CELEBRITY WORLD PH
By Crispina M. Belen
In his undertakings, Tito Sotto is BRAVE!
Among other attributes, Senator President Tito Sotto can be described as unfazed and brave, not only because he is running for vice president in the next national elections, but something he has projected to the fore while doing public service for several decades now.
And during the recent virtual “Tsikahan With Tito Sotto,” held a day after his and wife Helen Gamboa’s 52nd wedding anniversary, he again showcased this facet of his personality but in another context. BRAVE in this regard is an acronym for a project he is most ardent to do: Budget Reform Advocacy for Village Empowerment (BRAVE). Among his other projects for good governance, he will be focused on what’s best to be done for the good of the people, like using government money properly.
In tandem with Senator Panfilo “Ping” Lacson, who is also bravely and fearlessly running for president in the 2022 national elections, Tito Sen (Senator Sotto’s pet name especially in the local entertainment world) stressed that in the collective 83 years of their public service, they have more than enough to offer to the voters, the seniors and the young ones, the millennials.
Interestingly, Tito Sen revealed that it was actually he who Senator Lacson was initially poised to convince to run for the highest position of the land – as president – with Senator Grace Poe as his running mate. (Senator Poe has been a popular choice for VP candidate, and even Mayor Isko Moreno has talked to her to be his running mate, but the lady senator declined the offer).
So it was actually Senator Poe who prodded the two of them, Senators Lacson and Sotto, to run as a tandem instead, Tito Sen said.
And if President Rodrigo Duterte is really poised on running for VP, he will be Tito Sen’s opponent or adversary which is okay with the senator. After all, “magkaibigan naman kami, may pinagsamahan naman kami. Sang-ayon ako to most of his programs, magkaiba kami sa pananaw in certain things, but magkaibigan pa rin kami. Basta ako, kontra ako sa mga mali,” Tito Sen said.
A former actor, comedian, producer, songwriter and top bowler, Tito Sen was co-host of “Eat Bulaga,” the longest-running variety show in the Philippines, along with Vic Sotto and Joey de Leon. He described “Eat Bulaga” as a public service program masquerading as a variety show. He considers Vic and Joey as well-grounded – what with their 43 years experience! – and he always consults them in every decision he makes, Tito Sen said.
Anyway, the “Tsikahan With Tito Sotto” lasted for several hours, from which we gathered materials enough for several more articles, which will be forthcoming of course. In the meantime, for the benefit of the young voters, the millennials, here are background materials for Tito Sen:
Although he came from a political family (he is the grandson of former Senator Vicente Y. Sotto, and the grand-nephew of former Senator Filemon Sotto), Vicente “Tito” Castelo Sotto 111, who was born on August 24, 1948 from parents Marcelino Antonio Ojeda Sotto and Dr. Herminia Castelo Sotto, did not have political dreams when he was young. “I just wanted to be a lawyer, but I became a lawmaker by destiny,” he said.
Prior to his becoming senator (this is his fourth term as such, becoming Senate President since 2018), Tito Sen served as vice mayor of Quezon City from 1988-1992. He founded the Vice Mayors League of the Philippines of which he was its first president.
In 2008-2009, he also served as Vice Chairman of the Citizen’s Drugwatch.
Tito Sen finished Bachelor of Arts major in English at Colegio de San Juan de Letran. His first inclination was music and he started his musical career in the 1960s and he is credited to be the founder of the musical group VST & Co., one of the pioneers of OPM and Manila Sound. The group included his brothers Vic and Val.
VST & Co. played covers of the Dave Clark Five, and later Tito Sen became vice president of Vicor Music Corporation.
Among his compositions is “Magkaisa,” which was considered one of the anthems of the 1986 People Power Revolution.
Tito Sen and wife Helen Gamboa have four children: Romina, Diorella, Gian and Ciara Sotto, and 11 grandchildren.