A FORMER child star-turned congresswoman challenged singer-actress Regine Velasquez on Sunday to take an educational visit to Payatas after the latter allegedly made a recent social media post describing the place, which is part of her legislative district, as “mabaho” or smelly.
Quezon City Rep. Precious Hipolito Castelo, who won the 1987 FAMAS Award as Best Child Actress for Ang Daigdig Ay Isang Butil Na Luha and a finalist in Eat Bulaga’s Little Miss Philippines segment along with singer-actress Donna Cruz, said Velasquez is probably not updated on the current status of Payatas.
“We do hope that Ms. Velasquez will share time to see that Payatas is not the dump site that she sees, but more of a fast-rising barangay with hospitable, industrious, and persevering people,” said Castelo a former film and television actress and IBC Channel 13 newscaster who joined That’s Entertainment Wednesday Group along with Sheryl Cruz, Romnick Sarmenta and Chuckie Dreyfus.
“She could be misinformed that’s why she made statements that were hurtful to the decent families of the locality,” said Castelo, who is also vice chairman of the House committee on Metro Manila development. “Payatas is no longer a garbage-smelling barangay.”
The former councilor and wife of Quezon City Rep. Winnie Castelo said people in Payatas were victims of social inequality, yet have chosen to break the chains of poverty by working hard, doing jobs that most people wouldn’t do. They are the reason why Payatas is not just a dumpsite anymore but a flourishing and fast rising community.
She advise Velasquez to be careful in making claims publicly, especially is it could hurt people’s sensibilities who are all trying their best to cope with economic difficulties.
In a video she posted in Youtube to promote her bag collection, Velasquez said “…MTV asked me to a documentary for street children. And I went to Payatas… kaamoy ng bag ko ‘yung Payatas…nakakatawa yun …” She added that “Kasi ‘pag nasa Payatas ka na, hindi mo na naman maaamoy ‘yung basura e pero kasi kayo e pare-pareho na kayo ng amoy dun …this is the bag I was wearing. So after the whole shooting akala ko nasa Payatas pa rin ako, ayun pala ‘yung bag ko ‘yung mabaho. Mas mabaho pa siya sa Payatas.”
The Asia’s songbird reportedly apologized over the matter but Castelo said, “there should be no repeat of the incident as entertainers owe a lot of their success from poor Filipinos, especially the people from Payatas, many of them are their fans.”