Saw the president today.
And this is what he said to me. (and I have witnesses :D) : “You write so well.” WAAAAHHHHHH. KILIG!!! (Wow so he knows I call him ‘Digongmylabs’? :D:D :D)
And I, in turn, couldn’t stop smiling like a fool. And told him what is true to me and a whole lot of us, “Thank you for caring for us the way you do.” And he smiled a really heartwarming smile.
And he asked if I had eaten because he still had somewhere to go but “Come to Malacañang soon.” He talks to you the way real people talk. Not stilted, no affectations. Nothing forced. Nothing faked. Pinoy na Pinoy: “Kumain ka na ba? May lakad pa kasi ako. Bisita ka naman sa bahay.” Dba parang ganon lang ang usapan namin? Haha..
I was my father’s stand in date for a lot of his official functions when he held numerous government positions as I was growing up. And I got to meet all of our presidents—from Marcos down to Rodrigo Duterte.
And the one thing that strikes me the most about Pres. Duterte is how utterly real and sincere and soft spoken and warm and genuine he is. And most of all, so simple.
(And yes, add to all that, a most complex man. Full of layers. And highly nuanced.)
I think he is the real deal.
The event I attended was the Retirement and Turnover Ceremony of the AFP Chief of Staff Bong Visaya. And when the Presidential convoy arrived, there were no Range Rovers, no Mercedes Benzes—none of the usual elite fleet.
And what should the president come out of but a Toyota (Fortuner, I think). Level kami ng sasakyan. Haha..man oh man. I never thought I’d see the day when a Philippine president would be this simple.
Today was a good day for me. I got to be up close and personal with the President—a highly vilified man (vilified by elitists mostly, that’s what) and yet, too, one of the most beloved presidents this country has ever had. And I got to give him OUR message of gratitude and support.
In the end, history will be the final judge of this man. I pray he turns out to be the transformational leader we all want so badly for him to be.
PS Nga naman ang buhay diba? You get a chance to have your photo taken with the President and THIS happens.. 😀
This was taken by my husband’s PMA classmate Gen. Louie Dagoy who is the President’s Senior Military Adviser. Galit ata saken si Louie. :D. Nabigla ata sha when I said, “Louie, take my photo naman with the President.” Sabay swak ng phone ko sa kanya.
Sabi nya siguro –“Ah ganon ha, inuutus-utusan mo ako, general na ako. Mahati nga mukha mo.” 😀 Thanks Louie, see you in Malacañang. Hardyharhar