Our long wait is over. After seven years of waiting and heartbreak, of hoping and then failing, of “almost-there but not quite”, we are finally there. We are in the Senate – borne on the shoulders of more than fifteen million Filipinos who believe that it is now time to open the Upper Chamber to ordinary people.
It has been a long wait, but it has not been a lonely one. I have had the good fortune of being surrounded by the foolhardy and the stubborn, you who had the audacity to believe that the Senate dream was within reach. To those who spent time knocking on doors, campaigning for me, raising funds, inviting me into your barangays and your homes, even sharing our social media posts, to those who stood by my side after the elections of 2010 and 2013 and who never gave up on the idea of an activist in the Senate, I thank you with all my heart.
Tayo ay nangahas, at tayo ay nagtagumpay.
But as this seven-year project comes to fruition, a new and bigger one begins. There is work to be done. We will bring the fight for universal health to a new platform, cognizant that the uneven access to health care services are but reflective of larger structural inequities. We commit to do our part towards an independent and strong legislature, which is the best check against executive or judicial overreach. Most of all, we will be a voice for the sectors and a representative of the underserved – they for whom we push for reforms, they from whom I will constantly seek direction and inspiration.
There is much to be grateful for; there is much to be done. Our grand adventure begins. Sa Senado na ang larangan ng mga laban na hindi binibitiwan.