Orange Magazine TV, October cover feature: Gringo Honasan… Up-close and Very Personal


Twenty-five years ago, the name GRINGO was a household name. In the frenzy of the first EDSA People Power Revolution. Gregorio Ballesteros Honasan II was the poster boy of the Reform the Armed Forces Movement and an important cog in its military component. It also helped his popularity that the young colonel had strapping good looks, was usually in military uniform and often seen skydiving with a snake.

Gringo Honasan - coup attempt
Fast forward to 2011, the former military rebel is now a senator on his third term. The good looks that sent many a lady swooning in the 80’s are still there but they now exude a mellower, more laid-back aura. Senator Honasan came to the interview in a light blue polo and slacks, hair no longer black and long but in a short salt-and-pepper cut. The characteristic disarming smile was still very evident and so was the firm, very firm, handshake. The once young 38-year old feisty colonel who was to lead 30 men on a commando attack against a 2000-strong Presidential Security Group, was now an amiable soft-spoken legislator who reminds us that he is a senior citizen.

From the initial small talk over lunch before the interview proper, Senator Honasan recounts how, when then Minister Juan Ponce Enrile grabbed him by his shirt and presented the “young reform-minded officers” to the media, he lost his anonymity.

“I often wish I never lost my anonymity. That is one of the tragedies of my life. I want to bring my family as often as I want to go malling, watch movies, browse books but because I am a public figure, I just cannot do these things anymore,”

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