The leader we need: Brian Poe Llamanzares

Published December 10, 2021, 12:12 AM

by Anna Mae Lamentillo

NIGHT OWL

Anna Mae Lamentillo

Even in the saddest moments of our life, we can see a light that would guide us not only to healing but also to a better, more meaningful journey.

When Fernando Poe Jr. died, a lot of Filipinos mourned. Brian Poe Llamanzares, FPJ’s grandson, remembers the wake of his grandfather as “one of the most impactful experiences of my life.” That moment was a realization for Brian that he wanted and needed to serve the people.

Coming home to the Philippines for Christmas was always a happy time for our family but back in 2004, it was the saddest time of our lives when my grandfather passed away. (Poe family at FPJ’s wake, December 2004)

Brian recalls, “Hundreds of thousands of Filipinos lined up for days to bid farewell to their hero. I realized that our family has a responsibility to take care of the people my grandfather loved so much.”

But even when he was younger, Brian had always dreamed of helping people. He started with joining advocacies of multiple non-government organizations (NGOs). Now, he is able to help more Filipinos through government service, which he believes is the best way to help the most number of people.

When Typhoon Maring hit back in 2013, our office brought help to those who needed it the most. (Distributing food packs to families in Baseco Compound with Sen. Grace Poe)
2013 campaign was an uphill climb but it was all worth it by the end. (Photo taken at a campaign sortie)

Entrepreneur, philanthropist, public servant

Brian graduated from Ateneo de Manila University with a bachelor’s degree in Political Science. He went on to enrich his knowledge by completing different programs at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) for Digital Marketing and Social Media Analytics; Wharton; Stanford University; and the Harvard Kennedy School of Government. He completed his master’s at Columbia University in New York.

During the pandemic, our NGO – Panday Bayanihan in partnership with the Office of Sen. Grace Poe –worked tirelessly to bring relief packs, PPEs and other needed goods to different parts of the country.
Sharing our advocacy to a wider audience at FPJ Studios to promote FPJ Panday Bayanihan

He setup his own company, Prime Hourglass Corporation Inc., which manufactures Time Master Watches. He also invested in a digital media holdings company, social media tools and analytics, content creation, app development, and an anti-bacterial clothing line.

Brian is the chairman of Panday Bayanihan, an NGO that focuses on relief efforts, helping those who are in need in the most crucial times—during natural calamities, as well as in this ongoing public health crisis.
He is also the chief-of-staff of Senator Grace Poe. In this capacity, he is able to help more Filipinos not only by helping the Senator in crafting legislative measures that would have positive impact on the lives of Filipinos, but also by making sure that Senator Poe’s office is able to provide medical assistance, relief goods, and educational assistance, among others, to those in need.

Attending SONA to hear the President’s report

Legacy of grandfather, selflessness of mother

Senator Grace Poe and the late FPJ are Brian’s main motivators in public service.

As Chief of Staff of a Senator, it is my responsibility to make sure everything runs smoothly in the office in order to serve our constituency properly. (Attending consultative meetings with sectoral representatives is a part of that job)

He recalls that, prior to entering public service, his mother used to work in sales for a scientific company. Brian would stay in his mom’s office after school. He witnessed how hard his mother worked to provide for him and take care of him. Despite having both parents working, he says he never felt like he was lacking in love or attention growing up.

Sen. Grace Poe was proclaimed as Senator and ranked number 1 in the 2013 elections with more than 20 million votes.

One of his most unforgettable experiences was when the COMELEC officially announced that his mom was a senator. He remembered how they struggled during the campaign due to lack of campaign materials and staff. He recalled how they rose through the ranks from 26th in the early surveys to being the number one senator with the highest number of votes in Philippine history at the time.

“All Senator Grace Poe had at the time was the good name left behind by her father and yet she was elected with an overwhelming mandate. We owe everything to the people who put us in office and that’s why we are independent, our loyalty is to the people,” said Brian.

Treasured moments with my lolo

As to his dream, Brian said he wants to be able to leave behind a great legacy just like his grandfather. He wants to be remembered for having achieved something great for Filipinos.

“I am inspired by the legacy of my grandfather and the selflessness of my mother. I want to live up to the great standards that have been set before me. I want to be able to give back the way they did and touch as many lives as possible.”

Outside of my work in the Senate, I get to handle various advocacy work, manage my business and get a few boxing workouts on the side as well.
 
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