Ilocano Migrant Worker Feels Deep, Metaphysical Connection to Congressman Sandro Marcos
(Hong Kong) – Seemingly insurmountable chasms of language, wealth and distance cannot keep true Ilocanos from bonding.
Just ask single mother Divina Ebreo, 47, a domestic worker in Hong Kong and a proud Ilocano from La Union. She feels a deep, inexplicable, almost mystical connection to fellow Ilocano Congressman Sandro Marcos (full name Ferdinand Alexander Araneta Marcos III), son of President Bongbong Marcos.
“I was ecstatic when I saw him for the first time when he visited Hong Kong,” says Ebreo in Filipino. “I’ve always been proud of my roots. Maybe that’s why I feel a deep sense of connection to him: we’re both Ilocanos. I’m sure he feels the same way.”
Sandro Marcos was born in Laoag, Ilocos Norte, to a life of extreme privilege, and grew up surrounded by opulence newly elected politicians could only dream about. His parents sent him abroad to study the ways of the world and learn King’s English, first to a private boarding school in Britain, then to the University of London and the London School of Economics and Political Science.
Now 29, he is a neophyte congressman representing Ilocos Norte’s first district.
The esteemed legislator–as his president father–doesn’t speak Ilocano, the native language of his peasant subjects, but has learned enough words to know that Ilocano folk song ‘O Naraniag a Bulan’ has something to do with the moon.
>Youtube Video: O Naraniag a Bulan
“That’s amazing!” says a visibly elated Ebreo, when informed of Marcos’ prowess in her native tongue. “Shows you he’s really an Ilocano, like me. See, we Ilocanos relate to each other, that’s how we are.”
Ebreo says that another thing she admires about Marcos is his hard work, which she can relate to, having studied hard and earned honors in high school. Her family didn’t have money to send her to college though, and she had worked all her adult life, eventually ending up in Hong Kong where she has toiled for the last twelve years supporting her parents and son.
“You can’t go to high school and college in Britain without working hard like Sandro,” says Ebreo. “And I can tell he is smart because of his pointy nose.”
She also appreciates that Sandro hasn’t been spoiled despite having a family with billions of dollars stashed away in Swiss banks, unlike her own son Andy who lost his way and eventually quit college.
“I was really disappointed with my son Andy. I was working my ass off in Hong Kong and sending money every month just to send him to school but he just lost interest. My mother says I really couldn’t blame the boy because I wasn’t there to guide him but I don’t think that’s a good excuse. I had hoped he’d be like Sandro but i guess it wasn’t meant to be.”
Attempts to reach the office of Congressman Marcos for comment were unsuccessful, but being a geniune Ilocano himself, there’s no reason to believe the lawmaker from Laoag doesn’t share Ms. Ebreo’s deep, inexplicable, almost mystical feelings of kinship.