SHOWBIZ NEWS THIS PAST WEEK
(Mini Reads followed by Full Reports below)

GRACE POE (SENATOR GRACE LLAMANZARES POE)


Fernando Poe, Jr and adopted baby Grace ---Mary Grace Sonora Poe-Llamanzares (born September 3, 1968), commonly known as Grace Poe-Llamanzares or Grace Poe, is a Filipino politician who served as chairperson of the Movie and Television Review and Classification Board (MTRCB) from 2010 to 2012. Born in Iloilo but abandoned by her biological mother at birth, she was adopted by National Artist Fernando Poe, Jr. and his wife Susan Roces. Controversy surrounds regarding her real birth parents, she is said to be the daughter of former Philippine President Ferdinand Marcos from an affair with former movie star Rosemarie Sonora, sister of Susan Roces, her adopted mother. Educated in the Philippines and the United States, where she was a graduate of Boston College, Poe spent much of her adult life in the United States before returning to the Philippines after her father, who ran in a disputed presidential election in 2004, died later that year. Following her father's death, Poe permanently returned to the Philippines, where she started getting involved in politics. In particular, she began attracting national attention for pursuing her father's fight for closure over the results of the election, which he believed he rightfully won, and campaigned against further electoral fraud. In 2010, she was appointed by President Benigno Aquino III as chairman of the Movie and Television Review and Classification Board (MTRCB), where she advocated for a progressive agency that would promote a culture of intelligent media viewership, while at the same time supporting the further development of the country's film and television industries. In 2012, Poe launched her candidacy for a seat in the Senate, running in the 2013 senatorial election as an independent affiliated with the Team PNoy coalition of President Aquino. Although initially faring poorly at the start of the campaign season, she unexpectedly won a seat in the election with the most votes of any single candidate. READ MORE...

ALSO: The Grace and Burden of Her Name


Don’t tell Madame Imelda Marcos, but there’s a family secret that Senators Grace Poe and Ferdinand “Bongbong Marcos, Jr. would rather keep from her, though half the country must have heard about it. In fact, as speculations go, half the country must have been whispering about it since martial law days when then President Ferdinand Marcos ruled the land and reigned as top rooster, a reputation he did not exactly discourage. Already, the secret has become some sort of private joke among the staff and denizens of the Senate, who usually crack up when the two senators themselves bring it up. “Sis,” Senator Marcos would address Poe, and they’re not even from the same frat or sorority. The “secret siblings” story was alive and well during the campaign period in the May 2013 senatorial elections. At the Inquirer Senate forum in Cebu City, one candidate ended his speech with a blind item:  “Who knows what’s going to happen on election day,” the candidate said. “We may even end up with a brother and sister in the Senate, but they don’t know it yet.”    The audience was intrigued.  Does former Senator Ramon Revilla have another progeny that his son, Sen. Bong Revilla, hasn’t met yet? Or is there a family scandal lurking behind the clean-shaven image of Sen. Francis “Chiz” Escudero?  Candidate Poe was onstage, seated just a few steps from another senatorial bet who, as fate would have it, could easily have been her publicly unacknowledged brother.  But Poe seems immune to the vicious rumor. READ MORE...

'Daughter of Marcos' tag amuses Grace Poe


Senator Grace Poe Llamanzares inside the plenary hall of the House of Representatives for President Aquino's State of the Nation Address in July 2014. Philstar.com/AJ Bolando Late cinematic legend Fernando Poe Jr.'s daughter, Senator Grace Poe Llamanzares, takes lightly suspicions that her biological father was late strongman Ferdinand Marcos. In a televised interview, Poe said she has already addressed the rumors, denying she is an illegitimate child of Marcos and Sampaguita Pictures star Rosemarie Sonora. "Nung kampanya, ibinabato lahat sa'yo. So sabi ko, totoo naman ako'y adopted child," Poe said in an interview with TV5's Ka-Talk sa Umaga with Lourd DeVeyra aired Wednesday. READ MORE...

Grace Poe Llamanzares : Courage of a Mother's Heart


Grace Poe file photo from momsworldofartsandhappiness.com  She is known as the daughter of Fernando Poe Jr. and Susan Roces, the MTRCB Chairman and other things but she is first and foremost – Grace Poe Llamanzares, a mother who’s ready to fight for the right of her children and the children of this nation. Sharing her father’s passion to serve and desire to help the poor. She understands that poverty can break the Filipino family and bring great harm to our children. Those are the things that I found out myself when I met Grace Poe during the Balik Tanaw kay FPJ event. Being a fan of FPJ, I don’t want to miss this opportunity to meet the people that care for him. Being a mother myself, we share the same sentiments and yes the bragging when it comes to our children. Having a mother’s heart is the one of the qualities that I always look for anyone whom I meet, whatever society you might belong. With that heart come courage, courage to face anything, to stand up for something you value, to fight for what you think is right, and not only for your family but for those things that will affect your family. Grace Poe is a newcomer to politics but not to public service  Grace Poe sees the need to focus poverty alleviation efforts on the family as a basic social institution. She wants government to take a more active role in helping children of poor families. She believes that the future of our nation depends on the kind of citizens these children will become. Her platform builds on FPJ’s social covenant and focuses on three areas: Poverty alleviation, Opportunities for all, especially the children, and Electoral reforms. READ MORE...

Grace’s wish: To see real mom May 18, 2013 | Politics & Government FUNFARE By Ricky Lo The Philippine Star


Senatorial topnotcher Grace Poe at the thanksgiving/victory dinner with mom Susan Roces, husband Neil Llamanzares and their children Brian, Nika and Hanna…
The phenomenal rise of Grace Poe in the senatorial race is as amazing as her life story that is stranger than fiction. During the campaign, Grace happened to sit beside a priest on the plane to Iloilo. After exchanging pleasantries, the priest told Grace that a lady named Sayong, who was on a vacation in Iloilo from Canada where she had been living for years, wanted to see her. Grace gave the priest her celfone number to give to Sayong, and vice-versa. When they met, Sayong told Grace a story that confirmed an early chapter in her life. Sayong said that years ago in her hometown Jaro, Iloilo, she went to church very early in the morning and when she dipped her finger into the font, she was surprised when she touched not holy water but something solid. Yes, it was a nicely-wrapped infant in sweet slumber. That baby was Grace, left there by an unknown woman. READ MORE...

Grace Poe: The next President? by Andrew James Masigan March 30, 2014


The writer with Senator Grace Poe. I’ve had ambivalent feelings about Senator Grace Poe. I never got a chance to interact with her, nor had the opportunity to hear her speak since she stepped into the public arena—first, as MTRCB Chairwoman, and recently, as Senator. When she topped the 2013 senatorial race, beating old favorites like Loren Legarda, I simply chalked it up to her showbiz connection. To be honest, I had subliminally categorized her along with other showbiz-political disappointments like Bong Revilla Jr. and Jinggoy Estrada, even if I knew she was made of better substance. Last week, I got a chance to get acquainted with the Senator in earnest. She was our guest at the Bulong Pulungan Press Forum and I was fortunate enough to be seated at her table during lunch. As first impressions go, I found her down-to-earth, engaging, charming and articulate. She wasn’t what I expected from someone from showbiz. In fact, quite the contrary, she was dignified without trying too hard, sharp, and intelligent. I later on found that she was educated in both University of the Philippines and Boston College. Over lunch, we talked about many things, among them an issue very important to me: the charter change of our economic laws. As I have said time and again, the restrictive economic laws of our Constitution is one of the reasons why the Philippines receives a measly four percent of foreign direct investments in ASEAN. The reality is, without new investments in plants and factories, we will never be able to bridge the employment or poverty gap. The Senator’s response to my inquiry on Cha-Cha hit the nail on the head. She said that the Constitution is a living entity that should evolve with the times. At the end of the day, she stressed, we have to face the realities of globalization, and our Constitution must adapt in order to secure the best interest of the Filipino people. So yes, she is supportive of Cha-Cha. On this score, I realized that the Senator has a progressive point of view—one suitable for today’s borderless eco-political environment. I was happy with her take on the issue. READ MORE...

SUPPORTER, DEFENDER, FINANCIER: Susan Roces goes to bat for Grace Poe



Susan Roces: All-out for Grace Poe 
SAN CARLOS CITY, Philippines—Aside from being the biggest contributor to Grace Poe’s campaign kitty, veteran movie actress Susan Roces said she is also her daughter’s biggest campaigner in the senatorial race. “Modesty aside, size-wise and age-wise, I am her biggest campaigner,”ť Roces told reporters during a visit to the relatives of her late husband, Fernando Poe Jr., in this city on Monday. Roces said she still had to get used to attacks on her daughter, particularly after the United Nationalist Alliance (UNA) adopted Poe and then dropped her from its lineup. “They don’t know the meaning of the word adoption. You don’t adopt somebody then shove her away,”ťshe said. Roces knows what adoption is all about. She and her husband adopted Grace, who was abandoned as a newborn at a church in Jaro, Iloilo. “When you adopt somebody, you adopt everything [about her]. My husband and I adopted Grace and we took her in wholeheartedly. I don’t know (UNA’s) definition of adoption,”ťshe said. But Roces said she did not want to discuss UNA’s actions any further. READ MORE...


READ FULL MEDIA REPORTS HERE:

Grace Poe or Grace Llamanzares Poe

MANILA, MAY 25, 2015 (WIKIPEDIA) Mary Grace Sonora Poe-Llamanzares (born September 3, 1968), commonly known as Grace Poe-Llamanzares or Grace Poe, is a Filipino politician who served as chairperson of the Movie and Television Review and Classification Board (MTRCB) from 2010 to 2012.

Born in Iloilo but abandoned by her biological mother at birth, she was adopted by National Artist Fernando Poe, Jr. and his wife Susan Roces.

Controversy surrounds regarding her real birth parents, she is said to be the daughter of former Philippine President Ferdinand Marcos from an affair with former movie star Rosemarie Sonora, sister of Susan Roces, her adopted mother.

Educated in the Philippines and the United States, where she was a graduate of Boston College, Poe spent much of her adult life in the United States before returning to the Philippines after her father, who ran in a disputed presidential election in 2004, died later that year.

Following her father's death, Poe permanently returned to the Philippines, where she started getting involved in politics. In particular, she began attracting national attention for pursuing her father's fight for closure over the results of the election, which he believed he rightfully won, and campaigned against further electoral fraud.

In 2010, she was appointed by President Benigno Aquino III as chairman of the Movie and Television Review and Classification Board (MTRCB), where she advocated for a progressive agency that would promote a culture of intelligent media viewership, while at the same time supporting the further development of the country's film and television industries.

In 2012, Poe launched her candidacy for a seat in the Senate, running in the 2013 senatorial election as an independent affiliated with the Team PNoy coalition of President Aquino. Although initially faring poorly at the start of the campaign season, she unexpectedly won a seat in the election with the most votes of any single candidate.

READ MORE...
Early life and career

Mary Grace Poe was born on September 3, 1968 in Iloilo City. Her biological parents are unknown and she was found abandoned as a baby, by a woman named Chayong also known as "Sayong", at the Jaro Metropolitan Cathedral, the main church of the city.

When the infant was discovered, the parish priest named her "Grace", because the priest believed that her discovery was through the grace of God.

Although the church issued an announcement in the hopes that her biological mother would claim her, no one did, and she was taken in by Chayong and her family. Later on, she was passed on to Tessie Valencia, the unmarried daughter of a wealthy landowner from Bacolod, Negros Occidental, who was friends with Chayong.


DADDY'S GIRL: Grace Poe with her famous father FPJ --undated photo posted by a fan on Facebook

Valencia was also friends with Fernando Poe, Jr. and Jesusa Sonora (Susan Roces), who were newly married at the time.

In particular, Valencia was a big fan of Roces, and she frequently made trips between Bacolod and Manila in order to visit her, bringing the baby along. The couple took her in after Valencia decided that the baby would be better off growing up with both parents in the Philippines, rather than raising her as a single parent in the United States, where she was moving to.

Chayong originally was hesitant in letting Poe and Roces adopt the baby because she was not familiar with them, having entrusted the baby to Valencia, but was convinced by Jaime Sin, then serving as Archbishop of Jaro, to let the couple adopt her.

Poe was later legally adopted by the couple after further efforts to search for her biological parents failed, and attended Saint Paul College Makati for her elementary education.

Poe grew up in the shadow of her parents, with her father starring in several action films throughout the 1970s, and her mother also being regarded as an accomplished actress in her own right. She grew up watching her father from the sets of his movies—even playing minor roles in some of them, such as the daughter of Paquito Diaz's character in Durugin si Totoy Bato (Crush Totoy Bato), and as a street child in Dugo ng Bayan (Blood of the Nation).

Although she contemplated becoming an actress throughout her childhood, her father wished that she finish her studies first before entering the entertainment industry.Ultimately, Poe did not enter show business: in an interview with People Asia, she recalls that "even if I aspired to be in showbiz, I felt physically (inadequate) being compared to both of them," referring to her parents.

In 1982, Poe transferred to Assumption College San Lorenzo for high school, where she competed in a number of oratorical contests and was captain of the school's debating team in her senior year.By the time she graduated from Assumption in 1986, she decided instead to pursue a career in public service in order to set a different career path for herself, as well as to avoid being compared to her parents.

Following high school, Poe entered the University of the Philippines Manila (UP), where she majored in development studies. While at UP, she served in the student council as a class representative for the two years she was there. She later decided to continue her undergraduate studies abroad both to experience and prove her independence, and as a form of silent rebellion in order to avoid the possibility of shaming her parents.

She transferred to Boston College, where she graduated with a degree in political science in 1991. While at Boston College, she co-founded the school's Filipino Cultural Club and served as an intern for the campaign of William Weld in the 1990 Massachusetts gubernatorial election.

After graduating, Poe continued to reside in the United States, with she and her family living a quiet life in Fairfax, Virginia. In 1995, she was hired by the Montessori School of Cedar Lane, a local school where she worked for three years as a preschool teacher.

She then served as a procurement liaison with the United States Geological Survey in 1998, where she worked for a year.

In 2001, she was hired as a product manager with CSC Scientific, a local company specializing in the production of scientific equipment, where she stayed until 2004.

Return to the Philippines and political involvement

In 2003, Fernando Poe, Jr. announced that he was entering politics, running for President of the Philippines in the upcoming election under the Koalisyon ng Nagkakaisang Pilipino (KNP) against then-President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo.

Poe returned to the Philippines to help him campaign, but returned to the United States afterward. However, as Fernando Poe, Jr. was rushed to the hospital after a stroke later that year, she immediately returned to the Philippines, only to arrive after her father died on December 14, 2004.


Vice President Jejomar Binay sprinkles holy water at the tomb of Fernando Poe Jr. (FPJ) at the Manila North Cemetery on the occasion of the 10th death anniversary of the acknowledged Filipino movie king on Sunday (Dec.14, 2014). Also in photo are Senator Grace Poe and movie-TV actress Susan Roces (2nd from left). (MNS photo)

Following her father's death, Poe and her family decided to permanently return to the Philippines in order to be with her widowed mother.In 2005, she was made Vice President and Treasurer of her father's film production company, FPJ Productions, and was put in charge of maintaining the company's archive of over 200 films, reportedly one of the best in the Philippines in terms of the number of films preserved.

At the same time, she began getting involved in politics herself, particularly after allegations arose that her father's loss was caused by electoral fraud committed by the Arroyo administration.

In the 2010 general election, Poe served as a convenor of Kontra Daya, a poll watchdog organized to prevent electoral fraud, and spoke publicly about wanting to prevent further cheating in the elections like the way her father was allegedly cheated in 2004.

She also became honorary chairperson of the FPJ for President Movement (FPJPM), the group which was organized to pressure her father to run in 2004, continuing the movement's social relief programs for the less fortunate.

Chairwoman of the MTRCB

On October 10, 2010, President Benigno Aquino III appointed Poe to serve as chairwoman of the Movie and Television Review and Classification Board (MTRCB), succeeding outgoing chairwoman Ma. Consoliza Laguardia, who was appointed to the position in 2003.

The appointment came as a surprise to Poe, having learned of her appointment while vacationing with her mother in California two days before the formal announcement was made.

She was sworn in on October 21, 2010 at the Malacańang Palace, and was later reappointed by President Aquino for another term on October 23, 2011.She continued to serve until October 2, 2012, when she filed her candidacy for senator.

Poe has advocated for a "progressive" MTRCB which would enable the television and film industries to help the Philippine economy, with her tenure being marked by an emphasis on diplomacy.


Malacanang 16 August 2012 President Benigno S. Aquino III conferred the Orden of National Artists (Posthumous) upon the late Filipino actor, Mr. Ronald Allan K. Poe, better known as Fernando Poe Jr. The award was received by FPJ's wife, Ms. Susan Roces-Poe and their daughter, Ms. Mary Grace Poe-Llamanzares, Chairman of the Movie and Television Review and Classification Board (MTRCB).

At the beginning of her term, Poe instigated the implementation of a new ratings system for television programs, which she said was "designed to empower parents to exercise caution and vigilance with the viewing habits of their children". This was complemented by the implementation of a new ratings system for movies—a system which hews closely to the new television ratings system—at the end of her term.

The MTRCB under Poe's tenure also implemented policies and programs to promote "intelligent viewing", such as promulgating the implementing rules and regulations for the Children's Television Act of 1997 some fifteen years after its passage, and enforcing restrictions on the type of viewing material that can be shown on public buses.

Despite this thrust, Poe has spoken out against restrictions on freedom of expression, preferring self-regulation to censorship.

The MTRCB under Poe's tenure has also encouraged the creation of new cinematic output through the reduction of review fees despite cuts to its budget, and has promoted the welfare of child and female actors.

Senatorial bid and the 2013 election

Although Poe was rumored to be running for an elective position as early as 2010, it was not confirmed that she would stand for election until October 1, 2012, when President Aquino announced that she was selected by the administration Team PNoy coalition as a member of their senatorial slate.

Poe filed her certificate of candidacy the next day on October 2, 2012. Although running under the banner of the Team PNoy coalition, Poe is officially running as an independent.

Poe is also a guest candidate of the left-leaning Makabayang Koalisyon ng Mamamayan. Until February 21, 2013, Poe was, along with Senators Loren Legarda and Francis Escudero, one of three common guest candidates of the opposition United Nationalist Alliance (UNA) of Vice-President Jejomar Binay.

Analysts have noted the rapid rise of Poe in national election surveys, which community organizer Harvey Keh attributed to popular sympathy for her father, fueled in part by high public trust in the Poe name.

Prior to the start of the election season, Poe was ranked twenty-eighth in a preliminary survey conducted by the Social Weather Stations (SWS) in mid-2012, before the start of the filing period. Immediately after filing her candidacy, Poe initially ranked fifteenth in the first survey of the election, published by StratPOLLS.

While she has ranked as low as twentieth in a survey published by SWS later in the year, she entered the top 12 in January 2013, where she has stayed since then. In the last survey issued by Pulse Asia in April, she was ranked third.

While Poe herself has admitted that her biggest strength in the campaign is her surname, she has also conceded that it would be insufficient for her to be elected simply on that alone, emphasizing that her platform is just as important as her name in getting her elected to the Senate. She has also dismissed claims that her candidacy is her family's revenge against her father's loss in 2004, saying that all she wants to do is serve should she be elected to the Senate.

Platform and political positions

Poe is running in the election on an eleven-point platform focused on poverty alleviation, youth opportunity and electoral reform, promising to continue the legacy of her father.

Specific policies she has advocated in the course of her campaign include the reintroduction of the national elementary school lunch program first introduced during the Marcos administration, the installation of closed-circuit television cameras in government offices, and stricter penalties against child pornography, continuing her earlier advocacy during her time at the MTRCB. In addition, she has also advocated against Internet censorship.


NUMBER ONE. Grace Poe came with her husband Neil Llamanzares, their children, as well as mother actress Susan Roces. Photo by Vincent Go/Rappler  When the results of the senatorial elections first started coming in, senator-elect Grace Poe was in the very room where the Poe family waited for the results of the 2004 presidential elections. FROM RAPPLER.COM

A day after the election, Poe became a senator-elect when the results from the PCOS machines. She was officially proclaimed a senator by the COMELEC board on May 2013, along with fellow Team PNoy candidates Chiz Escudero, Sonny Angara, Alan Cayetano, and Loren Legarda as well United Nationalist Alliance candidate Nancy Binay (the latter of whom did not attend, instead opting to send her lawyer to represent her)

2016 elections

She is widely speculated to be a potential presidential or vice presidential candidate in the 2016 Philippine elections (and thus seen as the closest competitor to Vice President Jejomar Binay's own presidential aspirations) with possible running mates such as Rep. Leni Robredo and Senator Miriam Defensor-Santiago.

Family and personal life


With half-sister actress Lovi Poe

Poe has two half-siblings born from her father: Ronian, born to actress Ana Marin; and Lourdes Virginia (Lovi), born to model Rowena Moran.

Although she did not grow up with her half-siblings, even admitting that she met Lovi for the first time only after their father died, she has known of them while growing up, and they respect each other despite not being close to one another.

Poe is as an avid reader: she has read all the books of David Baldacci, who she describes as her favorite author, but she has also read books from a wide variety of genres and authors.

She is also, owing to her childhood and her stint at the MTRCB, an avid film aficionado, watching all kinds of movies but with a particular affinity for action films, conspiracy movies, movies starring her father, and movies with happy endings.

Poe is a tennis player and also has a black belt in taekwondo, having competed in tournaments while in high school.


Teodoro (Neil) Llamanzares -IT Consultant at San Miguel Corporation -NCR - National Capital Region, PhilippinesFood & Beverages -Previous San Miguel Corporation, SAIC, IBM -Education The George Washington University From LinkedIn

In her senior year of high school, Poe met Teodoro Misael "Neil" Llamanzares at a tennis court in Manila that she frequented. The two started dating thereafter, and they married five years later on July 27, 1991, immediately after Poe graduated from Boston College at the age of 22.

The marriage however was against the wishes of her father, who wanted her to have a career first before marrying someone.

Nine months later, on April 16, 1992, Poe gave birth to her only son, Brian , and later gave birth to two daughters: Hanna in 1998, and Nikka in 2004.


INQUIRER

The Grace and Burden of Her Name Fe B. Zamora @inquirerdotnet Philippine Daily Inquirer 7:33 PM | Saturday, January 4th, 2014

Don’t tell Madame Imelda Marcos, but there’s a family secret that Senators Grace Poe and Ferdinand “Bongbong Marcos, Jr. would rather keep from her, though half the country must have heard about it.

In fact, as speculations go, half the country must have been whispering about it since martial law days when then President Ferdinand Marcos ruled the land and reigned as top rooster, a reputation he did not exactly discourage.

Already, the secret has become some sort of private joke among the staff and denizens of the Senate, who usually crack up when the two senators themselves bring it up.

“Sis,” Senator Marcos would address Poe, and they’re not even from the same frat or sorority.

The “secret siblings” story was alive and well during the campaign period in the May 2013 senatorial elections.

At the Inquirer Senate forum in Cebu City, one candidate ended his speech with a blind item:

“Who knows what’s going to happen on election day,” the candidate said. “We may even end up with a brother and sister in the Senate, but they don’t know it yet.”

The audience was intrigued.

Does former Senator Ramon Revilla have another progeny that his son, Sen. Bong Revilla, hasn’t met yet? Or is there a family scandal lurking behind the clean-shaven image of Sen. Francis “Chiz” Escudero?

Candidate Poe was onstage, seated just a few steps from another senatorial bet who, as fate would have it, could easily have been her publicly unacknowledged brother.

But Poe seems immune to the vicious rumor.

READ MORE...
In fact, she has gracefully found a way to deal with what may be considered a dark stain on the family’s reputation if it were true. She grabs the rumor by its horn and uses it to poke fun at herself.

During the Senate’s first session, Poe greeted Bongbong Marcos using the rumor as ice-breaker.

Recalled the topnotcher in the Senate count: “I told him, Senator Marcos, ang tsismis kapatid daw kita (rumors have it that we are siblings).”

He replied: “Oo nga, narinig ko rin sa kampanya (Yes, I heard that too, during the campaign).” And they both cracked up, Poe added.

Later, whenever the senator would visit Marcos’ office, she would tell his staff: “Wow, ang ganda ng office ng kapatid ko! (Hey, my brother’s office is so impressive)” And his staff would end up laughing as well.

So, how did that rumor start?

Well, anyone old enough to remember the naughty sidelights of martial law must have heard of this juicy showbiz rumor.

Then President Marcos supposedly had an affair with movie star Rosemarie Sonora, with Grace being the fruit of that dalliance. The girl, according to rumors, was later adopted by Sonora’s older sister, Susan Roces and husband, action movie king Ronnie Poe.


Former President Marcos, Actress Rosemarie Sonoroa

Rosemarie, of Sampaguita pictures fame, was once married to the late actor Ricky Belmonte.

The couple’s daughter is Sheryl Cruz, a teen star in the 1980s, who became Poe’s substitute during the campaign sorties for the 2013 elections.

Poe said much of that rumor stemmed from her close resemblance to Rosemarie.

“The thing is, she’s also my favorite tita (aunt), my crazy tita because she’s funny,” the senadora said.

When she finally agreed to run for the Senate, the rumor acquired a new sheen. “So that’s why I’m leaning towards politics daw, people would say. Because my father is actually Marcos,” she recalled.

The rumor continues to gain traction for yet another reason. Poe is actually an adopted child, and to this day, her biological parents remain unknown.

No one has come forward, not even during the campaign when Poe’s life story was laid bare in the TV biopic show “Maalaala mo Kaya.”

According to the story widely believed to be true, Poe as an infant was left at a church in Iloilo City and taken by a family who, in turn, brought the foundling to a rich woman who happened to be a fan of FPJ and Roces.

The foundling was brought to Manila and to the Poe household during social gatherings.

Childless, the Poe couple became fond of the baby whom they soon adopted legally and raised as their own.

Sometime during her childhood, Poe admitted she had wanted to find her biological parents. But the idea was shelved for other pursuits, among them going to the US for her studies, getting married there and raising a family. Poe came home for good after FPJ died in 2004.

The thought of looking for her real parents regained priority when she finally agreed to run for senator in 2013.

She said she even confronted Nanay Chayong, the woman who brought her to the Poe household, to settle the issue once and for all.

“I asked her, sino ba talaga? She said she didn’t really know, that I was left at the church at 4 a.m., and that there was no way of knowing. Wala talaga.”

Realizing that no new information was forthcoming, Poe decided to rest her case in the meantime.

“But if you ask me, is there an emotional void (because I couldn’t find my real parents)? I will tell you, there’s none,” she declares. “It’s important to have the biological relationship, but for me what’s more important is the love and sacrifice that my non-biological parents actually gave me.”

Poe has a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science from Boston College in the US, and finished two years of Development Studies at the University of the Philippines in Manila.

She turned 45 last September and is married to her high school sweetheart, Neil Llamanzares, an IT consultant for San Miguel Corporation. The couple has a son and two daughters.

Before she became senator, the former Montessori teacher in the US chaired the Movie and Television Rating and Classification Board (MTRCB).

An aparador (wardrobe) made of mirrors makes for a stunning piece inside Poe’s office at the Senate. It lies directly on the path of two doorways and, according to feng shui principles, is meant to deflect bad spirits that might wander through the open doors. The furniture has a purely utilitarian use as well: it is where the senator stashes away her TV set.

“That’s also where I hide my enemies,” she added, laughing.

Eye-catching too, is the artistic rendition of a heart ventricle perched on Poe’s table. It’s a gift from Dr. William Chua and is a miniature version of a bigger piece at the Philippine Heart Center, the senator volunteered. “That’s to remind me of what my father used to say: that being a mambabatas, kailangan may puso (a lawmaker needs heart), “ she explained.

On the wall is a painting by National Artist Abdulmari Imao, a gift to her father by the artist himself. FPJ’s movies about Mindanao has made him an icon among the Muslims.

Several lampshades, which came from her own house, lend Poe’s office a homey feel. Her office’s interiors were done by a friend, Tina Bonoan, “for free,” said Poe.

This was the same office that Sen. Franklin Drilon used before he became Senate president. Does this mean you’re also going to be Senate President, we teased her. She shrugged, “Sakit ng ulo yan (That would be a lot of hassle).” And, as if to show that she isn’t necessarily following in the footsteps of any one senator, Poe said her legal assistant used to be with the office of former senator Ramon Magsaysay, Jr.

It’s been four months since Poe assumed office in July. It may seem like a lifetime to many who had watched her ascendancy from dutiful daughter to MTRCB chair to lawmaker. But even people who have seen her bloom into a winnable senatorial bet were surprised when she topped the count.

Poe is refreshingly candid about this and does not deny that being FPJ’s daughter has propelled her political career. But, she added quickly, she has “the qualifications naman.”

As if to prove that, she hit the ground running. On the first working day of the 16th Congress, Poe filed two Senate bills: SB 78 titled “Philippines Film Tourism Act of 2013” and SB 79 titled “Sustansya sa Batang Pilipino Act of 2013.” As of December 4, the Senate topnotcher has filed a total of 13 bills and 26 resolutions, including one urging the Senate committee to begin deliberation on the shelved Freedom of Information law.

Learning parliamentary procedures was the toughest part of the job, she said. For guidance, Poe said she turns to Senators Escudero and Serge Osmeńa. She is particularly close to Escudero, FPJ’s spokesman and legal counsel during the actor’s failed bid for the presidency in 2004. FPJ also stood as sponsor at Escudero’s wedding to Christine Flores, thus making him and the younger Poe almost kin (“kinakapatid” or almost siblings).

Another “kinakapatid” is Sen. Jose “Jinggoy” Estrada, son of former President Joseph “Erap” Estrada, who has revived his political career as mayor of Manila.


1967 FAMAS Best Actor Fernando Poe, Jr. accepts the award from best friend Joseph Estrada, 1966 Famas Best Actor.

FPJ and Erap are bosom buddies in and out of showbiz. FPJ’s decision to run for the presidency in 2004 was largely Erap’s idea, sources said.

The king of Filipino action movies could never refuse his “kumpare,” the father of his baptismal godson, Jinggoy, sources added.

Such was the closeness between the Estradas and the Poes, according to another Senate source, that when Poe started making courtesy calls on the different senators during her first working day in the Senate, her meeting with her “kinakapatid” turned out to be more memorable than the rest.

According to the source, when Poe called on Senator Estrada, the latter had a guest, Ruby Tuason, who used to be the social secretary of former President Joseph Estrada.

After the usual banter, the younger Estrada reportedly turned to Tuason and introduced the senadora, before adding, “O, ipakilala mo yan kay Napoles ha? (Be sure to introduce her to Janet Napoles).

Napoles, according to a recent series on the pork barrel scam run by the Inquirer, was a businesswoman and the mastermind behind a network of fake non-government organizations (NGOs) that lawmakers, through several middlemen or conduits (Tuason reportedly among them), tapped as implementors of development projects.

According to testimony by the businesswoman’s former employees-turned-whistle-blowers, the bogus NGOs were allocated a budget from the lawmakers’ Priority Development Assistance Fund (also known as pork barrel), with the money eventually divided between Napoles and the lawmakers.

The younger Estrada, according to whistle-blowers, was assigned the code name “Sexy” and was reportedly among the lawmakers who took part in the scam.

So, did Estrada’s unusual introduction spiel to Tuason actually happen?

“Not true,” Poe said categorically. “I haven’t made a formal call on Jinggoy because he was not around when I went to his office,” she said.

She doesn’t know Tuason or Napoles, either, the senator said. And while she acknowledges that Estrada is like a brother to her, Poe said she supported a full investigation into the allegations raised against him and the other senators by the whistle-blowers, as well as by the Commission on Audit (COA).

“You feel awkward at times. You also feel sad for them,” Poe said on how the pork barrel scam has affected the camaraderie among senators. “We need to correct things, but we have to do it with respect,” she said.

As a Senate insider, what has she observed of her colleagues during those awkward moments? What do they talk about?

Poe’s face lit up: “Showbiz. It’s our fallback.”

Sen. Tito Sotto, for instance, would ask, to lighten the mood: “Sino nga yong boyfriend ni Lolit Solis (Tell me, who’s now the boyfriend of movie scribe Lolit Solis)?”

People say that politics and showbiz are two faces of the same coin – one morphs into the other as easily as the credits on a movie screen dissolve into the next line. Poe, the child of showbiz is apparently in her element in the Senate, while also treading the slippery slope of politics.

Just how the newly-minted senator can maintain her balance and straddle both worlds comfortably is a class act that voters, Senate watchers and her colleagues are watching closely. After all, as Senate topnotcher, she can do no less. •


PHILSTAR

'Daughter of Marcos' tag amuses Grace Poe By Camille Diola (philstar.com) | Updated August 20, 2014 - 2:39pm


Senator Grace Poe Llamanzares inside the plenary hall of the House of Representatives for President Aquino's State of the Nation Address in July 2014. Philstar.com/AJ Bolando

MANILA, Philippines — Late cinematic legend Fernando Poe Jr.'s daughter, Senator Grace Poe Llamanzares, takes lightly suspicions that her biological father was late strongman Ferdinand Marcos.

In a televised interview, Poe said she has already addressed the rumors, denying she is an illegitimate child of Marcos and Sampaguita Pictures star Rosemarie Sonora.

"Nung kampanya, ibinabato lahat sa'yo. So sabi ko, totoo naman ako'y adopted child," Poe said in an interview with TV5's Ka-Talk sa Umaga with Lourd DeVeyra aired Wednesday.

READ MORE...
Poe, a neophyte senator, recounted that she and Marcos' son, Senator Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr., spoke about the matter in jest when she first met him in the Senate last year.

"Noong first session namin, first time ko nakita si Bongbong Marcos. Ang sabi ko sa kanya, 'Hi, bro!' Sagot niya, 'Sis!' ... Napaisip siya. Sabi ko, 'Siguro naman narinig mo yung issue nung tumatakbo pa 'ko ... 'Wag mo sabihin sa mommy mo ha na we're taking it lightly," Poe said.

"Kasi for me, there's no truth to it. It doesn't affect me," Poe added.

Poe earlier admitted that she has experienced insecurity about being an adopted child of the action superstar and actress Susan Roces, but she never felt her parents lacked in giving her care and support as they would a biological daughter.

"Kung ano man ang oportunidad na binibigay sa isang biological na anak, binigay naman sa akin 'yon," Poe had said in a televised 2013 interview.

"Ako naman, naging epektibo naman ang pagpapalaki ng mga magulang ko sa akin ... Sa lahat ng ginagawa ko, binibigyan ko talaga ng karangan [si Fernando Poe]," she explained.

As a newborn, Poe was left at a church and was taken in by a family while the parish priest sent out announcements about the child. Poe's wealthy, would-be godmother then took her in and would bring her to events attended by newly married couple Fernando Poe and Susan Roces.

Poe's godmother then allowed the doting couple to adopt the child, believing she needed parents.


UNBLOGGED FROM MOMSWORLDOFARTSANDHAPPINESS.COM

Grace Poe Llamanzares : Courage of a Mother's Heart


Grace Poe file photo from momsworldofartsandhappiness.com

She is known as the daughter of Fernando Poe Jr. and Susan Roces, the MTRCB Chairman and other things but she is first and foremost – Grace Poe Llamanzares, a mother who’s ready to fight for the right of her children and the children of this nation.

Sharing her father’s passion to serve and desire to help the poor. She understands that poverty can break the Filipino family and bring great harm to our children. Those are the things that I found out myself when I met Grace Poe during the Balik Tanaw kay FPJ event. Being a fan of FPJ, I don’t want to miss this opportunity to meet the people that care for him.

Being a mother myself, we share the same sentiments and yes the bragging when it comes to our children. Having a mother’s heart is the one of the qualities that I always look for anyone whom I meet, whatever society you might belong. With that heart come courage, courage to face anything, to stand up for something you value, to fight for what you think is right, and not only for your family but for those things that will affect your family.

Grace Poe is a newcomer to politics but not to public service

Grace Poe sees the need to focus poverty alleviation efforts on the family as a basic social institution. She wants government to take a more active role in helping children of poor families. She believes that the future of our nation depends on the kind of citizens these children will become.

Her platform builds on FPJ’s social covenant and focuses on three areas: Poverty alleviation, Opportunities for all, especially the children, and Electoral reforms.

READ MORE...
She proved her leadership competence as Chair of the Movie and Television Review and Classification Board under the administration of President Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino III.

As MTRCB Chair, she reformed the classification system for movies and television, provided institutional support to independent film makers, and brought together government agencies and media organizations in order to protect the interests of children. All these accomplishments she achieved without calling attention to herself.

Before her stint in government, she worked at FPJ Productions and Film Archives, Inc. She also worked in the United States as a teacher, a product liaison officer, and a product manager.

Grace Poe has a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science from Boston College, USA and finished two years of Development Studies at UP Manila.

I believe that FPJ had prepare Grace Poe to whatever challenges she may face in the future, it starts when they enrolled her in a good school. FPJ and Susan Roces has guide her and form her to be a valuable citizen but they can only do that much.

It is still up to Grace Poe as how she will make her life worthy of this trust. I believe that her parents are her winds beneath her wings, but Grace is ready to fly and soar to the sky with her own. Grace Poe Llamanzares is running for Senator in 2013 as herself to continue a fight that her heart believe in


PHILSTAR

Grace’s wish: To see real mom May 18, 2013 | Politics & Government FUNFARE By Ricky Lo The Philippine Star


Senatorial topnotcher Grace Poe at the thanksgiving/victory dinner with mom Susan Roces, husband Neil Llamanzares and their children Brian, Nika and Hanna…

The phenomenal rise of Grace Poe in the senatorial race is as amazing as her life story that is stranger than fiction.

During the campaign, Grace happened to sit beside a priest on the plane to Iloilo. After exchanging pleasantries, the priest told Grace that a lady named Sayong, who was on a vacation in Iloilo from Canada where she had been living for years, wanted to see her. Grace gave the priest her celfone number to give to Sayong, and vice-versa.

When they met, Sayong told Grace a story that confirmed an early chapter in her life. Sayong said that years ago in her hometown Jaro, Iloilo, she went to church very early in the morning and when she dipped her finger into the font, she was surprised when she touched not holy water but something solid. Yes, it was a nicely-wrapped infant in sweet slumber. That baby was Grace, left there by an unknown woman.

READ MORE...
Sayong then entrusted the infant to the parish priest, Fr. Jaime Sin who would become a cardinal years later. After baptizing the baby, Fr. Sin entrusted her in the care of a prominent family in Jaro whose matriarch happened to be a friend of Susan Roces.

“And that’s how Grace came into our life,” recalled Susan Thursday night at the Legends Chinese Restaurant (back of Star City) during the thanksgiving/victory dinner Regal Matriarch Mother Lily Monteverde hosted for Grace who was proclaimed earlier that day with five other senators-elect.

“You know,” added Susan, “we’ve been looking forward to meeting Grace’s real mother,” which has also been Grace’s long-time wish. “We were hoping for her to show up during the campaign pero wala, hindi siya nagpakita.” Grace grew up knowing Susan and the late FPJ as her parents.


MANILA BULLETIN

Grace Poe: The next President? by Andrew James Masigan March 30, 2014


The writer with Senator Grace Poe.


Andrew James Masigan Numbers Don’t Lie - Is an economist, political analyst and businessman. He is a 20-year veteran in the hospitality and tourism industry. For comments and reactions, e-mail andrew_rs6@yahoo.com. Follow Andrew on Twitter @andrew_masigan. From Manila Bulletin homepage

I’ve had ambivalent feelings about Senator Grace Poe. I never got a chance to interact with her, nor had the opportunity to hear her speak since she stepped into the public arena—first, as MTRCB Chairwoman, and recently, as Senator.

When she topped the 2013 senatorial race, beating old favorites like Loren Legarda, I simply chalked it up to her showbiz connection. To be honest, I had subliminally categorized her along with other showbiz-political disappointments like Bong Revilla Jr. and Jinggoy Estrada, even if I knew she was made of better substance.

Last week, I got a chance to get acquainted with the Senator in earnest. She was our guest at the Bulong Pulungan Press Forum and I was fortunate enough to be seated at her table during lunch.

As first impressions go, I found her down-to-earth, engaging, charming and articulate. She wasn’t what I expected from someone from showbiz. In fact, quite the contrary, she was dignified without trying too hard, sharp, and intelligent. I later on found that she was educated in both University of the Philippines and Boston College.

Over lunch, we talked about many things, among them an issue very important to me: the charter change of our economic laws. As I have said time and again, the restrictive economic laws of our Constitution is one of the reasons why the Philippines receives a measly four percent of foreign direct investments in ASEAN.

The reality is, without new investments in plants and factories, we will never be able to bridge the employment or poverty gap. The Senator’s response to my inquiry on Cha-Cha hit the nail on the head. She said that the Constitution is a living entity that should evolve with the times. At the end of the day, she stressed, we have to face the realities of globalization, and our Constitution must adapt in order to secure the best interest of the Filipino people.

So yes, she is supportive of Cha-Cha. On this score, I realized that the Senator has a progressive point of view—one suitable for today’s borderless eco-political environment. I was happy with her take on the issue.

READ MORE...
As the Senator took the stand to speak, she proudly announced the passage of the People’s

Freedom of Information (FOI) Act of 2013, on the third reading, for which she is co-author.

Through FOI, the citizenry will now have complete access to information relating to public concerns, including government officials’ statement of assets and liabilities; budgets, revenues and expenses of government agencies; projects for public bidding; contracts and agreements entered into by government agencies; as well as how loans, grants and development assistances are used, among others.

In other words, through the FOI Act, no transaction akin to the Napoles scam or the Delfin Lee scam can escape public scrutiny as government records will be made fully transparent. Naturally, certain matters must remain guarded, like issues relating to national security, foreign relations strategies, and the like.

But for the most part, the FOI Act of 2013 makes our government institutions among most transparent in Asia. And as we all know, transparency breeds accountability.

The FOI Act must still pass Congress for it to be enacted into law. I asked the Senator if there was a possibility for it to be watered down. She told me sternly that she would not allow it.

Other laws in the Senator’s pipeline are the “Sustansya ng Bayan Bill,” a law that mandates public schools to provide free lunch to students.

The rationale is that 35 percent of our population is under 17 years old, and if we are to breed a next generation of bright and healthy leaders, we must invest in their nutrition today. Makes sense. Another bill in the works is the “Film Tourism Bill”.

This piece of legislation encourages foreign films to shoot in the Philippines by providing easy access to permits through the DOT. Through this initiative, she hopes to gain free publicity for our tourism programs and create jobs in the process.

Also in the pipeline is a bill that mandates our telecommunication franchise holders to provide free emergency alerts for impending natural disasters.

She was asked where she stood on the Anti-Dynasty Bill. Being a second-generation politico, naturally, she is against it. She claims relatives of politicians cannot be blamed for wanting to seek public office simply because this is what they were exposed to.

In the same manner, children of business moguls and doctors cannot be blamed for wanting to follow the footsteps of their parents. The solution, she stresses, is voter education. On this score, I disagree. I think children of politicos have an undue advantage of political machinery as showbiz personalities have of name recall. The law must find a way to level the playing field for all.

The forum could not end without some columnists asking the Senator if she is looking at the presidency or vice presidency in 2016. If her 20 million votes during the last senatorial election is any indication, she has a better than fair chance, they opined. She said she isn’t thinking of it yet. Neither has any political party sent her feelers, she claims.

As for me, I see in her some qualities befitting a Chief Executive, particularly one who can sustain the economic gains and political reforms instituted by PNoy. She has the academic credentials, a track record of work diligence, and no scandals and bad habits attached to her name. Above all, she has a sense of practicality about her, which I think we need at this time. Come to think of it, she is the whole package—albeit the lack of experience. Then again, a lack of experience in politicking could be viewed as a positive thing. So all in all, pwede.

Curiously, I posted a picture of the Senator and I on Facebook with the caption “I was pleasantly surprised with this woman. Sharp, articulate and sensible. Pwede…” (referring to the Presidency). In jut a few hours, I got a 79 likes from colleagues from various chambers of commerce, the government and the academe. Her appeal, evidently, is not showbiz after all.

Andrew is an economist, political analyst and businessman. He is a 20-year veteran in the hospitality and tourism industry.

For comments and reactions, e-mail andrew_rs6@yahoo.com.

 Follow Andrew on Twitter @aj_masigan


INQUIRER

SUPPORTER, DEFENDER, FINANCIER: Susan Roces goes to bat for Grace Poe Inquirer Northern Luzon 5:21 AM | Wednesday, May 1st, 2013


Susan Roces: All-out for Grace Poe

SAN CARLOS CITY, Philippines—Aside from being the biggest contributor to Grace Poe’s campaign kitty, veteran movie actress Susan Roces said she is also her daughter’s biggest campaigner in the senatorial race.

“Modesty aside, size-wise and age-wise, I am her biggest campaigner,”ť Roces told reporters during a visit to the relatives of her late husband, Fernando Poe Jr., in this city on Monday.

Roces said she still had to get used to attacks on her daughter, particularly after the United Nationalist Alliance (UNA) adopted Poe and then dropped her from its lineup.

“They don’t know the meaning of the word adoption. You don’t adopt somebody then shove her away,”ťshe said.

Roces knows what adoption is all about. She and her husband adopted Grace, who was abandoned as a newborn at a church in Jaro, Iloilo.

“When you adopt somebody, you adopt everything [about her]. My husband and I adopted Grace and we took her in wholeheartedly. I don’t know (UNA’s) definition of adoption,”ťshe said.

But Roces said she did not want to discuss UNA’s actions any further.

READ MORE...
“I don’t want to make a fuss about my feelings. If I was hurt or I was happy [about UNA’s rejection of Grace], sa akin na lang ’yon (I prefer to keep that to myself). It was a political decision so let us respect that,”ťshe said.

Roces said Grace first expressed her desire to run for public office in 2010 under the wings of her godfather former President Joseph Estrada. But Grace was advised that she was “not ripe yet for politics,”ťRoces said.

“Now, it’s 2013 and everybody is getting older and running after time. Why is it suitable for their sons and daughters [to run] but not my daughter?”ťshe asked.

“Why take it against her when somebody wanted her and embraced her? Why are they mad at her? Excuse me,” she said.

Roces said she appreciates how Team PNoy has been handling the campaign. “They don’t use anybody. Whatever we do, we do voluntarily, on our own. The candidates help each other. Grace and Chiz (reelectionist Sen. Francis Escudero) help each other… President Aquino volunteered to endorse Grace and I did not have to give anything back,”ťshe said.

Roces said she took offense at detractors who said Grace had been taking advantage of her adoptive father’s surname, Poe.

“Everybody should be proud of one’s name. That is her [family] name. Hindi niya inangkin lang (She did not claim it). Besides, [voters] can easily remember Poe. Let us be practical,”ťshe said.—Yolanda Sotelo


Chief News Editor: Sol Jose Vanzi

© Copyright, 2014 by PHILIPPINE HEADLINE NEWS ONLINE
All rights reserved


PHILIPPINE HEADLINE NEWS ONLINE [PHNO] WEBSITE