Guests Overflow at Manila Polo Club Dinner

“We were expecting from 500 to 700 guests but a thousand came.”

From the Philippine Star, January 21, 2010:

MANILA, Philippines - A fellowship night among schoolmates that subsequently turned into a fund-raising drive spearheaded by Xavier School Batch ’81 in support of the presidential bid of Lakas-Kampi-CMD standard-bearer Gilbert “Gibo” Teodoro turned into a blockbuster event.

This, after guests and supporters literally packed the exclusive Manila Polo Club at Forbes Park in Makati City Tuesday evening, all willing to dish out a P2,500 ticket fee in exchange for a table space and dinner set of vegetable salad, sotanghon soup, chicken adobo for the main course and buko pandan for dessert.

“What is P2,500 for the much-needed bonding among us long lost friends who went our separate ways after spending the best years of our high school days together... and I want to be counted in for Gibo,” a Xavier high school alumnus from a separate table was overheard as telling a friend.

STAR Chief Executive Officer (CEO) and President, Miguel Belmonte and other schoolmates that sponsored the fellowship attended the event.

Belmonte and Teodoro were classmates at Xavier School.

Taking the center stage later, Teodoro told schoolmates and supporters coming from the country’s so-called rich and famous that he is seeking the highest post of the land not for himself but for the sake of “our children’s children.” “Our children and our children’s children do not deserve a continuation of what the country is now,” Teodoro declared, referring to the current economic and political problems the whole nation is facing.

He said that while he could not promise heaven if elected president, he vowed to pursue reforms and programs of change and that when his six-year term ends, the country would be in a better position to be competitive with other progressive neighboring states.

One step at a time

To do this, Teodoro said he intends to work one step at a time, piece by piece to advance the country’s competitiveness, while admitting that competitive advancement do not come for free nowadays.

“We have to drive continuously to improve. A holier than thou attitude for this country... that we are better than them... that we just need something. Then we are very wrong,” Teodoro told his supporters from the so-called A bracket of society.

Happy with the outpouring support he got from his Xavier schoolmates as well as business and private groups, Teodoro’s presidential bid was also endorsed by former La Salle University System president Bro. Rolando Dizon. Now fighting cancer, Dizon, in his letter read during fellowship at Manila Polo Club, described Teodoro as the country’s best hope in the May elecitons.

“As I see and hear your (Teodoro’s) name, I am increasingly convinced that you really are the best candidate for president,” said Bro. Dizon in his letter to Teodoro.

The letter was read by Teodoro’s high school classmate, lawyer Ernest Maceda, before the huge gathering of former De La Salle and Xavier School alumni, businessmen, and supporters.

Xavier Class of ‘81 and the “Mahal Ko Bayan Ko,” whose alumni include Belmonte, Maceda and Teodoro, hosted the event. “Focus your campaign on young voters who stand to gain or lose most in next May’s elections,” Dizon urged Teodoro.

The former La Salle president even offered Teodoro his unsocilidated advice, that is for him (Teodoro) to go and continue with his school sorties saying this would offset and overcome public criticisms on being linked to the most “unpopular president” that the country has ever had, referring to President Arroyo.

“If I may offer unsolicited advice from one La Sallian to another, visit major colleges and universities as this would start a bandwagon for other sectors,” the much-admired educator said.

Aside from Belmonte, other luminaries who showed up at the gathering were former Solicitor General Estelito Mendoza, Anthony Tony Oposa, Ambassadors Bienvenido Tantoco and Isabelle Wilson, Lasallian Jack Rodriguez and former Movie, Television Review and Classification Board (MTRCB) chairman Manuel Morato, as well as known businessmen.

Event organizers apologized for causing traffic jam in the McKinley Parkway area because of the rush of last-minute guests. Others have to leave after finding no space for parking. “We were expecting from 500 to 700 guests but a thousand came,” Evelyn Kilayko, one of the organizers said.