Late U.S. president George H.W Bush sponsored Filipino child for years

December 19, 2018 - 6:49 PM
George H.W Bush Interaksyon
Former US President George H.W. Bush arrives on the field to do the coin toss ahead of the start of Super Bowl LI between the New England Patriots and the Atlanta Falcons in Houston on February 5, 2017. (Reuters/file photo)

A nonprofit organization in the United States has revealed that the late former U.S president George H.W Bush sponsored a Filipino child for several years before he passed away.

CNN on Wednesday in the Philippines reported that Through Compassion International, a group that works with churches to help children in poor communities, revealed a series of letters between a child in the Philippines known only as ‘Timothy’ and the late former U.S president.

A spokesperson from Bush’s office confirmed to CNN that the handwriting belonged to the late leader after the Bush family was unavailable for comment.

According to the group, Bush became interested in participating in their advocacy while attending a Christmas concert in 2001. He reportedly raised his hand when the performers asked audience members if any of them were interested in the group’s program.

Bush’s correspondence began in January 24, 2002, when he first wrote Timothy asking to be the child’s friend.

“Dear Timothy, I want to be your new pen pal. I am an old man, 77 years old, but I love kids; and though we have not met I love you already,” he wrote in his first letter. He used the pseudonym ‘G. Walker.’

Bush’s security team hid the identities of both parties due to the late leader’s station as a former president and father of an incumbent one, George W. Bush.

The president sent gifts and supported the child’s needs, including food and education. The news was warmly received around the world.

According to the group, they last were able to contact Timothy when he was 17-years-old. No one has come forward to claim Timothy’s identity as of this writing.

Bush Sr. and the Philippines

A former soldier in the U.S Navy, Bush first served as the vice-president of the late Ronald Reagan and later served as president from 1989 to 1993. It was during his presidency that the Gulf War broke out.

He passed away on November 30, 2018 at the age of 94, after suffering from several illnesses over the years.

Ambassador to the U.S Jose Romualdez said in a column after Bush’s death that the late leader had a “soft spot” for the Philippines.

He narrated how Bush had a warm relationship with his Filipino nurse later in his old age and appointed Filipino-American doctor Connie Mariano to the White House Medical Unit.

Bush was a Navy aviator during World War II who fought in American combat operations in the Philippines.

He visited the Philippines when he was still Reagan’s vice-president, and was noted for wearing the barong, the Philippines’ traditional garment for men.