Now it is official that Nonoy Villafuerte Magtuto (who is a resident of Colongcogong, Caramoan) is joining the electoral race in the midterm election come May 2019. A successful entrepreneur who has managed to develop and raise his small poultry and swine business to becoming one of the top producers in the region, Magtuto is vying for a seat in Congress as fourth district representative challenging one of the oldest political scions in the province—the Fuentebellas. Asked to describe himself, Magtuto identifies the importance sincerity, determination and decisiveness as his key virtues which for him should be the mark of true leader. “Kaipuhan kan Partido, nin lider na sincero, determinado asin desidido.” So come October 12, 2018, he is scheduled to file his certificate of candidacy at the provincial office of the Commission on Elections, Pili, Camarines Sur.
Accompanying him are parents, Mr. Ernesto de Belen Magtuto, a retired accountant and Mrs. Pura Robredo Villafuerte, a long-time teacher and principal at the Camarines Sur National High School. His mother is also the sister of former governor and congressman Luis Villafuerte.
“Kan nagpaaram ako sa mga magurang ko, si Mama an sabi sakuya, dai ko pagraoton an pangaran kan Villafuerte-Magtuto mantang si Papa man nagpatanid na tultulon an serbisyo kan patubig asin kuryente ta magayon man nanggad kun an pamilya nagkakarakan na may maliwanag na ilaw. Makamundo na sa paglibot ko sa Partido, dakul pang mayong kuryente asin malinig na maiinum…” said Magtuto.
For many people in the fourth district, this decision of Magtuto to seek for public office is considered to be a wise and inspired choice as many people in Partido area have been clamoring for a new representation in Congress.
“Kan ako nagpuon kan sakuyang negosyo digdi sa Caramoan, nahiling man kan mga tawo an pagbabagong dara kan tultol nyamong padalagan. Dakul an nagkatrabaho asin orog pang nabisto an Partido bako sana sa bilog na nasyon kundi man sa enterong kinaban. Siguro dahil kaiyan, kaya nagpuon na magdulok sakuya an mga lider sa distrito asin inalok ako kan saindang suporta na kun ako madalagan, sinda masurog sakuya ta pagal naman nanggad sinda sa labing sanggatos na taon na pagpapabaya…” quipped Magtuto.
Inspired by the vote of confidence the successful businessman has received from the incumbent mayors of Tinambac, Siruma, San Jose, Caramoan, Goa and the many local leaders in Sagñay, Lagonoy, Presentacion, Garchitorena and Tigaon (the bailiwick of the Fuentebellas), he decided to run despite recognizing the enormous challenges that lay ahead.
“Masakit na kalaban sinda Tio Noli, garo ini David and Goliath, asin pagmati ko ako an David digdi na naghahagad nin sarong pagkakataon laban sa sanggatos na taon na saindang binabandera. Ngalas ngani ako ta minsan sa Tigaon asin Sagñay, dakul an nagdulok sakuya tanganing magdalagan,” continued Magtuto.
As he officially begins his campaign, Magtuto who has launched his call for a “Sarong Pagkakataon sa Tamang Panahon” seeks to draw new agenda and programs for the fourth district especially that the Partido Development Authority has just been abolished by the Malacañang Palace.
“Makamundo na dai ta kayang atubangon an totoo sa PDA. Haloy na ining lugi, sala asin mandata an nangyaring pagpadalagan sa PDA. Patunay man ini kan kabapabayaan kan mga nakatukaw sa puwesto.”
Magtuto believes that his experience as key player in the business and tourism industry and his commitment to work for the environment are his strong points which he thinks would be contribute in crafting local programs and legislate bills that would improve the quality of lives of his constituents. In fact, when Magtuto started to build the Tugawe Cove Resort in Caramoan, seven years ago, he immediately sought the support of the Reefs for Life, an international/non-government organization that seeks the protection and development of marine life particularly the coral sanctauries. The Caramoan situation was difficult and challenging but Magtuto did not easily give up on his fellow Caramoanons. He employed most of the fishermen and farmers in the areas as boatmen and tourist guides in his resort to augment their family income and to persuade them to avoid the illegal fishing activities. More than 100 families are now employed in the resort. In the long run, despite the odds and difficulties, the results are
favorable because for Magtuto, all pro-environment policies are pro-people. In Caramoan today, one sees the faster result in the restoration of the coral reefs as they are employing the latest available technology that can hasten the regeneration of these fish and marine sanctuaries. Magtuto believes that this best practice can be replicated in the whole archipelago where majority of our corals are under threat.
With a template for good governance and participatory representation and sustainable environment-friendly projects for agriculture and livelihood and total reforms in the district, Magtuto believes that his leadership will signal a new beginning in the Partido.
“Gusto nyamong maggibo nin sarong template nin marahay na padalagan para maging aarogan kan gabos na Filipino…gusto nyamong maggibo nin Bagong Partido. An Bagong Partido na magiging pangarogan nin marahay na serbisyo asin tultol na program sa agrikultura, may pangkabuhayan asin reporma tanganing maging mauswag an satuyang distrito…”
“But if one wants change, one must change his heart first.” Magtuto added while pointing the printed heart on his campaign shirt.
Contributed news article. Photo is from the Nonoy Villafuerte Magtuto Facebook Page.