A sparkling conversation with Commission on Filipinos Overseas Secretary Francisco Acosta at the
Filipino Cultural Center of Los Angeles.
PICTURE a man across the hall. He carries his everyday business suit like they were black tie and tails, and his demeanor gave the impression that he had been born with a gold watch and chain instead of an umbilical cord.
One would remember with clarity the gentleman’s grace, his good manner, his capacity to put all of us at ease, as clearly as the substance of his talk, though it was an important meeting about the migrants here in the U.S.
There was an act of excitement about his every small act, every gesture, every word for everyone who came to meet and greet Commission on Filipinos Overseas Secretary Francisco Acosta, who was formerly a Court of Appeals Associate Justice.
His interesting talk promised all the possibilities — grassroots excitement, surpassed only by the heart and generosity of spirit for the cause. “We’re not here to make a point, but to make a difference, no matter how small,” he said.
Interviewing Sec. Acosta is like having a fun conversation at a party with someone you may never run into again. It is filled with the possibility of random pleasure. It is hard to keep in mind, however, that he has been in the public eye for so long so you’re meeting an actual person, an astute guardian of the law, and not a media creation or the product of your research.
He needs to be interpreted, observed, profiled, quoted in context, as we get him to open himself up, in a genuinely feel with the community, he was addressing.
His professional lists of mayor achievements are so enormous it defies enumeration.
In his previous meetings, his presence above makes it an occasion. Since it was mostly freewheeling, he had no need to ask for silence and he merely smiled and the spectators would hush.
Since his appointment to head the Commission Filipino Overseas, no one could ever doubt his intentions. He is always for justice, for a good cause and the right reason, determination and service to the community, above all.
He sees the law as the basic of society and respect for justice paramount.
On the issue of the migrant workers here abroad, he slightly hinted, they ought to be tendered with the pomp they deserved – for what they do here and the nobility of their endeavors.
“It gave us peace of mind knowing you’re doing everything one can do, for the little big guys who had no one to fight for them or too shy and feel theirs are just small cases – there should be a warrior for these little mighty migrants,” he said.
At the Ugnayan at the Philippine consulate last Tuesday, the Fil-Am community wasn’t surprised, by the hint of showmanship instinct in which he anticipated acute questions or the dignified ways in which he parried the probing ones.
It was inevitable to listen to him speak and plead for the plight of the migrants. Compassion is a pleasure that should be taken as a gift, and as he continues to chair with dignity and determination. He doesn’t diminish.
ASIAN JOURNAL (https://www.asianjournal.com/life-style/lifestyle-columnists/ph-commission-on-filipinos-overseas-secretary-francisco-acosta-meets-la-fil-am-community%e2%80%af/)
MYLAH DE LEON (email@example.com.)
Nov. 30, 2019