By Genalyn Kabiling
He enjoys a cold Christmas, prefers suman over puto bumbong, gives money as Christmas aguinaldo, and wants a motorcycle for a holiday gift.
These are some amusing personal tidbits shared by President Duterte at the onset of the Christmas season.
The President recently appeared on GMA’s morning program “Unang Hirit” for its 20th anniversary celebration and gamely answered the rapid-fire questions fielded by hosts Arnold Clavio and Susan Enriquez.
Asked about his Christmas wish, the President said: “Wala na actually. I’ll tell you something. Hindi ako nagdadasal para sa sarili ko, para sa bayan ko [Nothing actually. I’ll tell you something. I don’t pray for myself but for my nation].”
“Kung ano lang ibigay ninyo, ibigay ninyo. Puwede sana motor [You can give whatever you want. Maybe a motorcycle],” Duterte, a motorcycle enthusiast, said during the interview aired Tuesday.
The President, who recently had a bad motorcycle fall, admitted that he would rather die than stop riding a motorcycle.
“Hindi ako maghihinto. Dahil pag maghihinto ako, mabuti na lang mamatay ako. Wala na eh. Kung wala na rin kaligayahan buhay mo, wala ka na magawa. mabuti mamamatay ka [I will not stop. If I stop, I’d rather be dead. If you don’t have happiness in your life, you don’t have anything to do, it’s better to die],” he said.
Asked if he prefers “Paskong mainit o malamig [warm or cold Christmas],” Duterte said he enjoys the latter. He would also dedicate the song “All I Want for Christmas Is You” to his two wives.
Duterte also admitted that he lost count of the total number of his “inaanak” or godchildren and prefers to give money to Christmas well-wishers. “Pera-pera na lang kasi alam mo marami [It’s money because they are so many],” he said.
This Christmas, Duterte would rather eat suman than puto bumbong and bibingka. He neither likes ham nor queso de bola.
If he were Santa Claus, Duterte said he would give the first gift to the poor.
Duterte also mentioned his family life during the television interview, admitting he hardly spends time with them.
“Medyo may pagkukulang ako even sa mga apo because I really don’t have time… I have 13 (grandchildren) now,” he said.
Asked which sport he will join in the Southeast Asian Games, Duterte prefers to participate in the shooting competition.
When asked about a possible facelift, Duterte refused to change his looks. “Wala akong pang-gastos. Pupunta ka pa ng Korea. ‘Yung original ko na lang [I don’t have money for that. I’d have to go to Korea. I’d rather keep the original],” he said.