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Mayor Francisco “Isko Moreno” Domagoso
(born October 24, 1974) – popularly known as “Isko Moreno” and colloquially as Yorme Isko – has served as the 27th Mayor of Manila since 1 July 2019.
His elevation to Manila’s mayoralty occurred via a historic election: defeating an incumbent Mayor – a former Philippine President – on broad hopes of generational and transformative change for the 449 year old Philippine capital city.
Prior to becoming mayor, Mayor Domagoso was Manila’s vice mayor from 2007 – 2016 and served in Manila’s City Council representing the ancient, densely populated, and economically challenged urban district of Tondo. He was first elected to The Manila City Council in 1998.
Francisco Moreno Domagoso is the only child of Joaquin Domagoso, from Tondo, Manila, and Rosario Moreno, from Allen, Northern Samar.
His father was a stevedore who worked at Manila’s North Harbor, also in Tondo. Moreno’s mother managed to keep a loving household for the precocious Domagoso.
As a child, the young Domagoso learned the ways of Tondo’s hardscrabble streets and contributed to the family’s tight budget. He became a young entrepreneur, pushing a streetcart going house-to-house to collect newspapers, glass bottles, and other recyclables, which he would resell to a junk dealer. He also salvaged in restaurant garbage bins for leftovers which were repurposed by his practical mother into the family dinner.
In 1993, the fair-skinned Domagoso caught the attention of Filipino talent scout Wowie Roxas who was attending a funeral in Tondo. Persuaded to enter Philippine show business and under a new screen name, “Isko Moreno” soon emerged a popular host of then daily entertainment variety show, “That’s Entertainment”, produced by the late German Moreno, a pillar of the local entertainment industry.
However, Domagoso’s newfound affluence and public popularity could never take him far from his roots in Tondo.
He ran for and won a City Council seat in 1998, representing Manila’s first district, and was reelected in 2001 and 2004. In 2007, he won his first term as Manila’s vice mayor.
To ensure he could craft and deliver the right policies to his constituents, Domagoso undertook courses in Local Legislation and Finance at University of the Philippines. He studied Public Administration in Pamantasan ng Lungsod ng Maynila (University of the City of Manila) and Law at Arellano University. Domagoso undertook further education modules at Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government and at the said Busines School at Oxford.
In 2013, in a controversial election, former Philippine President Joseph Estrada was elected 26th Mayor of Manila. In 2016, Domagoso ran for The Philippine Senate – all 24 Philippine senators are elected nationally, 12 every 3 year election cycle – and narrowly missed his opportunity to sit in the legislative upper house. In 2017, Domagoso was appointed Chairman of the Board of then North Luzon Railways Corporation. In 2018, he was appointed Undersecretary For Luzon Affairs in the Department of Social Welfare.
However, Domagoso’s heart has never strayed from Manila’s dynamic, colourful streets and in 2019 he ran for City Mayor, achieving an outstanding electoral victory. For the people of Manila, one of their very own – a “ Batang Manila ” – had finally become their leader.
Background Photo Credit: Esquire Philippines
He is married to Diana Lynn Ditan. They have five children: Vincent Patrick, Frances Diane, Joaquín André, Franco Dylan, and Drake Marcus.