in the Top 12 (so far) as of the latest NAMFREL count. It is not often I discuss politics in this blog especially if there is no bearing to my blog’s theme. Alan Peter Cayetano is not a popular politician to a lot of Filipinos only because he can be fiery and assertive. It pained me as I watched his critics lambast him one blow after the other. Political Dynasty. Anti-Administration etc. Pia, his sister prefers a quiet existence and avoids controversy. We are not exactly closeclose family friends because our ties are through my husband’s law office. Alan , his family and our family share a common experience…grief.

It started in the emergency room at the Mactan General Hospital on May 27, 2000. Alone, bewildered and confused, I stood there at the foot of Luijoe‘s hospital bed, feeling as if the floor was about to swallow me up. Doctors and nurses skirted away from me , afraid to even look at me. I must have been a pitiful sight. No, I wasn’t hysterical. But see, an imminent death of a child is not a pretty picture to behold, when the hopeful mother begs the doctors to keep trying against all odds. I keep saying “please don’t stop. don’t stop” as they try in vain to resuscitate my son. No one to comfort me, I was all alone , numbed with fear and denial. Butch and the two girls were left behind at the resort.

Then a voice beside me asks “I have a helicopter waiting for you”. Surprised, I turned around: Alan? in Mactan Island? I still had the presence of mind to ask him ” what brings you here?” (Weeks later, I found out that Alan just happened to be doing official business in Mactan Island at that precise moment. The Law office called Alan because Butch was asking for medical emergency. Talk of coincidence or was it divine providence? )

He wore a sad look “Butch told me to come here to see if I can do anything for you. I can bring Luijoe by helicopter to a bigger hospital”.

Then I wailed “Alan , the doctors say there is no hope. Luijoe is dead”.

Alan just gave me a compassionate look which was all I needed. Not those furtive glances the doctors threw at me. Quiet and holding me steady, we just looked at Luijoe lying on the bed. Luijoe looked like he was only sleeping. Alan stayed with me for few more minutes. If he didn’t, I would have rolled all over the floor or hit my hand against the wall . His comforting presence led me to hold on to the last thread of my sanity.

Everything seemed to be a blur from thereon. Alan went back to the resort . He broke the bad news to Butch. Together with Alan and Lorna, my eldest sister, they made all the necessary funeral arrangements. Being a saturday, we had no cash on hand to pay the 100 thousand peso coffin at the funeral parlor. Alan took care of everything from paying the bills (we repaid this soon after), getting the mayor’s permit for transporting Luijoe from Cebu to Manila , the death certificiate, pulling strings so we could leave Cebu, the legwork … while we just sat there like zombies, crying and dazed.

alan cayetano

That is the Alan I know. Not the politician but as a friend . We may not always be together these days but for one moment in my life, we shared a bond. Come to think of it, he was only 27 years old so much younger than all those medical staff present who were unable to reach out to me. That is why the Cayetanos are close to my heart.

Two years later, his nephew , Gabriel died from a congenital ailment and we were brought together again as we comforted each other. Pia gave me a heart locket (through her mom, Tita Sandy) with Luijoe’s photo in it, the same locket you see me wear around my neck. We both wear this locket bearing our sons’ photo around our neck forever reminding us that death does not diminish our love for our sons.

Then a few months ago, Lauren asked me if we were still close to the Cayetano family. She wanted to make a research paper on their family. I just said “let’s see. I lost contact with them since Rene Cayetano died and ever since your dad went on leave from the law office.”

alan cayetano 1

Despite their busy schedules, Alan and Pia Cayetano took time off from their hectic work to accommodate Lauren for her college research paper. They are still very much the friends we knew before they became high profile politicians.

Despite what the critics may say, the Alan I know is going to make a difference like his father and sister did , just because I know he has a big heart.

He will win this senatorial race for Philippine Elections 2007.

*EDIT- May 17, 2007: Had to put that we repaid everything Alan advanced for us. We were not a charitable case. He did this out of friendship.

Updated April 4, 2013

alan cayetano live

Our interview with Alan

Noemi Lardizabal-Dado (1385 Posts)

You may contact Noemi (noemidado @ for speaking and consultancy services in the following areas: Parenting in the Digital Age (includes pro-active parenting on cyber-bullying and bullying) ; Social Business ; Reinventing One’s Life; and social media engagement. Our parenting workshop is called "Prep to Prime (P2P): Parenting in the Digital Age (An Un­Workshop)" P2P Un­Workshops are conducted by two golden women in their prime, Noemi and Jane, who have a century’s worth of experience between them. They are both accomplished professionals who chose to become homemakers. This 180­degree turn also put them on a different life course which includes blogging, social media engagement and citizen advocacy. They call their un­workshops Prep to Prime or P2P, for short, to emphasize the breadth of their parenting experience. They tackle different aspects and issues of parenting ­­ from managing pregnancies, prepping for the school years of children, dealing with househelp, managing the household budget, to maximizing one’s prime life and staying healthy through the senior years.

  • I like Alan Cayetano. My friends from Taguig-Pateros always say that the Cayetanos are very accommodating people. I look at Alan as not just the politician (who likes to talk and talk and talk and TALK) but also as a person.

    When my school org was running out of finances during one of the crucial months when we had to publish a newsletter about the Tuition Fee Increase in UP, he was the most approachable person who we solicited money from. He also gave the janitors who were at the picket a generous amount to support their call.

    Thanks for sharing this touching story. It just reinforces the fact that politicians have a life outside politics and maybe somehow made a difference in the lives of other people. 🙂

  • @shari- The Cayetanos are the only politicians I know of. I just wanted to share a bit of their personal life.

    here’s another blog entry that gives a personal look at Alan

  • i love it how alan removes his glasses for photos.
    take care, noemi

  • As you must have seen on my Twitter, Noemi, I have been calling for all stray Cayetano votes to go to Alan. What I did not realize was just how large a role he played in your lives as a family. It shows the real character of a person, not just one played up for public consumption as in the case of many trapos.

    I really hope he makes it to the magic 12.

  • Two Cayetanos in the Senate would certainly make a world of difference. Their father must be so happy 🙂 Thanks for sharing this story it really shows how big his heart is. I hope he makes it into the top 6 in fact.

  • @Cecile- thanks for the post as well

    @Jane- I hope he still makes it despite the spoiled votes

    @Cathy- I hope he makes it to the top 6 as well.

  • I was a little choked up reading this entry. I am not familiar with the Philippine political scene nowadays but I did get a sense of people frowning on the 2 Cayetanos running at the same time when I was there for a vacation (I’m a supporter of Rene Cayetano). Wish I had read about this earlier so I could’ve referred the site to filipinos I know back home. I hope it was a peaceful election and the deserving candidates win.

    I hope you won’t mind if I link you up.


  • Anna

    Of course he’s very mabait to people. What do you expect, he’s a politician!!!

  • anne

    Ano ba ang job description ng isang senator? Dapat charitable? Yun ba ang main duty niya?

    Gumagawa ng batas ang senador. Ngayon ang tanong, may naipasa bang batas si Cayetano sa congress? Wala!

    So ano gagawin niya sa Senado? Malamang wala din.

    Kung mapagkawang gawa si Cayetano dapat nag volunteer na lang siya sa kapwa ko mahal ko.

    Hindi porket mabait e puwede na magsenador.

  • Leisa

    I got here thru Cecile’s blog and this made me cry. I am a mother of a 10 mos old little boy.

  • It’s good that you posted this so that people would see a different Alan, not just the brave but talkative young congressman.

  • @geri- sure just link .

    @anna and anne- I hate to insult my readers by being too detailed about the generosity of a friend. But since you can’t read properly…hence..this long explanation….duh I was not talking about Alan as a politician. He was acting as a friend to our family. Read my entry properly before making STUPID comments. I guess you never lost a loved one through death by accident hence your myopic view of my entry. As you can see, doctors and nurses don’t even know how to deal with a grieving mother. The 28 year old Alan was not afraid to offer comfort and concrete help. He didn’t ask “How can I help?” HE OFFERED HELP. Even the resort owner and the resort doctor (who was my high school classmate) never went to the EMERGENCY ROOM to offer comfort. They sent their guest relations officer who left soon after. Oh yes, he didn’t do this out of charity. We paid him back eventually once we arrived in Manila.

    @Leisa- aww hugs to your baby

    @Ederic- yes some can see a different Alan but cynical people like ANNA and ANNE don’t get it. I didn’t write this entry to show his political side. I wrote it to show the extraordinary measures he did to us as a friend.

  • Sam

    I agree – stupid posts from the two A’s. Great post from N. 🙂

  • @sam- people’s narrow minded views cloud them of reading my entry properly. Humph.

  • had to hold back my tears there ;( so sorry for your loss. i have a 5-month old baby and stuff like this just breaks my heart.

  • @kiel- I ‘m getting sentimental as his 7th death anniversary nears.

  • My rule has always been – if you have nothing good to say, don’t say it. Siguro talo ang bets nila sa elections. Seriously, how can you fault someone for an act like that? Alan himself said “In times of life and death, politics does not exist.” Ay naku, next time, think a hundred times before you comment mga hija.

  • excellent human interest post on cayetano, noemi.

    personally, i don’t care much for alan peter (i’ve been more of pia’s supporter, between the two, because of her being an environmentalist and her investigations last time on the muzzling of the media), but i hope he wins, if only to deny team daya another seat.

    of course, that’s why there’s the non-resolution of the joselito cayetano non-appearance case.

  • @cathy- Hayy whatever their reasons, they didn’t get the point of my blog entry

    @pierre- Pia is definitely not controversials. Yes I hope he wins. The joselito cayetano tactic is a brazen tactic which should not stop Alan from winning his rightful seat.

  • what the detractors don’t realize is Alan is a lawyer who is naturally well versed on the law based on his education, his father’s work, his own work as a congressman. It’s his life. Of course he is qualified. And this post reinforces that he can be a good lawmaker because we need idealistic people to lead our country. Not just people who run for their personal gain. If Alan can help your family, he can also work for the good of the country.

  • i have a friend who had the same experience as yours. at first, i didn’t understand why it’s taking too much time for her to get over the incident. but when my wife gave birth and saw my baby, naintindihan ko na siya. your kid’s in a much better place and i’m sure he’s keeping a close watch on you =) cheers!

  • @cecile- He is very much qualified. I have seen various blog entries on Alan which have malicious comments. methinks some of these were paid to comment that way.

    @kiel- I’d prefer my son here on earth for selfish reasons of course. Yet I am assued he is in heaven.

  • lemon


    Although I am not particularly pro-Alan Cayetano, (or any politician for that matter), I say that the comments of the 2 A’s are completely uncalled for.

    Maybe they aren’t aware of the reason why the brain as well as the eyes are located above the mouth.

  • @lemon- am not pro-politician myself . However knowing a politican up close makes me partial to that politician

  • hi noemi, I was going to refrain from commenting on this post as the only Cayetano I know is their Dad & sad to say I didn’t like his performance/record/public image. I don’t think I voted for Pia, either.

    But your post made Alan more human. It’s not going to convince anyone to vote for him but then again that wasn’t your intention… Too bad the other readers completely missed your point.

    I have read your son’s tragic death last year, and being a mother I just don’t know how I will handle the situation you faced. I’m really glad Alan was mature & sensitive enough to just be there for you.

  • @auee- yes it wasn’t my intention to portray Alan as the politician as the papers show enough of that. I wanted to show how politicians show their “friend” side minus the politics.

  • sandy schramm cayetano

    Dear Noemi,

    I often think of you and remind myself of things I want to say to you. It is true that we share grief and people who have not gone through similar experiences do not understand or they would never say such cruel and hurtful words. I hope you are doing fine and that our paths will cross again. Your friend forever, Sandy

  • ok. Mrs. Cayetano’s comment just made me cry. I bought three Alan books from Maxi Works for my boys and my cousin who has leukemia. She loves Alan. Sandy Schramm Cayetano is the author.

  • @tita sandy- I know. it’s been ages. Sorry I forgot to mention in my entry that you were the one who bought the heart pendant from Pia. I truly appreciate everything your family did for us at our most difficult times.

    @cecile- I didn’t know there was an Alan book. I should get a copy.

  • Hi, Noems: It must have been painful for you to recall those moments in Mactan. I do remember everything from the meditative point of view because after the initial terror and panic that I had after seeing Lui-Joe lying on the side of the swimming pool, I said out loud, “Lorna, you cannot afford to panic.” Saying those words allowed me to go into a meditative state of mind so I could help out where I could. I felt as if I was watching a nightmare movie with me as one of the cast members. My saving grace was my presence of mind to use my cellphone and PDA to alert Belen, our youngest sister, the calm doktora who talked to me about what I needed to make sure would happen once we got to the hospital. These pieces of technology became my life-line.

    It was serendipitous that Alan Cayetano was also there. Did you say that he is fiery and passionate? I can certainly share with you that the Alan I met during that time was very calm and compassionate. His knowledge about what to do was a blessing. Both you and I had no clue how to get things done in Cebu. After all, we hadn’t lived there for years — and it had to be a weekend when all hell broke loose. And yes, it was a great gesture of friendship that Alan lent you the money to pay for all the expenses associated with Lui-Joe’s Cebu funeral arrangements and shipping his body (I couldn’t say “his body” for a long time) to Manila. I was the “assigned treasurer and documentation collector” for this particular sad assignment. Although I haven’t seen him since the day Lui-Joe died, I will always remember Alan Cayetano’s compassion and calm presence — and his friendship during these dark moments… And that he had this really small cellphone on his belt band.



    P.S. I could not resist writing the last line. During times of grief, people always remember out-of-synch-from-grief details.

  • Noemi, I’m sorry, but I would never vote for Alan (though I did vote for his sister, Pia.) My family is allied with his rivals in the Taguig-Pateros local political scene (my grandfather was Vice Mayor of Taguig once), and his tactics during the time Taguig was to become a city during a plebiscite (back in 1998) just rubbed us the wrong way. I won’t disagree that he may be a nice person, but politically, I’m not sure he’s cut out for it. He hardly even filed bills during his stint in the House, unlike his sister.

  • kristine

    wow. noemi, thanks for posting this. i needed this. i rarely see the “human” side of our lawmakers. this is so refreshing. you were not asking for help but he was the one who asked you if he can help. kudos to allan cayetano.

    i’m a bsn grad and thank you for reiterating what my professors said about being a client advocate. because of the scenario that you presented, it made me want to be a different kind of nurse, caring and compassionate.

    many thanks again. god bless! 🙂