Weeks after stepping down as chairperson of the National Youth Commission (NYC), former child actor Aiza “Ice” Seguerra now plans to devote more time to his family and music career.
Seguerra, who was appointed by President Rodrigo Duterte as NYC chairperson in August 2016, cited “personal reasons” for his resignation. His chairmanship formally ends on April 5.
“Mas magkakaroon na ako ng maraming oras para sa pamilya ko. Siyempre may anak din kami ni Liza (Diño-Seguerra) tapos my mom and dad, hindi naman na sila bumabata eh,” he told Bulletin Entertainment and other members of the press in a recent interview.
The singer-actor revealed he hopes to release an album this year, saying there is no “excuse” now to not pursue his passion for singing.
“Noong 2016, nagpa-plano na akong mag-album, hindi natuloy. Ganu’n din nu’ng 2017. ’Yun ’yung isang bagay na hindi ko kasi magawa simula nu’ng pumasok ako sa gobyerno so hopefully magawa ko na ’to at baka maglalabas na rin ako ng three (new) songs baka second quarter this year.”
Seguerra said he had a “very emotional moment” in relaying his decision to leave NYC.
“Umiyak ako,” he proudly shared.
“Actually, hindi ko inasahan na iiyak ako. Parang ang cool ko pa nu’ng umpisa eh, pero nu’ng nakaharap ko na si Presidente (para magpaalam), bigla na lang akong naiyak. I guess kasi, malalim din naman talaga ito para sa akin.”
It was a very tough decision, he said.
“Sobrang hindi madali sa akin ang desisyon “Pero kailangan eh,” he said, without elaborating on those “personal reasons.” “I’m not the type of person din naman na nagdedesisyon ng basta-basta. Kumbaga talagang pinag-usapan namin ito ng masinsinan ng pamilya ko at ng asawa ko.”
Seguerra served for over a year and a half. As chairperson, the singer-actor championed HIV/AIDS awareness and youth representation in government through the Sangguniang Kabataan.
He confidently said he did his job well and has no regrets at all.
“Hindi ako naghinayang sa panahon na nandoon ako (sa posisyon). Masaya ako. Pumasok ako (sa gobyerno) ng masaya, masaya din akong aalis.”
Seguerra asserted that the NYC commissioners will do their best to serve and protect the youth. In a Facebook post, he gave a message to the young people, saying they are the “heart” of the society that “must be heard,” and that they should “be kind always.”
“I’m very confident sa mga tao na nandu’n sa NYC. Alam kong ipagpapatuloy nila ’yung mga nasimulan. Hindi naman porke nawala ako, hindi naman ibig sabihin na nu’n na titigil na, alam kong masisipag sila at masaya ako na nagta-transition kami ng maayos,” he shared.Aiza has no idea who will be his successor, maintaining President Duterte has sole prerogative over the matter.
On talks that he is planning to run for a higher position come 2019 elections, Seguerra noted, “No. Walang ganon. In fact, wala akong sinabi sa Presidente na gusto kong mag-transfer sa ibang agency and I don’t have plans to run.”
If anything, he said that with or without government position, he will continue serving the Filipino people in his own ways. In fact, the National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA) recently tapped Seguerra as the new ambassador for the Buwan Ng Panitikan Ng Filipinas or the National Literature Month.
“Patuloy pa rin akong gagabay sa NYC. Sabi ko nga, please know na, kahit hindi na ako official, ’yung support ko sa proyekto, sa mga program na nasimulan na at sisimulan pa lang, hindi mawawala. Nandito ako palagi para sa lahat at para tumulong,” he said.
Seguerra’s wife, Film Development Council of the Philippines chairperson Liza Diño, expressed full support for her husband’s decisions.
According to her, even before Seguerra became part of the government, he has always been involved in a lot of activities concerning the welfare of many Filipinos.
“Tuwing may bagyo nandiyan siya, kung saan feeling niya na makakatulong siya, pumupunta siya kaya sobrang laki ng admiration ko sa kanya bilang tao,” she said. “So I don’t think it will be any less of support du’n sa mga advocacies niya just because he’s not in government anymore.”
Diño expressed dismay over people who allegedly use Seguerra’s resignation into their own agendas. Respect is what they clamor for, she noted.
“Alam naman natin how social media can just really judge and say a lot of things and iiwasan mo na lang talaga siyang basahin. May mga nagsasabi na dilawan (a term used to describe the detractors of the Duterte administration) at nakakalungkot. Personal reasons nga eh, kumbaga bakit niyo kukulayan ng kahit anong kulay o ng political na dahilan ang isang bagay,” she explained.
“I think, kailangan mamutawi pa rin ’yung respeto, ’yung pagiging mabuti sa kapwa tao at pagbibigay ng opportunity to not think the worst about people.”