BY: Pilar Mateo

HE and his family resides in the US of A.

But every now and then, he makes it a point to visit the country where he was born, here in the Philippines to see and look after the businesses he opened to help a lot of people, mostly his kababayans.

It wasn’t long ago when Dom Villaruel opened his RBiel’s Bistro along Congressional Avenue in the heart of Quezon City.

It was doing good. Blessed with a very good chef and staff, RBiel’s was the favorite go-to not just of business people or students or workers around the vicinity but celebrities, too.

Weekends were spent with folk singers or bands that entertains the guests. And there were function rooms to hold different events.

Then, COVID-19 came. The pandemic was real.

There was no choice but to close it. But Dom didn’t give up. For his staff.

“Tuloy lang ang buhay. Take out deliveries were allowed. Kaya, hindi nawalan ng trabaho ang staff and our chef. Kahit nasa malayo ako, I was blessed with a staff na kumbaga maaasahan dshil sa pagmamalasakit nila sa aming restaurant. Kaya, masaya sila na sige lang ang orders at madalas, dahil wala pang dine-in bumibili lang sila. For a while na in-allow ang al fresco, marami ang pumupunta. Ngayong nawala na naman, we have to make do with the orders. Ayaw namin mawala rin ang tiwala ng tao’ng nakita na nila sa RBiel’s.”

During the height of the pandemic, Dom thought of opening a flower store. Which delivers to all parts of the country. And the world. Regalo Sa Pinas.

“Naisip ko naman ‘yun kasi, kahit may pandemya, in so many ways gusto pa rin ng marami sa atin na mag-celebrate ng moments o milestones in our lives. Kahit nasa bahay lang. Hindi naman lahat makalabas to go to the mall to buy gifts. Ang buhay nasa online. Marami pa ring gusto na nakatatanggap ng flowers on certain occasions na pwedeng samahan ng gifts. So, kahit nasa malayo ang mga mahal natin sa buhay, there is something na pwede mag-connect pa rin through these gifts.”

All this man wanted was to help. So many people affected by the pandemic. About life’s many struggles.


THE BONDING that they have can never be questioned.

They are each other’s keeper.

They have been that close ever since. And they are carrying that bond up to this time that both have embraced the life of being of service to their people. In Quezon City’s District V.

Alfred Vargas, as its Representative in the House of Congress. And PM Vargas as its Councilor.

For the longest time, even before pandemic hit the country and the world, the love that they have shared with their constituents is incomparable.

Morning ’til night, you will see the smiles in their districts people because of the left and right ayuda the brothers give to them.

For a mananahi, for a student, for a vendor, tinderas, persons with disabilities and comorbidities, health care, from all walks of life are well taken care of.

Congressman Alfred sees to it that he communicates with the people at the start of his working week via Zoom to address all their questions and concerns. And Fridays are set for his People’s Day.

“Iba’t iba talaga ang kwento ng bawat tao — may masaya, may malungot, may exciting at mayroon ding makabagbag damdamin. Anuman ang kwento niyo, welcome na welcome po yan sa ating District Office kung saan lahat ay ating pakikinggan. Tuwing Biyernes po yan para sa ating People’s Day.”


You do not see PM in his office most days. Because he is with the people. Addressing their concerns. Wanting to know how in his humblest of ways can he alleviate the lanes they are struggling with.

Congressman Alfred is very thankful to the sponsors who send their donations to be given to the people.

“I am so very thankful to Ms. Ai Ai delas Alas. Sa birthday ni Mama Mary (September 8, isa sa napili niya na dalhan ng mga gifts niya ay ang aming distrito.

“Thank you, Ms. Ai-Ai delas Alas dahil napili niyong i-share ang blessings sa ating mga ka-District V nitong birthday ni Mama Mary. 🙏🏼

“Malaking bagay ang handog niyang food packs at cupcakes sa mga pamilyang binaha nitong mga nagdaang bagyo sa Barangay Gulod. God bless you, Ms. Ai-Ai!”


Sir Dom in Uncle Sam’s country. Cong. Alfred and Konsi PM with their constituents.

All movers and shakers. Whether here or there, they all are every where in the every there of our lives! And NOW HERE! Not NOWHERE.(30)

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