Leni basurera? Netizens defend Robredo for using second-hand stuff for daughter’s apartment

Some netizens defended Vice President Leni Robredo for picking up “trash” to help furnish her daughter’s room at the Harvard University campus.

Robredo was slammed by critics for what they considered as her pulling off a “political gimmick.” DSWD Asec. Lorraine Badoy even called Robredo “Uncle Sam’s Basurera” and described what she did as “disgracing the Office of the Vice President of the Republic of the Philippines” and “shaming the Filipino people.”
Another Robredo critic, a blogger called Maharlika, who is being slammed by a FASO legal adviser for “libelous statement” against the organization, posted a video clip of Robredo’s radio interview where she talked about picking up “trash” in Boston.

However, Facebook user Bernard Ong defended Robredo for being a “basurera,” admitting that he himself is a “basurero.”

He narrated how he has been a “lifelong recyclist” from being a kid playing with used boxes to being a UPian who bought used books and to being a graduate student in Switzerland who bought the previous tenants’ belongings.


I am a proud, lifelong recyclist. One man’s trash is another man’s gold. And I’m pretty good at finding mine.
I grew up in Cotabato without the benefit of malls & toy stores. Used boxes were make-believe forts. A couple of concrete blocks passed for a grill. I brought bakery scrap daily to feed a small flock of ducks in high school.

I lived on a tight allowance in UP. Used books were as good as new. I took ‘sneak peaks’ at org rummage sales to grab others’ unloved clothes.

When I took my MBA in Switzerland, I bought all of the previous tenant’s furnishings from bed to bedsheet. Would have cost me 5x more to buy brand new. Sold the whole lot to another incoming student when I graduated.”

But even when he can now afford to buy brand new things, he still buys used items to save money and to save Mother Nature as well, deeming recycling as a “heroic” act, not a demeaning one.

“Today I can afford to buy everything brand new. But we still pounce on bargains including used goods.

There is nothing wrong in finding value in used, pre-owned or second-hand items. It helps you save money. It reduces your impact on the world’s resources. It cuts pollution. It is heroic, not demeaning, to recycle.”

Ong said that he salutes Robredo’s move to use second-hand stuff for her daughter’s apartment.

“I salute VP Leni who has been bashed as a Basurera for helping her daughter settle into college in the US with second-hand stuff.

I pity the garbage-filled minds who can’t just let a Mom do what’s best for her family.”

He added that everything can be recycled except for this one thing – “the backward, feudal trapos that hinder progress with their corrupt dynasties – like the idol of these filthy minds.”

The dean of the Ateneo School of Government and environmental policy expert, Antonio La Viña, also said his piece on using “old stuff” to furnish a student apartment, describing it as a “time honored tradition” and “the cheapest way possible.”

“Aika Robredo is doing the time honored tradition of furnishing her place in Cambridge the cheapest way possible. Vanessa Remoquillo reminded me of how Titay and I also furnished our student apartment in New Haven, Connecticut when I was studying in Yale. Some of the stuff were so good we even brought them home hahaha.”

And just like Ong, even when he started working and can afford to purchase new things, he still “continued to scavenge for old stuff.”

“And old habits die hard so in Takoma Park where we lived when I worked in Washington DC, we continued to scavenge for old stuff even if were able to afford to buy things already. Given the kind of people who lived in Takoma, they were good stuff!”


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