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House Majority Floor Leader Martin Romualdez

REP. Martin 2


Like many children, Ferdinand Martin

Romualdez grew up observing his father,

Benjamin “Kokoy” Romualdez, at work. It

just so happened that his father’s occupation

came with the responsibility of leading the province

of Leyte as governor, and eventually representing the

country as ambassador to the U.S., China, and Saudi

Arabia. “We were very much exposed at an early age,

seeing my father, outside the house, in the field,

either at the provincial capitol, or eventually, at the

respective embassies where he served. So, we saw him

with his constituents and with his colleagues in the

embassies, so that definitely made us focus on a life of

public service,” the proud son reminisces.

by Maan D'Asis Pamaran
Photography by Jar Concengco

By observing not only his father, but also his uncles, grand-uncles, and other relatives, Romualdez received his early education in public service and avers that, while their clan was perceived to be powerful, they were in touch with the masses. “We learned that the priority was just not to be inward-looking, but also outward-looking, aware of those around us and those who may need more than we do.


“We’ve been blessed in many ways, and so we were always taught to look out for others, and to uplift the lives of others who are not similarly fortunate or as blessed. So that was something that was instilled in us.”

Romualdez’s own exposure through joining the Kabataang Barangay, a precursor of today’s Sangguniang Kabataan, propped his vision to serve. “When this was founded in the mid-‘70s, it was definitely a popular movement that gave a sense of purpose and direction to a lot of the youth and there was a lot of value formation in the whole Kabataang Barangay institution.


We were very blessed and happy to be part of that, and The congressman talks about how he was primed for public service and how he is navigating the intricacies of his legislative duties through the pandemic. to lead, not just the Municipality of Tolosa, but the Provincial Federation of Leyte.” That experience introduced him to like-minded young leaders, he says, many of whom he now sees in the halls of Congress or in the local government unit (LGU) offices of their provinces.

Image by Jonas Jacobsson

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