Even before arriving at the famed island club in Pollilo, Quezon, Speaker Lord Allan Velasco and his family hoped that their first time in Balesin would be memorable. Apart from the idyllic location and the surprise attendance of a number of their closest family and friends, the presence of Mayor Inday Sara Duterte made the occasion truly unforgettable.
“With all the events unfolding since her withdrawal from Davao City’s mayoralty race, the fact that Mayor Inday Sara intentionally took time out to greet the Velascos was so meaningful for the Speaker and his wife, Wen,” noted Deputy Speaker Bernadette “BH” Herrera, who was among the small circle of friends who joined the couple and their family. Velasco and his wife have birthdays that are two days apart, with the former born on November 9, while the latter was born on November 11.
“Their daughter Sofia’s birthday is also coming up, so it’s actually a triple celebration. Mayor Inday Sara is like family to the Velascos, particularly Wen, who considers her a sister,” Herrera explained. “Even then, given recent events, it was still quite significant for her to temporarily put everything aside and fly to the island to see her dear friends,” she added.
Before visiting the Velascos in Balesin, Duterte has been at the forefront of news items, particularly in the last three days. Last November 9, she officially withdrew her candidacy for Davao City Mayor, and was replaced by her brother Sebastian Duterte, the incumbent Vice Mayor. On November 11 — the same day she flew to Balesin — she resigned from her Regional Political Party, Hugpong ng Pagbabago, and officially swore in as a member of the national political party Lakas-CMD.
Notwithstanding this whirlwind of activity, pictures of the the Davao City Mayor and the Velasco couple were shared on social media, with the three of them clearly enjoying a lighthearted moment.
“This is what happens when friends become family, and it is so inspiring. Despite hectic schedules and circumstances, true friends will always find a way to be there for one another,” Herrera concluded.