Vico Sotto is a man of a few words. He is reserved and cautious in a way that can only be expected from someone who grew up in the spotlight. His reservations, however, was not in any way standoffish. In fact, Vico was warm and welcoming in an authentic way. One could easily tell that he was used to people recognizing him as he acknowledged stares and smiles with ease.
The only son of Filipino showbiz icons Vic Sotto and Coney Reyes, it is safe to say that Vico is used to the attention but it is one that he is not necessarily comfortable with.
As a young boy, Vico recalled, “When I was younger, I would freeze when people spoke to me.”
And while he later on became at ease with the life he was given, he chose to evade the public eye by maintaining a low profile while focusing on what he has always been passionate about: government.
He explained, “Ever since I was a kid, government service ‘na yung interest ko, I recall being extremely interested in the impeachment trial in 2001 to the point that my friends teased me about it.”
The interest continued on until college when he pursued and completed a degree in Political Science Degree from Ateneo de Manila University. Despite his passion about it, he was apprehensive about running for office because of his desire to stay away from the spotlight.
To solve this dilemma, Vico decided to work behind the scenes by working as a Legislative Staff Officer for the Quezon City Council where he served for almost two years. It was this experience that eventually changed his mind about getting into politics.
He shared, “It was during this time that I saw what an elective official can accomplish. I figured that if I wanted to change society, I would be able to contribute more in a shorter span of time.”
His desire to impact society outweighed his desire to stay away from the limelight and this desire is what made him file for candidacy in the hopes of becoming one of Pasig City’s Councilors.
At 26, Vico is like most millenials: idealistic and hungry for change. But what sets him apart is his strong determination to learn and make a positive difference.
And his hunger to learn is evident. After his stint in the Quezon City Council, Vico then joined the Ateneo School of Government as the Project Officer of two programs: Government Watch and Political Democracy & Reform.
“One of the projects we did was constituency building in Visayas leading up to the 2016 elections. The projected promoted good governance and encouraged citizens to join and monitor projects done by the government,” he said.
It was here that Vico was immersed in civil society work that familiarized him with the other side of government and it is his experience that he is proud of.
“It’s a unique experience, I feel very blessed I had that opportunity to do that before entering government,” he enthused. “Civil society makes you see a different perspective.”
And this is the perspective that led to the creation of his platform: people’s participation.
He believes in an inclusive government where all voices are heard. He wishes to develop a government where the common man gets as much attention as the higher ups.
He furthered, “The government must be able to listen to everyone. Groups must be consulted before projects are done and all voices must be heard. Based on my experience when we have inclusive institutions, growth is faster and everyone benefits. That’s what I’ll fight for: to make our institutions in government inclusive where every voice is heard.”
He also believes that good government goes beyond parties and that elected officials must be able to go beyond political parties in order to arrive at decisions that are beneficial to all.
With such a famous lineage, one couldn’t help but ask how he can prove himself to be worthy of a position in government and while he doesn’t discount the advantage of it, Vico also works double time to study the field that he wishes to pursue.
Describing himself as focused, Vico spends all his hours determined to learn and absorb as much as he can about the government, politics, and current events. His experiences in both the government and civil society also created a unique individual who has a good balance of the differing ends of the playing field.
After awhile, you no longer see his parents or remnants of them when you talk to Vico but instead you see him as who he is: a young man with nothing but the best intentions. One can also see that he was raised well with no “ere” as one would say in Tagalog. He is quietly confident and also not shy to share his dedication to his faith and God. He says his beliefs and principles always come first and for me, that is what will make him effective in office.
It is people like Vico who make me believe that a better government is possible. He is the perfect example of a millennial who cares more about self and more concerned on how he can change the world around him. It is people like him that inspire me to do better too, not just for myself, but for the small world around me.
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