Joe America: Lunch with President Aquino


A small balcony, huge of history

What are the qualities of President Benigno Simeon Cojuangco Aquino III that are generally not recognized in a popular press busy leveraging conflict to sell papers or build audience?

Here’s the President I met last Friday: A hard, calculating, impeccibly reasonable man. Holding a fierce loyalty to friends or those who help. Resigned to accept that criticism is a part of the job. He is the gracious diplomat who represents the Philippines with integrity even as others look down on the nation or her people. A well-read man with deep perspectives and rich humor. A smoker who pays the price. A private man forced into public prominence. A fallibile man. A kind man, or unkind, depending on which side of right and wrong you find yourself. A powerful man. A principled man. An historic man.

President Aquino asked me and my family to join him for lunch on June 24, 2016. Originally, it was planned as an interview, but he wanted to make it more personal. So it was changed to a family affair, a conversation rather than an interview, a thank you rather than one more rummage though the incidents of his term in office. Along with the President, me, my wife and Junior America were Finance Secretary Cesar Purisima and his wife Carazon, and both Manolo Quezon III and Abigail Valte from the President’s communications group. (Secretary Purisma had received the distinguished Order of Lakandula award from President Aquino earlier in the day.) Edwin Lacierda had also hosted us in the morning, picking us up at the hotel and giving us insights into Manila and government during the drive to the Palace.

The Palace.

imageWhat a strange place, historical and rich but suffocating and intimidating, the windowless rooms heavy with wood-planked walls, the halls and rooms adorned with pictures and paintings of the history of the Philippines, told through the memories we dredge up of people who were powerful in their time. What kind of dictator is it who has the paintings of past presidents folded back around the edges so that they are smaller than his? Who has his desk elevated so all who approach are subservient? Who has large fans behind him in the public room to blow the germs of the guests away from him?

I took a picture of the balcony from which President Marcos railed before his supporters, near the end. It is so small and simple in real life now, but was so large and angry in real life then. Manolo Quezon led us along the path the Marcoses traveled as they left the Palace for the last time, to a waiting helicopter.

The Palace itself is a patchwork construction of different presidents, building up and out from a modest beginning. President Marcos added the most and he for sure had little appreciation of gardens or skies.

No wonder that President Aquino decided to reside at Bahay Pangarap across the river where there is light and no oppressive shadows from ghosts in the woodwork.

By the way, did you know that President Aquino, who has been the nation’s arch-diplomat, traveling here and there around the globe to build alliances and secure investments for the Philippines, dislikes traveling? Now you know.

But he did what he had to do, and he related a little story that serves as a nice statement of how the Philippines has grown during his term.

This is my adaption of the tale, as I did not record our conversations. But you will get the drift, I’m sure. The President’s little story:

Six years ago, when we would go to conferences, they would announce the arrivals. Malaysia would arrive and people would rise to welcome the delegates. “Malaysia! Good to have you here, good to see you!”

Singapore would arrive and people would rise to welcome the delegates. “Singapore! Thanks for coming! Great to have you here!”

The Philippines would arrive and people would look up. “Philippines? What are you doing here?”

Five years later it was different. The Philippines was welcomed enthusiastically. Other diplomats would ask, “My, you are growing well. How do you do it?”

In the back of my mind, I would say “Do you think I’m going to give you our secrets?”

But to them I would say “We just copied you!”

And so we laughed.

The progress of the Philippines is only deniable to those with special needs, the political, mainly. Or the bitter. Or the paid destructionists. As Secretary Purisima put it, they had arrived in 2010 to find a patient on life support, and they made him well. It would have been impossible to do in 2010 what can be done today.

Secretary Purisima:

Do you know why we get high evaluations from international observers? Because they look at the facts.

Isn’t in peculiar that the Philippine press failed to get those facts across to citizens of the Philippines? Rather, it buried them under mountains of concocted drama.

What else changed during the six years? President Aquino:

We grew in confidence.

The people who led the nation these past six years also grew proud of what they were getting done. There is a small edge about the press, but there is also awareness of the difficulty they had. Secretary Purisma:

We talked intangibles. The people were dealing with tangibles.

We talked briefly about the incoming administration, but that was not really a main topic of discussion. The general attitude, I suppose, reflects the same reservations others express, but with the understanding that what happens in the future, good or bad, is up to the incoming administration. The new administration is being presented with a nation on the rise economically and a government that is earnest, capable and productive. That’s all the outgoing executives can do. On July 1, they are out of the picture.

It is encouraging that staffs of crucial agencies like Finance and Foreign Affairs are working directly with incoming people to brief them on policies and progress. The new government will hit the ground running. Secretary Purisima explained that the new people are already being granted decision-making authority in some aspects of operations.

Little known point of interest. Mayor Duterte backed President Aquino in 2010, and the Mayor would extend the courtesy of personally greeting the President when he visited Davao. Does that form any kind of loyalty in either direction? I don’t know.

Another point of interest. When the president arrives anywhere, the place comes alive with attention. A part of it is security. A part is respect. A part is power. He is the center of the nation, in it’s human quality. It is undeniable that he is history on the move.

Why did the President choose to honor my family? Because my writing, and others writings for the blog, have consistently centered on what is best for the Philippines. We supported the Aquino administration because their work has been good for the Philippines, their efforts honest and earnest. We were not fair weather loyalists. We criticized from time to time, and we allowed critics their voice, but a bad incident did not turn us away. We had no axes to grind. No politics to play or agendas to push. No money to make.

President Aquino appreciated it, that when his job was especially difficult, we remained objective and for the well-being of the Philippines . . .

. . . come hell or high water . . .

So was he.

Thank you, Mr. President.


213 Responses to “Joe America: Lunch with President Aquino”
  1. Gener Geneta says:

    Goodbye Mr. President, you’ve been the best. Thank you!

  2. Onin says:

    It’s Bahay Pangarap not Buhay Pangalan 🙂

  3. Wilfredo G. Villanueva says:

    Thank you, President Aquino! I prayed for you every day of your term, and God heard my prayers for your success. I pray for President-Elect Duterte now, and I hope God will hear my prayers for the country’s good. It’ll be a different country without you as head. But we will soldier on, don’t worry about us. Thank you again. You deserved every peso and privilege we paid and honored you with for your efforts. No ifs, no buts about it. Enjoy the rest of your life. I hope we won’t have to pull you out of your retirement.

  4. edgar lores says:

    1. What an honor — to you, personally and primarily, and to the Society, secondarily.

    2. The assessment of President Aquino, of the man and his administration, is a work of the future. The Society has made contemporaneous assessments that have been largely — and almost singularly — against the current of other news and social media.

    3. The tidbits about the idiosyncracies of past and present presidents are revealing of character.

    4. I am glad the transition to the next administration is being given proper attention and weight. The orderly transition of power… and the orderly use of power are the hallmarks of democracy. May these be meticulously observed — ever and always.

    5. Hooray for democracy! .

    • Joe America says:

      A LOT of people there follow the blog. Sec. Purisima’s wife loved chempo’s Bangladesh heist article. She works in the financial/investment arena.

    • LG says:

      Amen Edgar, to all 5.

      And for PNoy as well; he got to break bread and sip wine with the anonymous supporter on his real name and face.

      Joe, without necessarily knowing, you must have gone through an FBI-like thing, first, to make the airport pick up au naturelle.

      Sort of teasing, but definitely curious.

    • I agree, edgar.

      I’m glad chempo’s Bangladeshi heist article got some traction within the Pnoy administration, and I hope josephivo’s got some mileage as well.

      I ‘m sure PNoy got a little chuckle out of this exchange:

      I hope Pres. Aquino will continue his service to the Philippines, and focus his efforts in education.

      I honestly don’t think Roxas should run again, third time reeks of desperation, so maybe join Aquino instead and just help push Bam Aquino’s programs—- more TESDA Level II certifications, combined with Negosyo Centers. I think this 1-2 punch will help realize josephivo’s vision for the Philippines… departure from slave thinking, and into the role of masters (first time masters for those w/out name and land).

      Everyone here knows that aside from education, I’m really big on the environment. So I’m very impressed with DU30’s pick for DENR, whether or not it’s to appease ABS (Ms. Korina’s still with ABS, no? ), or an actual belief in Ms. Lopez’s vision for the Philippines… it’s a start. 🙂

      Like I said time and again here, the Israeli’s know their country like the back of their hand, every terrain and history associated with each contour of the land. If the Filipinos knew their country as intimately, you’ll have less exploitation of resources.

      Geography, develop a heightened sense of the environment by actually participating through hiking and camping, by being in it.

      So along with TESDA Level II certifications (basically DU30’s no advance math directive is in essence about making this Algebra/Trig/Calculus a lot more practical for everyday use) and Negosyo Centers (business/innovation/entrepreneurship not just small neighborhood convenient stores )… once you combine both to Geography, knowledge of country and environment, you’ll have all the ingredients needed to get josephivo’s New Thinkers for the Philippines.

      Roxas & Pnoy helping Bam Aquino set-up for the Presidency, post-Robredo presidency, can only be realized if they re-brand Bam… so send Bam out with PNP’s SAF, Scout Rangers, etc. let Bam spend months with Aetas in the mountains and Badjao’s in the seas. He has 12 years to re-invent himself.

      His current pudgy, sheltered, safe, computer-geek image, won’t cut it.

      Bam Aquino needs to invite Bear Grylls and they should do shows together across the Philippine archipelago—- hell, maybe even infiltrate one of the less guarded Chinese islands in the South China Sea, or surreptitiously board one of them Chinese civilian fishing boats the PLNavy encourages to ply inside Philippine seas.

      Basically, we know what the Filipinos want, they like their Presidents to be action heroes, DU30 may have cultivated an image as one , but if Bam Aquino actually becomes King Abdullah II of Jordan, Filipinos will gladly change the constitution extending Bam’s presidency to 12 yrs.

      Contact your DFA reps in Jordan and have Bam Aquino spend sometime in Jordan to learn how to be a bad-ass (a real one, not pretend) under the King’s tutelage.

      • This Hashemite connection will also help in giving Bam actual street cred with Moros in the Philippines, he won’t have to pander with how his grandma is Muslim bs 😉 .

  5. arlene says:

    You were lucky to have met him personally. It’s sad to see him leave in a few days. Praying for a better Philippines in the next six years.

  6. Wilfredo G. Villanueva says:

    And congratulations, Joe America, Wife America and Junior America! What an honor! Have to walk humbly, knowing that President Aquino appreciates Joe and the other writers in The Society of Honor.

  7. Sup says:

    I hope he will enjoy his time after stepping down next week and will relax playing his favorite songs in his music room…But i would not be surprised that he would assist the nation whenever there would be an request………..Thanks JoeAm for the write up, highly appreciated.

    • Joe America says:

      Thanks, sup. You have him pegged correctly, I think.

      • Sup says:

        MANILA, Philippines – “Kris TV” hosts Kris Aquino and Sen. Francis “Chiz” Escudero revealed a different side of President Benigno Aquino III on the morning talk show’s Friday episode.

        Kris, the President’s youngest sister, called him an “audiophile,” or a person who has a strong interest in stereo or high-fidelity sound reproduction. She said that at one point, her brother even made fun of her audio system at home.

        “Nilait niya ‘yung home system ko. Sabi niya, ‘you just chose it because they’re tiny’ and parang ‘it’s your architect who chose it. Pero kung papakinggan mo, wala ‘yan,’” she said.

        “He even has intelligent lights na sumasabay sa music. He’s an audiophile,” she added.

        Escudero, who has been friends with Aquino since they ran for Congress in 1998, said he and the President share a lot of interests such as cars and guns.

        But he admitted that Aquino’s passion for music and sound is too much for him. “May panahong techno siya. Hindi ko ma-gets ‘yon,” he said, laughing.

        Re: President Noy’s an Audiophile!

        Postby JackD201 » Sat Jul 03, 2010 4:35 pm
        Noy is a long time audiophile. He has VSA VR-3.5s in Tarlac and VSA VR-4 Gen IIIs formerly owned by myself and Attorney Chris at times street. He uses Krell amplification and a Rega Saturn CDP. He also uses Shunyata Hydra power conditioning. In the 9 years we’ve been friends, Noy is really a simple and down to earth guy. He almost never buys new. He’s got a very eclectic CD collection but seems not to be interested in going Vinyl. I’ve been trying to get him to resurrect Ninoy’s R2R machine but I guess he’s now definitely too busy.

        I may help him relocate his Times St. system to Malacanan Palace in the near future.

        Noy’s brother in law is vintage master Dodo, a good friend of VD.

  8. Liza says:

    Thank you Pres Pnoy! And thanks Joe! 💛💛💛

  9. Bert says:

    Farewell Mr. President Noynoy. We stood by you for so long and never regretted it.
    Hindi mo kami pinahiya sa aming lubos na pagtitiwala at paniniwala sa binitawan mong mga pangako at salita noong 2010 presidential campaign. This is not the end of our story. We hope to continue hearing from you what ever you may be doing after this transition period. Kailangan pa tayo ng ating mahal na Bansang Pilipinas at ang mamamayang Pilipino ay umaasa sa pagpapatuloy ng inyong magagandang nasimulan. Si Joe at kaming lahat na kanyang mga alipores dito sa Society of Honor ay naghahangad ng iyong patuloy na tagumpay sa anumang hakbangin na iyong tatahakin mula sa ngayon at sa mga darating pang mga araw.

    All the best for you, Mr. President Noynoy. From all of us here.

  10. bauwow says:

    …come hell or high water! Congratulations Manong Joe and to your family! You deserve to have that lunch with the President, in Malacañan!
    The mere fact that the incoming administration will just continue the economic policies of President Aqulno, somehow proves that they respect the gains that the country made in the last 6 years.

    Am just worried about being a “smoker who pays the price”. Is he sick or does he have any lingering illness?

  11. pelang says:

    what an honor! inggit ang marami sa atin but not bitter, just happy for you! goodbye mr. President. thanks for all the good works. same goes to all his staff. the President’s success is theirs too. Now that he has time, i hope he finds someone worthy of him.

    • stpaul says:

      Thank you President Noy, thank you Sir Joeam. We are brothers and sisters here in the Society, ready to defend our motherland if the need arises. Keep wielding your mighty pen Sir Joe and we will share and plant the seed of nationalism to those who are willing to listen and have an open mind.

  12. uht says:

    Great honor to have seen him personally, Sir Joe. I would have been honored to meet him, too.

    Back in the early days of PNoy his dislike of traveling was rather obvious; he used to send Binay in his stead, a move i perceived then as good since it gave the VP many important responsibilities. On another note, I remember that in a newspaper piece some time back he said he would like to go watch movies with his PSG when his term is over.

    I wish Noynoy a good post-President life. Surely he is not perfect, and he is not very flashy, but he has done the very best he could, given what we had in 2010, and he has honored his parents’ legacy this way. He has done well—his personl pursuits after this are greatly deserved.

    May God bless him, and his life after serving his bosses!

  13. bill in oz says:

    I find Aquino’s story about nations being welcomed at conferences funny & interesting..And I am sure that we & he can draw some amusement from the fact that now it is Malaysia which is on the nose..How long can the PM there survive when the whole world ( including the Malaysian people ) know he is corrupt and major, major thief….to the tune of over a billion US..

    I have Malay friends there who are besides themselves with anger, shame & embarresment

    • uht says:

      I had a Malay friend who talked about the PM once—apparently even fire trucks need the PM’s signature to put out a fire.

      It reminds me of Primitivo Mijares’ accounts of the Marcos days when the governors would only spend on aesthetics like parks because anything more serious than that needed to get approved in Manila first……

  14. josephivo says:

    WOW, what a honor for you, can we call you now Sir Joeam?

    To change a culture it takes minimum 6 month per layer in the organization. That is in private organizations, my little experience in the government it is 10 times more difficult, so many limitations, political and others. But I saw noticeable difference in the few dealings I have with officials. A critical mass reached ad many locations I guess.

    A pity that the expectations grew higher than the huge improvements. And that people accept the new normal so fast (wider roads, quality surfaces, use of ream and new machinery…) so they can complain of less important things.

    Managing, getting things done through other people, Pnoy was a great manager.

  15. karlgarcia says:

    What can I say that has not been said. Thank you President Aquino.
    I am very proud of you Joe and of course you should be proud of your self.
    Hail to the Chief!

  16. Donna says:

    Farewell our Beloved President! Keep your head up high because you did your best for the country and for our countrymen. Ninoy and Cory must be smiling up there. Proud of their only son.God bless your future endeavors! We will miss you.

  17. Paul L Manalo says:

    Very insightful! A briliant tribute to the man we much of what we have become today: a proud Filipino.

  18. Rae_E says:

    Thank you PNoy, indeed! God bless and keep you in your new life as citizen Noy. Congratulations Joe & family for the well-deserved honor! Your constructive blog & bloggers are a panacea to a crab-minded society.

  19. He is an evolved man. Thats a very much a human thing for THE President to do. I would have invited you too. Keep it going Joe. and family behind you.

    • Joe America says:

      Aw, made my day, Menchie. “Evolved man”. So true. Too complex to be understood by many, I think

    • LG says:

      He is a 360 degree person. He lives the legacies of his parents, both awesome and burdensome. I’d say he does them proud. History is to tell us his own. Before then, I already like what I see and saw.

  20. Sal E. says:

    Congratulations JoeAm on a well-deserved recognition from no less than Pres Aquino himself before he retires from a tough but positive term in office. Thank you for sharing this very special and personal story. A humble blogger meets a humble President – priceless! I guess we can bury the rumors now that JoeAm is a nom de guerre of a pinoy political ghost writer . More power to you from a FilAm fan… cheers!

    • Joe America says:

      Thanks, Sal. Yep, no ghost writers. MLQ3 gets teased a lot about it. Haha.

      My wife’s comment afterwards was that “these are all nice people.” Yep.

      Thanks for the good wishes. Best to you, too.

  21. cha says:

    Loved it. Loved it. Love it.

    Loved how you wrote up this encounter with the outgoing President. Loved the President’s stories, the walk-through of the day and those other little details shared, it’s the closest we all can feel to being there ourselves, exchanging pleasantries with a man many of us have come to respect and admire. Thank you.

    Loved how PNoy invited your whole family along. What a wonderful idea to honor as well the Filipina who captured the heart of this American who we all have come to accept as one of us pinoy “fools”. And what a wonderful memory for your little Filipino-American to one day dredge up for his own son or daughter and grandchildren – that once upon a time when he was young he got a seat at a table with the President of the country where he grew up in.

    And finally, I just love how this piece bookends the past 6 years in the history of this blog, it’s the perfect closing statement to a chapter that introduced so many interesting characters and personalities in this Society’s story, many of them as inspiring and layered as the stories and issues they chose to write about. How fitting is it that we close this chapter with this more intimate portrait of the object of many of our sometimes heated, sometimes lighthearted, and almost always impassioned commentary.

    (That I have been around from the blog’s early days is of course my own story that every now and then I bring up to the amusement of my own not-so-young-anymore son and daughter. So of course I’ll just have to wait till the grandchildren come for a more captive audience. Haha.)

    Congratulations Joeam and the great Society of Honor. Here’s to another 6 years of opening minds and hearts of a growing citizenry and nation!

  22. Tambay says:

    I’m so honoured and happy even if I’m just a follower of your blog Joe. This lunch invite is a big proof of how down to earth and appreciative our president is. Thank you for sharing your personal experience with our beloved and highly respected President. You make us all proud Joe!

    • Joe America says:

      Yes indeed, our Mr. President is a regular guy, but you should see the high level of respect people give him. Even Sec. Purisima calls him Sir. Tremendous dignity all about him.

  23. Morevel Magallanes says:

    Thank you, Mr.President.
    You elevated the Philippines again to the world arena.You have given back the dignity that our great country lost during the Marcos era.You have achieved what the past 4 administrations prior to yours failed to achieve.As much as I want to be optimistic though, it seems that what you and your people has worked so hard for will just be in vain with how things are going now.I hope I am wrong.

    Thank you Joe Am for your unprecedented brilliant insight about our country.

  24. andrewlim8 says:

    Made my day, no, my entire year. The Society and its members hold their heads high for its modest contribution.

    So much was done, so much was achieved, with some failures and inadequacies, but overall it was a great six years.

    Two things that stand out for me in this presidency:

    In everything that was undertaken, there was “malice toward none”. And he did not ask us to sacrifice our humanity in exchange for progress.

    • Marie says:

      andrewlim8…Your last two sentences speak clearly of the heart and soul behind President Aquino’s leadership style. Sadly we have entered a new normal, where bullying is not limited to social media, but has begun to permeate practically all aspects of life. Words we taught our children not to say, things we instructed them not to do… our attempts to raise them with good manners and right conduct… now seem to be part of counterculture, no longer the norm (today there seems to be malice towards all who do not agree or conform). We are the ones now trying to go against the flow of humanity being sacrificed for the sake of progress.

  25. NHerrera says:

    Mr. President:

    I am sure you will read this blog of Joe. I seem to have no words to add to what have already been said, but please allow me to repeat and add some. You and your staff who stuck by you deserve the thanks of a country for making a great difference. Take a well deserve rest, perhaps a travel to some foreign countries, bringing along your digital music and books listening and reading them in between enjoying the sights and perspective that such travel brings. Of course you have travelled a lot on official business, but travel now as a private Filipino citizen. May be on your travel or on your return you may find that lady love?

    We do not want to squeeze you dry after spending 6 energy and emotionally draining years in the service of the country. But with your experience and the added perspective of a private Filipino may we again avail of that wisdom sometime in the future and we pray the Incoming President Duterte at least listens.

    Joe America:

    Thanks for the narrative on that lunch with the President. I am glad wife and son were with you during that meeting with the President. Perhaps you can share with us what the wife and Junior said of that event. May be you can fortify the lesson this brings to Junior. That great men are great not because they do not have faults but they are great because of a great combination of character and burst of energy and wisdom they show when some singular moment or period comes. That moment for President Aquino was the period 2010-2016. And I believe there will be still an Addendum that he will yet share in the future. Along with this I join Wilfredo and many here at The Society in hoping and praying that PE Duterte will also have his great period 2016-2022.

  26. cwl says:

    Mr. President, some are too unjust not to see you in proper light. Thanks to the free-wheeling press, political enemies and the public who failed to discern what you did for the country the last six years.
    But the great majority will hold you in political pedestal, that is for sure.
    Thank You, Mr. President for a job well done.
    Thank You, Mr. Joe America.
    If only half of government officials were as dedicated as President Aquino and half of citizens
    were as open minded and critical as Mr. Joe America, imagine what kind of Philippines we will have.
    Again, Thank You Mr. President and to Mr. Joe America, I salute.

  27. raymond escalante says:

    Thanks joe for this article. President Aquino is always misinterpreted and misquoted, but he never raised a finger against journalists and netizens. He just shrugged it off and humbly said “i cannot please all of them and i always welcome criticisms” thank you President Noynoy Aquino

    • True… but isn’t such an attitude considered “bakla” in street Filipino culture which many have?

      I am a bit cynical in the past few days… but in that dysfunctional version of the culture it is seen as “strength” to tell the press to shut up… it took an election to show how that still dominates.

    • Joe America says:

      well put. Listeners of the world unite!

  28. Loudie Olaybal says:

    I follow and love what you write. So enlightening. Thank you, Joe America!

  29. kimberly1172 says:

    Congratulations Sir JoeAm for a well deserved dinner with the President. Goodbye and Thank you President Pnoy. It is such an honor to have you as our President. Enjoy your retirement and God bless you more.

  30. Malacañan… Joe your description of the place fits – I was there only exactly once.

    Honor student awards of Philippine Science High School, as one of the members of the “intellectual elite within an elite” – the science club with select members – I was there.

    The only time I saw Marcos in person, passing by our chairs on the way to the podium to declaim in his usual manner “the only legitimate elite is the intellectual elite” – something I guess Miriam would agree with. He was even smaller than I thought. The Palace is indeed very dark inside.

  31. chempo says:

    Well done Joe. I’m sure you must be humbled by the courtesy extended to you. Let’s be realistic, bloggers are nonentities in the scheme of things in a country. That an out-going president finds time for you in his final days in office tells a lot about the man. He appreciates the small man. I like to think that his appreciation is not purely for the support you showed his administration, but for the larger contribution in terms of the effort to spread the idea amongst Filipino readers of your blog that we can all be critical of issues without hate mongering in the interest of the well being of Philippines.

  32. Kamote Procopio says:

    By far, Pres Noy has been the best Philippine President based on his accomplishments. I hope the next administration surpasses his good achievements.

    Being invited by him was such an honor, which is quite befitting to Joe and his family.

    Thanks Noy! Thanks Joe!

  33. Thank you very much Joe America for the appreciation and good words you said about our beloved president.Thank Mr. President for all your effort and sacrifices you will always be in our heart and you will be remembered by the next generation as a good president..Im hoping that the next generation will do the same, good luck and welcome President Rody Duterte.

  34. Nelly says:

    Need i say more? Thank you PNoy, thank you Joe America! God Bless You Both! Mabuhay!!!

  35. LG says:

    Having had enough of meat this week good through the month, I looked forward to lunch on steamed young vegetable stalks and a red egg con tomatoes, but the rice ain’t ready, so I opened the blog site… my 😊.

    I ate fast so I can have the dessert already…the new post. Short and sweet, full of nutritive, non-fattening-stroke-heart attack-inducing calories (account) on an admired figure by an equally admired one.

    So this is the “travel” you alluded to this week. C-O-O-L🍾

    Mutually historic event 🇺🇸🇵🇭

    Thank you for sharing the experience, adds to my interesting Philippine and PNoy trivia.

    • Joe America says:

      Some travel, eh, LG. I had to keep quiet until I was sure it would happen. Or had happened. I’ve picked up some of my wife’s superstitions. 😉

      • LG says:

        It does not hurt, to be superstitious sometimes. After all, the invitation came from a crisis prone VIP.

        A crisis can preempt the event. You could either be rescheduled or be hosted by a proxy. What a bomber that would be.

        🇱🇷🇵🇭 were to punctuate my line, ‘Mutually historic event’. Weird.

        • LG says:

          Happened again. LRPH should appear as 🇱🇷🇵🇭.

          • LG says:

            🇺🇸 🇵🇭

            Am experimenting..I know I attached 2 flag emojis (US n Phil) in my comment. But capital letters show in the post rather than the emojis.

            If the Philipine flag now appears after the US flag above, I did it right this time…a space was put between the two flag emojis. If same capital letters appear as in preceding replies, then, error again,.

        • Joe America says:

          That’s it, exactly.

  36. edna ramos aquino says:

    so disgusted that the effort, initiatives, everything thats ought to be known/ informed to the citizenry doesn’t come to print here and outside PH. But the beloved Pres. PNOY legacy will remain forever.

    • Joe America says:

      History will be kind to President Aquino, I think.

      • Marie says:

        I sincerely hope that happens. For all the criticism thrown at him these past years, which in the spirit of democracy he acknowledged though it reflected negatively on his administration, it would be vindication to have our incoming officials listen to what other world leaders have to say when it is their turn to attend conferences overseas. To be welcomed and given respect because of what President Aquino achieved during his term would perhaps enlighten them that they focused more on hearsay rather than facts.

        • Joe America says:

          Actually, my early sense is that PE Duterte does listen well. We’ll see, for sure.

          • Marie says:

            Sir, I hope that not only PE Duterte listens well, but that his personally selected officials and millions of followers who defend him at all cost will do the same. I could give the Mayor the benefit of the doubt (at least he has Davao City as his exhibit A) in spite of all the comments he has made that has confused the people, but his Cabinet members would need to prove themselves worthy of the position to which each has been appointed. All for the love of our nation, may we not put to waste what has been accomplished these past years. I want my son’s generation to be able to move forward and see a bright hope and future.

            Thank you also sir that through this blog I have been assured that it is possible for people to voice their personal views using critical thinking rather than pure criticism and emotional outbursts. The former moves us forward, the latter brings us back to zero.

            • Joe America says:

              Superb point about critical thinking. I do think that President Elect Duterte will expect performance from his cabinet. I don’t think the secretaries will be able to get away with embarrassing him with failure.

              • Marie says:

                But you do notice, sir, that there are certain people who the PE does not want to offend, and that his standards are not necessarily absolute? Nor clear? Some he could berate easily but others might be condoned, depending on his relationship with the person concerned. I wish I had your optimism regarding his choices of officials and friends.

                Perhaps this past election season has traumatized me. I used to think of running for office as an honorable endeavor – to serve one’s country, to provide a legacy for the younger generations to emulate (too idealistic, I admit) – and that the rotten apples were a minority. This election year my excitement to cast my vote was replaced by anxiety; it was difficult to watch the circus unfold during the campaign period. Since then many citizens still cannot seem to distinguish between a “majority” and “plurality” president. That dissenting voices still have a right to be heard.

                Again, thank you sir, I will continue to follow your blog, and just like you hope for this beloved nation to continue to pursue its destiny. God bless you and your family.

              • Joe America says:

                Yes, he does coddle Bong Bong Marcos, and we can only wonder why . . . it stains his presidency from the getgo.

  37. Jes says:

    #ThankYouPNoy 👏

  38. Richard JP Cavosora says:

    Thank you, Joe, for being fair & objective in assessing PNoy and for sharing your insights on his leadership & his agenda.

  39. LePrice says:

    Thank you, Joe America, for writing it like it is, and adding a richness of rational insight during this administration. Servant leaders like the Aquinos do not advertise their greatness; they let the facts tell the story, and they need champions to exact praise. You were one of those champions. Thank you for being an advocate of good decent governance.

  40. Mayo Gayares says:

    Awesome Joe!!! A slight tinge of jealousy here but overwhelmed by patriotic proud of you and #PNoyBestPresidentEver!

  41. bauwow says:

    Want to share this link below depicting how anyoung 13 year old President Aquino was. With such a young age, he was tasked to care for his Dad’s family.

    • LG says:

      Such a tearjerker😰😰😰. Thanks for sharing.

      What an extraordinary bio Noy2 has.

      I 🙏🏼 he marries a wonderful lady to beget more of him and his father.

  42. bill in oz says:

    I have been silent on your lunch with President Aquino Joe.
    First gushing & being congratulatory is not part of Australian political culture.And as I am a newcomer I know so little first hand.

    But there are some things very important which need saying.

    Whenever I look through the comments of Rappler or the Enquirer or GRP etc following a report or article about President Aquino, I notice the hate, the spite, the Caps Lock ‘shouting’, the use of Tagalog when the article is in English, much of it foul Tagalog, and the lack of engagement with the information.- the facts…

    If this is the quality of Aquino’s critics then they are contemptible fit only to be ignored..They need to grow up.

    And this brings me to my other insight : Any normal human being copping this sort of crap for six years, would be very tempted to use his authority & power as President to dispose of these contemptible annoying critics… Certainly his predecessor the dictator, old man Marcos, did exactly that, and maybe had Aquino’s father executed as well.

    For most of us revenge and getting rid of the critics, would be a very easy choice. And it has not happened.

    That says a lot about the character of the President. I have criticised some of his decisions in this blog. But he deserves great praise for not being a revenge seeker; for copping criticism, even the foul stuff, on the chin, and getting on with the job.

    This was well done !!!

  43. Rosemarie F.Domino says:

    Who are you really ? Read somewhere you are a foreigner….But thanks for loving Phils and our President.

  44. Those of us who believe in karma knew that you and your family deserved to be feted and appreciated.

    If I have not said it lately, I appreciate you, Joe. I would not think twice about being in a foxhole with you. Thank you for your unwavering services to the two countries I love.

    Mr. President, ali mu pu yaku ing magmaragul kekayu. Marakal kami pu. Padala da pu kekayu ing karelang lugud at pasalamat keng gewa yu ken. Adyang malawut kami pu, bahagi ning pusu mi atsu ya pa murin keng kekatamung balen. Balu mi na mayap kayung tau at ali yu ginamit ing kekayung pwestu para keng sarili yung kapakanan. Dakal pung salamat keng malasakit yu keng kekatamung lahi at balen.

    “Power doesn’t have to show off. Power is confident, self-assuring, self-starting and self-stopping, self-warming and self-justifying. When you have it, you know it.” – Ralph Ellison

    • Joe America says:

      And thanks for being a long-time contributor to make the Society rich with good thinking and kindness. And to keep gender balanced. 😉

    • LG says:

      Juana Pilipinas. Proud ku keka kareng susulat mu. 🎩 to you.

      • Juana Pilipinas says:

        Dakal a salamat, LG. Just letting people know when they deserve credits for their good deeds. So many of us ignore the sacrifices and virtuous deeds of others but we are too quick on nitpicking their flaws and mistakes. I am trying to supply the positive reinforcement that all GIVERS need from time to time to re-energize them in their battles from and for the TAKERS and NO CARES.

        • LG says:

          That’s the principle to have, Juana. Some, if not a lot of our kababayaed are truly takers, no cares, nit pickers, poor charactered. Narcissistic and mercenaries. Me me me society.

    • mercedes santos says:

      Mabalen kakabsak 🏄

    • NHerrera says:

      Juana Pilipinas, LG, Mercedes santos,

      I believe those are nice Kampangpangan words you wrote because of the the profused use of Keka … / Keng. I would be glad to have a Pilipino or English version, if you have the time. Of course, nothing like the music of the sound of those words to Pnoy’s ears than the English translation.

      • Happy to oblige, N. Herrera. I can’t say No to someone like you who gives so much and asks for nothing in return.

        Yes. it is Kapampangan. Growing up, I listened to his father do his speeches in Pampango when he visited us during martial law, before he was sent to prison. I am elated that President Aquino chose Tagalog as medium for his speeches. It shows that he really wants to reach out to the masses.

        “Mr. President, ali mu pu yaku ing magmaragul kekayu. Marakal kami pu. Padala da pu kekayu ing karelang lugud at pasalamat keng gewa yu ken. Adyang malawut kami pu, bahagi ning pusu mi atsu ya pa murin keng kekatamung balen. Balu mi na mayap kayung tau at ali yu ginamit ing kekayung pwestu para keng sarili yung kapakanan. Dakal pung salamat keng malasakit yu keng kekatamung lahi at balen.”


        Mr. President , I am not the only one who is so proud of you. We are numerous. They are sending their love and their appreciation for all the good things you have done for our country. Despite our geographic distance, part of our hearts still yearn for a better Philippines. We know that you are a good person who did not use your power to enrich yourself. You have our deep gratitude for the empathic and compassionate leadership you have shown to our people and our country.

      • LG says:

        Thanks for the interest NH.

        Proud ku keka, kareng susulat mu.

        English translatio:

        I am proud of you, of what you write about..

  45. Maxie says:

    In four days, at high noon, PNoy transforms into Private Citizen Noy.

    Reading your article, Sir JoeAm, and the responses of everyone, got me teary-eyed. I am filled with mixed emotions. Foremost is a sense of pride and profound gratitude to PNoy for having steadied the helm despite the ferocious criticisms hurled at him. I am grateful for his leadership that propelled the Philippines to unprecedented economic growth. Yet I am sad to see him leave. I’m afraid to let his hand go and face an uncertain and seemingly hostile leadership.

    My heart breaks when they ridicule and call him names. So I’m happy that he will now have the privacy he hasn’t had in 6 years. Perhaps they’ll leave him alone. I wish him many carefree days where he can wear a well-loved worn-out t-shirt and puruntong and walk around his house barefooted. I wish him days when he can just do absolutely nothing but listen to his music. I wish him exciting dates with pretty and intelligent ladies, and hope that one of them becomes a loving lifetime companion. I wish him enough — enough goodwill to carry him through the rest of his days.

    Thank you, PNoy, for an unforgettable six years!

    • Joe America says:

      I asked him if he is going to buy a fast car. “Not right now” he said. He just recently bought a Ford.

      Thanks for your kind words. He has been sorely under-appreciated, I agree.

  46. Miriam B. Martinez says:

    Hi Joe! Just read this latest post of yours….am one of your many followers who loved your way of writing….no hatred…no malicious intent but giving…sharing informations….being critical in an objective manner….the reason why i followed your posts…take time to read….not becoz YAN ANG GUSTO KONG MABASA but you research and put your heart and brain with you that makes your articles worth reading (^_^)…THANKS MUCH Joe for all your nice and objective writing…will be here always waiting for your next post….God bless you and your family as well.

    I DIDN’T ROOTED PRES NOY AS PRESIDENT but he has my RESPECT and SUPPORT…when he was elected I saw in him the SINCERITY to make this country a better nation coming from ill previous gov’t…his PERSEVERANCE….DEDICATION and PROMISE to build a once belenquered country to raise again amidst criticism….insults….name calling….it hurts me reading and hearing such words but there he is HE NEVER lifted a finger to such cultprits but do what he thinks will be the best of his capability…HE STAND THERE…WEATHERED EVERY STORM that comes on his much was done…so much was achieved….with some failures too (he’s not perfect becoz nobody is perfect) now he will stepped down after serving his BOSSES for the last 6 years…go forth MR. PRESIDENT….with dignity…keep your head up high….you did your best to serve the country and your countrymen.

    THANK YOU SO MUCH PRESIDENT AQUINO….and now you can relax…enjoy good music and who knows you can now find time to look for your lady love….HATS OFF to you….GOD BLESS ALWAYS (^_^)

    • Joe America says:

      What nice words, to wake up to, Miriam. I read a Rappler story about the President’s three closest colleagues (friends) on the cabinet, Secs Almendras, Abad and Ochoa. It quoted Sec. Almendras as having said one of the disciplines that he had to learn in government was to ignore those who were irrationally critical, basically because responding would get nowhere. I think the President became highly skilled at that, as well.

  47. Nas Escobar says:

    It is a big loss to the country to see a good man go when his work is showing good results and progress gaining momentum. One term of six years is too short for a good president but too long for a bad one. Let’s all us go back to the old 4-year term with max two terms. I am sorry to see him go but also happy that he is going off with the well deserved thanks of his countrymen to which I add my own. Thanks Joe America, thanks man, you are the greatest. It is going to be a long six years coming up.

    • Joe America says:

      Yes, the six years does seem too short, for sure. It will be a different six years under President Elect Duterte, perhaps, but we can still do our thinking on behalf of the Philippines. It might even be more important, what we do here.

      • LG says:

        More prayers needed in the next six years and after.

        Criminality might stop with shoots. Does that mean the next president in 2022 continue the shooting legacy, just to continue the stops. No doubt, criminality will continue.

        Will our culture, the side, I am not proud of, transform permanently within six years n thereafter, for good?

        I can dream, can’t I with the help of the Sleeping St. Joseph?

        • Joe America says:

          I’m interested in if other readers have had execution-style killings in their towns recently. In mine (Naval, Biliran), a Dutchman was summarily executed along the main highway this past weekend, with his son beside him in the car. It appears to have been a professional motorcycle hit. The son was not harmed. There are many speculations as to why, but I don’t think drugs is among them.

          • LG says:

            OMG😰. Have not heard of such in the news.

          • karlgarcia says:

            I live in Paranaque and I heard that a business woman was killed near the city hall after a court hearing.Don’t know the details.
            Some condo raids happen too,maybe drug related.

            Close to home,cyber sex den raid types.Just a few houses from where i live.

            Guys know your neighbors,sometimes the neighborhood gossip has its purpose,I never knew what was going on,they seem like nice people.I should have talked to the neighborhood gossip.

            • Joe America says:

              There is no local news source here, and I would suspect lots of places, so gossip (chekka chekka) is the medium through which all local information flows.

              There are so many murders taking place in the PH that I think few actually make the headlines. Even now, the drug deaths are in the form of “body counts” rather than names.

            • Vicara says:

              Joe and Karl, also in Paranaque, Saturday before last the taxi driver taking me out of the village pointed to a relatively deserted spot (not near city hall, though) and said that a body, shot vigilante style, had been found there that morning. He said he had been told this earlier that day by someone connected with the barangay. But no one in the immediate vicinity seemed to know about it,,according to a contact of mine who lives nearby and asked around that same day.

              I recall the spate of vigilante killings that hit Manila during the years of coup attempts, in the late 80s. It was an unsettled time. Several bodies (some with crude tattoos, all men, and all unknown to the residents in the area) were dumped at the end of our street–not where we are now–over the course of two years. And often collected by a security wagon even before neighbors had alerted the authorities that another “salvage” victim had been found. (Salvage: That’s a sinister word that’s ripe for revival.) Our neighborhood association was told, discreetly, that the LGU knew about it. And that everything was “fine.” No need to raise a fuss.

              Every November 1, neighbors would light votive candles for those killed at the spot where there bodies were dumped. Because, as one said, no one else might be praying for their repose. Their family might not know they had been killed. And no one knew, either, if they had done anything to merit any punishment at all, much less their extrajudicial execution. Which, anyway you look at it, was itself a crime–a crime then, and a crime now.

              • karlgarcia says:

                Yeah, creeks can be dumping grounds too.and yes the local executives want people to just shrug it off.

              • Vicara says:

                Joe and Chempo, would just like to mention that of the more than a dozen “salvage” victims dumped near our place some 28 years ago, only one was ever mentioned in newspaper report, that I know of. Neither was there any mention of that Paranaque vigilante victim the taxi driver told me about last week. So I don’t know if that was just some kuwentong kutsero (tr. coachman’s tale–or barbershop yarn) that he was just repeating. A hallmark of vigilante killing as a scare tactic is that the scale of the fear-mongering is often in inverse proportion to details verified.

              • The way these things work,

                is when the gauntlet is thrown, both sides kill off pawns… for DU30s side it’s because the pawns are easiest to target. For the criminals side it’s a way of protecting their interests, kill off their pawns and they protect themselves… pawns talk (lots of pawns in the ocean 😉 ),

                so the smart move, after the initial chaos , is to start turning pawns and infiltrate systems—- not to keep killing off pawns.

              • Vicara says:

                In a smallish city, that would be the smart move, and that’s how it was in the past. But nationwide, or in a sprawling capital region of 20 million… and different turf lords having their respective income streams disrupted?

          • Hello Joe. I am taking the time to make a reply to this post of yours. I am pleased to know that your absence was in fact ‘an opportunity to be with our President’. I am so happy for you and your family, you really deserved the ‘lunch with the President’ Reading your blog has been my ‘balm’ from the pain I felt reading and hearing the criticisms hurled against PNoy. Truth is, I’ve been avoiding TV and online media lately because what I hear or read lately are mostly about killings and Du30. So, when I was told yesterday about the shooting incident (we actually passed the vehicle on our way to the office), I immediately thought of you and what you would say about this. I don’t know if you also know about another killing in Biliran town, as you are more updated than us. I told myself that whatever is happening to this peaceful province of ours, I hope that this is not a harbinger of days to come. By the way Joe, Mayor-elect Gerard has just been sworn into office today. It is said that outgoing Mayor Susan couldn’t wait anymore for another day to hand-over the reins of power…(hearsay maybe). Good luck Joe and to us all! I wish that I would have the opportunity to meet you, so I can hear what you can say about the state of education in our province. Although, we are doing our best, still at the back of my mind I know that we still fall short in your estimation…

            • Joe America says:

              Hello, Lani, thank you for the kind personal note. Meeting the President was absolutely delightful. He wanted us to know how important our views were during the roughest time when, I know, I worked hard to try to put myself in the President’s shoes, for what he was trying to do, and to weigh the few problems against the mass of good achievements. He has a superb cabinet, in my estimation, and meeting Secretary Purisima was a delight. The President’s communications staff, Edwin Lacierda, Manolo Quezon III and Abigail Valte hosted us before and after lunch, and Manolo gave us a tour of the Palace after lunch. What a day.

              I did hear about the killing in Naval. In fact, I’ve met the guy who was killed on a couple of occasions. So it is quite disturbing. My wife tells me the suspects are those close to him, family, “friends”.

              I also share your dislike of mainstream news. I stopped following TV news long ago, and stopped with the Inquirer during the campaign. I thought they were purposely trying to ignore Mar Roxas, and I hold PH “journalists” largely responsible for the election outcome. Social media played a part, but the mainstream press bit for the Duterte Drama and never set the record straight on all the lies being peddled. So we have what we have.

              But we shall continue to do our work here, so I hope we can provide some sense of sanity in a world (not just PH) that seems to be going mad.

          • chempo says:

            I used to spend time with my girlfriend’s house in Paranaque. As far as I know, it’s all quiet at the western front — till I read Karl and Vicara’s comment. So there you go, killings hushed up.

            The stuff I hear from her are tanod level crimes — some guys use to traverse the rooftops late at nights. We suspect it’s to get across to another house where the mangoes are ripe for picking. She wanted to install CCTV but I told her the outdoor TV device will be a better picking than the mangoes for the night walkers. She listened to good advice.

            • Joe America says:

              The nation appears to be returning to the Wild West mentality, where every macho guy is a gunslinger, and not afraid to use it. I’d love to sit in the background and watch the investigations of the killings taking place in the provinces. I bet they shrug and the pending file is huge.

  48. The Freedom Girl says:

    Thank you, Mr. President. In the five Philippine Presidents I’ve seen, you are without a doubt the best one. You were the only one who had genuine love for the country and for that I thank you. I really hope history will be very, very kind to your legacy.

  49. Mercedes Adorio says:

    The many people who replied to your article reflect their love for Pres, Aquino. Like them, we hope and pray that our country will remain peaceful and economically stable. We will miss Pres. Aquino terribly– this leader who is decent, and who was so focused in making the Philippines respected by other nations. Thank you, too, Joe America, for writing very good images of the Philippines and the leader who made things happen for the good of the country.

  50. Andres III says:

    Wow, such honor. 😀

  51. madlanglupa says:

    I shall raise a toast to this man, regardless of whatever others — especially the impatient and uncouth — have said in spite. Because he was of prudence and pragmatism — for the service to the nation first.

  52. john c. jacinto says:

    Maraming, maraming salamat po, Mahal na Pangulong Noynoy Aquino! You are the best president our beloved country has ever had. Dalangin ko ang iyong kaligayahan at magandang kalusugan sa lahat ng oras.

  53. Was just a few minutes walk away from you joe at the DBM office.

  54. Thanks for the writeup joe.

  55. Vicara says:

    The negative image campaigns funded by his political opponents have painted the President as mild and out of his depth, when he really is more as you describe him–“hard” and “calculating,” (although many may be thrown off a bit by those terms). He had to develop these qualities after having experienced firsthand how things can go wrong, even terribly wrong–his father imprisoned and killed by Marcos, his mother subjected to numerous coup attempts–and PNoy himself carrying a bullet in his body until now, from an assassination attempt in which his bodyguards were killed. (Think of other political families in Asia where succeeding generations were assassinated or executed, such as the Bhuttos in Pakistan, the Gandhis in India; these are not comfortable parallels to live with.)

    Those defining experiences surely figured in his delayed decision to run for the presidency in 2009. He had no illusions about what could lie ahead. Probably more than any of the other candidates, he had a sense of the limits of presidential power and understood that the key to surviving in politics is knowing which battles to pick–as well as knowing that, even so, many battles would never be won.

    His combined sense of accomplishment and relief over his term coming to an end are almost palpable. The presidency is a heavy yoke for anyone to bear, and particularly so for someone whose parents set the bar so high in terms of service to the Republic. The associates he kept especially close were not traditional cronies–old classmates or relatives or business pals–but similarly tough aides who, metaphorically or otherwise, could be counted on to take a bullet as well.

    He has no offspring to prep or fund for a future dynasty. You could say that the mass of Filipino citizens who appreciate what he and his parents did, and who will help ensure that the legacy of his term as president lives on, are his descendants.

    Thank you, Mr. President, to you and your team.

    • Joe America says:

      Yes, I searched for the right word to describe his determination in the face of disfavor or opposition or crisis. He is far from the meek person some claim.

  56. Kenneth R.V. Madlos says:

    Thank you Mr. President, and your sacrifice… God bless you on your next journey, we will remember you. Also, Thank you Joe for this very nice story. “indeed, its our land of happy fools”…

  57. caliphman says:

    The special relationship between exiting President Pinoy and JoeAm has been beneficial to many including this bogsite but necessarily brings with it accusations of proadministration bias in the blogs and comments published here. There is much that this country has to be thankful to his parents and to their son for their contributions in breaking the yoke of tyranny imposed by the Marcoses. It is the son whose presidency showed that a restored democracy can make progress on the economic and corruption fronts inspite of a deeply embedded tradition of poor governance and nepotism. His record is by no means perfect but it was undeniably positive and better than the accomplishments of most his predecessors. Sure there are festering moles and warts which captured the attention of a fickle electorate who decided to believe the promises of a new leader to remove these imperfections by massive surgery if necessary. From those who appreciate that a bottle once near empty is now more than half full, thank you Mr. President.

    • karlgarcia says:

      Yes,but the article you co-authored is just one example that the Society is not that biased.
      Maybe Sec Purisima even read it.His wife follows the blog as mentioned by Joe.

      • caliphman says:

        Words should be chosen carefully. That many accuse this blogsite of having a proAquino bias is a fact whether it is a valid allegation or not. And whether it is valid or not, no one alleges that there is bias in each and every blog or comment published in it…nor did I say that I share in that accusation. I have in the past accused JoeAm of an anti-Poe and pro-Roxas bias as I have the CPM blogsite but that is quite different from what I just stated.or your apparent understanding of what my earlier post conveyed.

  58. purple says:

    Does PNoy still think Duterte is like the rise of Hitler ? If no, why not ?

  59. Waray-waray says:

    Congratulations Joeam and to the rest of the Society. Wow the personal invitation was such a recognition for a job well done.

    Job well done both Joeam and Pres. Aquino you did!

    Hurray to the Society. Hurray to my country.

  60. NHerrera says:


    I already feel nostalgic on the passing from the leadership stage of President Aquino. He is a legend of the country’s service whose words are generally dignified and trustworthy: much maligned by his local critics but praised by international observers and leaders. His speech at the Japanese Diet was so as to merit a standing ovation.

    Our blog owner is a legend too of the service of his adopted country through his keyboard and the blogosphere.

    Birds of a feather, those two!

    • LG says:

      At least, only one of them goes.

      Joe n his readers/contributors/commenters will be reminding us of the Glory that was, when the incoming administration meet speed bumps of their or not of their making.

      Compare n contrast will be inevitable. Comparison news articles are there already.

  61. NHerrera says:

    Chris Patten writing on BREXIT quoted one of Winston Churchill’s more famous aphorisms:

    The trouble with committing political suicide is that you live to regret it.

    I do not think this applies to President Aquino.

  62. Awesome article, Joe! just awesome, what a great send-off! I hope Pres. Aquino writes an article or two here, after returning from a much needed vacation 😉

    He did good.

  63. Ultimate observer says:

    The best President we had so far! God bless his journey…

  64. J. Bondurant says:

    By way of gratitude for the past six years, the Volunteers Against Crime and Corruption have filed a case against Citizen Noynoy Aquino for the Mamasapano Massacre. That the lawyer spearheading the case is Ferdinand Topacio is quite an irony that appears lost on the VACC.

  65. rofodl says:

    First encounter with this blogger. To quote a Jewish Creative Director I had occasion to work with, c. 70’s: “wonderful, terrific, and swell!” Thanks, JoeAm.

    • Joe America says:

      And “swell” back at you, rofodl, glad you enjoyed the encounter. Where was the Creative Director based? I rocked and rolled with creative guys when I handled advertising for my bank in Los Angeles. Never laughed so hard in my life . . .

      • rofodl says:

        You Americans are so forward. First prove to me that you are not CIA, explain why your beard reminds me of John Muir, etc. Seriously, McCann Erickson, Manila. Yes, the ad agency business was so much fun. The “most that you fan have with your clothes on.”

        • Joe America says:

          🙂 How does one prove he is not CIA, ahahaha? If we tell you we have to kill ourselves. The photo is my great grandfather, testing if you can get past your preconceptions. Agree about the fun part. Never worked with McCann Erickson.

  66. Javier Gris says:

    Thank you, Mr. President! Thank you for serving our country, for serving our people, for serving us and seeing to it that you left a better Palace, and country, than when you first stepped into it. Sorry that this has to reach you through JoeAm’s blog,

    I am, however, curious to know your take on the Mamasapano massacre. Ah, well, enjoy your retirement, sir!

    • Joe America says:

      He was seen tooling around in a Porsche the other day, driving Kris to work, I think. I asked him at lunch if he was going to get a fast car and he smiled and said “not right now”. Maybe it was Kris’ car. 🙂

  67. Tessa says:

    Indeed! PNOY’s legacy will remain forever. Congratulation to you and your family JoeAm. And thank you for sharing the experience… #Maraming Maraming Salamat Pres. PNOY. Puede nang makipag date ulit… 🙂

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  1. […] Source: Joe America: Lunch with President Aquino […]

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