BREAKING BARRIERS WITH TIKTOK
MEGA Man|July 2021
The man behind #HatolNiRoman imparts his insights on going viral on TikTok, the Philippine legal system, and being better citizens
JERONNE DE VILLA

Attorney Tony Roman III is not a fan of those who break the law, but he is a fan of breaking society’s unnecessary systemic barriers—especially those that, at best, cause gross misinformation and, at worst, allow divisive ideologies to thrive. Here are a few of the quintessential views we mustered from our sitdown chat with the mild-mannered attorney from Bataan; as well as the hows and whys behind his ongoing pursuit of providing poignant legal advice to anyone and everyone who needs it.

ROOTS OF SERVICE

While familial reputation certainly does not exist as a necessity in order to be of assistance to others, the lineage of the attorney can be traced to an entire clan of esteemed public servants. Both his parents, the late Antonino Roman Jr. and Herminia Roman, served as the Representatives of the First District of Bataan in the Philippine House of Representatives for almost two decades; an office that the attorney’s sister, Representative Geraldine Roman, now holds on the back of a historic win in the 2016 general elections. Despite such a decorated pedigree, Attorney Tony Roman III initially set his sails towards the United States, where he was able to secure a license to practice law from the New York bar. In this, Attorney Roman was able to provide a life of comfort for him and his family. In a sudden epiphany, this would all change when Attorney Roman decided to take his career back to the Philippines in 2019.

It is no secret that most Filipinos have an innate yearning for a better life abroad. For most, this will wistfully devolve into a far-away pipe dream where distance and reality just cannot permit its occurrence. There are also those like Attorney Roman, who have the means to conceive a life abroad into existence. In any case, I find no doubt that either of these two sets of Filipinos would leave no hesitation in asking him the question: “What made you let go of the ideal Filipino dream?” Luckily enough, Attorney Roman—with a penchant for preparation brought by the neurotic nature of his profession—had a good story to tell in clarifying this nationwide curiosity.

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