The late Edgardo Angara: A doting “lolo”

Tarra Quismundo, ABS-CBN News

Posted at May 16 2018 03:00 PM | Updated as of May 16 2018 06:07 PM

The late Senate President Edgardo Angara is flanked by his grandchildren Javier, Ines and Manolo in this undated photo. Photos courtesy of the Office of Sen. Sonny Angara. 

MANILA - He loved being “lolo” best. 

Of the many roles he played in his 83 years, the late Senate President Edgardo Angara had one favorite: being grandfather to his five grandchildren. 

“He was happiest. That’s the happiest we saw him, with his apos,” Angara’s senator son Sonny told ABS-CBN News. 

“Kaya ‘yung staff niya, nung senator siya, pinapapunta ‘yung mga anak namin para hindi mainit ang ulo (That’s why his staff, when he was still senator, would ask that we bring our kids to calm his temper),” said the younger Angara, referring to his three children with wife Tootsy. 
 

In his twilight years, the late Senate President Edgardo Angara loved spending time with his grandchildren- Manolo, Ines and Javier by son Sen. Sonny Angara and his wife Tootsy; Allegra by daughter Katya Angara Vito-Lopez and her husband Anthony Vito-Lopez; and Fin by daughter Alex Angara Cole and husband Joe Cole. Photos courtesy of the Office of Sen. Sonny Angara.

In his twilight years, the late Senate President Edgardo Angara loved spending time with his grandchildren- Manolo, Ines and Javier by son Sen. Sonny Angara and his wife Tootsy; Allegra by daughter Katya Angara Vito-Lopez and her husband Anthony Vito-Lopez; and Fin by daughter Alex Angara Cole and husband Joe Cole. Photos courtesy of the Office of Sen. Sonny Angara.

In his twilight years, the late Senate President Edgardo Angara loved spending time with his grandchildren- Manolo, Ines and Javier by son Sen. Sonny Angara and his wife Tootsy; Allegra by daughter Katya Angara Vito-Lopez and her husband Anthony Vito-Lopez; and Fin by daughter Alex Angara Cole and husband Joe Cole. Photos courtesy of the Office of Sen. Sonny Angara.

In his twilight years, the late Senate President Edgardo Angara loved spending time with his grandchildren- Manolo, Ines and Javier by son Sen. Sonny Angara and his wife Tootsy; Allegra by daughter Katya Angara Vito-Lopez and her husband Anthony Vito-Lopez; and Fin by daughter Alex Angara Cole and husband Joe Cole. Photos courtesy of the Office of Sen. Sonny Angara.

Angara, a “renaissance man” in the words of Sen. Juan Miguel Zubiri in his eulogy, doted on his apos Manolo, 14, Ines, about 13, Javier, 7, Allegra, roughly 8, and months-old Fin in his twilight years, making sure to visit or call them almost every day.

Sonny, his second-born, spoke of this in his response to eulogies for his father at the Senate Wednesday as he mentioned his father’s multiple roles: “state university president and educator, a cabinet member, an agriculturist and farmer, banker diplomat, lawyer, constitution drafter, NAMFREL (National Citizen’s Movement for Free Elections) chairman, hotelier, patron of the arts as chair of the Metropolitan Museum and Philippine Philharmonic, sports supporter as mentioned by [former] Sen. Pia [Cayetano], book writer and publisher, newspaper column writer, college and law professor, legislator, husband, father, grandfather.” 

“I think his favorite role when he passed was the last one I mentioned: as grandfather to his grandkids,” he said in his speech. 

This was apparent in how he planned a lolo-apo bonding just a week before he passed away: a trip with Manolo, Sonny’s and Tootsy’s youngest, to Hong Kong. 

“…[A]nd his plan was just him, an 83-year-old man and a 7-year-old grandson, travel to HK together. And my foolish secretary booked it, the two of them. Imagine if something happened to him, sino mag-aalaga sa kaniya? ‘Yung kaniyang apo (Who would take care of him? His grandson)?” the younger Angara said. 

They eventually flew with a cousin, said Tootsy Angara. 

“He wanted a one on one grandfather, grandson bonding trip,” Tootsy Angara told ABS-CBN News.

“He was, I have to say… for me when I got to know him already, he was the best, sweetest, most loving lolo talaga,” Tootsy Angara told ABS-CBN News.

“The staff nga would make me loko, kung mainit ang ulo, puwede pahiram muna ng apo (The staff would joke that if he had a temper, can we borrow his grandchildren)? So I said yes of course,” she said. 

The late Senate President Edgardo Angara doting on his youngest apo Fin, son of daughter Alex Angara Cole and Joe Cole. Photo courtesy of the Office of Sen. Sonny Angara. 

Sonny Angara shared that his father would come visit his apos almost every day when he was no longer at the Senate. Angara had served in the legislature for 23 years- the senator who served the longest after the restoration of democracy in 1986. 

“At least once or twice a week, nung senator siya. But nung hindi na, halos every day pinupuntahan niya or tinatawagan niya when he was no longer senator (He visited his grandchildren at least once or twice a week when he was still senator. But he visited or called them almost every day when he was no longer senator),” he said in an interview. 

“He was very sweet and he would call them every day to say ‘I love you, I just called to say I love you.’ Sabi nga ni Sonny bakit kami hindi sinasabihan dati niyan (Sonny asked why he never said that to us when we were younger),” Tootsy Angara said. 

Angara passed away on Sunday due to a heart attack. On Friday, he is set to be honored at his alma mater the University of the Philippines, where he served as president. 

His remains will be at the UP Law Auditorium until Saturday, when he will be brought to his hometown, Baler. His interment is set on Sunday.