MARIA ANA CONSUELO MADRIGAL: In serving people, work becomes joy
By Jerry E. Esplanada
Philippine Daily Inquirer
First Posted 05:18:00 05/03/2010
(Editor’s note: The presidential profiles will be running in no particular order but as the stories come in from reporters in the field.)
(Fourth of a series)
MANILA, Philippines—Diving is one of the things Sen. Maria Ana Consuelo “Jamby” Madrigal loves.
The view under water is simply spectacular, she says.
The sharks and the barracudas do not scare her.
Where she is now in Congress, she says, these species abound and she is fighting them with hammer and tong.
Corruption is the campaign theme of Madrigal, who is running as an independent candidate for president in the May 10 elections.
She passionately talks against shenanigans in government, particularly in real estate deals, as though she were on a jihad.
If that were so, it was because she learned what being a ship captain was like at a very early age.
At a time when most Filipino children’s familiarity with a boat was confined to those made of paper, Madrigal already was at home on the real thing.
At age 5, ships became the playground of this future senator and aspirant for captain of the ship of state.
“I’d gone into holds and hatches, and I could tell if a ship was a tanker or container. I grew up with that,” she says.
“Many of the captains and CEOs of today’s shipping companies were trained by Madrigal Shipping. We can be proud to say we trained very good people.”
These captains also followed the ideals of the family—incorruptible, hard working.
Old rich family
Madrigal was born on April 26, 1958, to one of Manila’s old rich families.
Her father was a son of the late Sen. Vicente Madrigal. Her mother, Amanda Abad Santos, was a granddaughter of Jose Abad Santos, appointed by President Manuel L. Quezon as president during the war against the Japanese forces and former Chief Justice.
Her granduncle, pre-Commonwealth Assemblyman Pedro Abad Santos, founded the Socialist Party of the Philippines.
Her aunt, Pacita Madrigal-Gonzalez, a senator during the Quezon and Magsaysay administrations, was also the first head of the Social Welfare Administration, now the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD).
Vicente and Amanda Madrigal were natives of Ligao, Albay, and San Fernando, Pampanga, respectively.
Aside from Filipino and English, Madrigal has a working understanding of Kapampangan and Bicolano.
She also speaks fluent French and Spanish, some Portuguese and German.
Madrigal started learning European languages during her family’s religious pilgrimages to Lourdes (in France) and Fatima (in Portugal), among other places.