In an attention grabbing stunt, the President Vowed Not to Smoke for a Day for the Papal Mass scheduled for today January 15, 2015. Not to say that such a sacrifice was not worth the PR it was intended for, I could not help but think that perhaps he thought the presence of The Vicar of Christ was not worth the cigarette that he was puffing on.
Tita Cory must be turning in her grave! The rest of the public had their stomach turning as well when he started spewing his usual spiel of blame that went all the way back to the conquistadores, to Marcos, Former President GMA and now the clergymen who are critical of his administration. Thank you Mr. President as you have now made us more famous again. Your stunt has just been published in the New York Times at the time of this writing. Your bald head was not even worth talking about, but you did!
It should not come as a surprise that there was much more irreverence where that came from. #BeastMode douchebaggery culture has been elevated and dispensed from the highest office. The highly revered was not spared. The spectacle had me wincing from the screen as he continued on and on with his blame and the lambasting of the clergy to high heavens. Whatever happened to Filipino Hospitality when we could not even spare quarters to invited guests and his party? Discourtesy was given in exchange for the historic courtesy visit. Surely we can treat our guests with dignity and perhaps just proper protocol. I could not fathom what must have been going on in his mind if there was anything going on in it at all. If we were to blame the speechwriter, then someone must be hanged for his disservice to the nation.
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Where the obvious display of partisan colors can be overlooked, we cannot help but ask for better leadership in a country so divided by opinion and social stratification. Perhaps we could have just gone along with the Pope’s unifying message from the Gospels and a genuine concern for God’s people. Perhaps we could lay aside some issues of the past and tread progressively into the future? While the Philippines has become a little bit more than a blip on the map in recent days, are we not blowing the opportunity for gaining some respect for ourselves?
As I would like to see the glass as “half-full,” as he would have said, it is now harder to swallow the fact that we are staring through the bottom of the glass. Empty!
John is a Senior Management Consultant for Strategy and Planning and has consulted with some of the most famous local and international companies. He has a combined experience of 15 years in the area of Enterprise Development and Corporate Strategic Planning. He has been a Professional Manager, a Management Consultant a Development Economist and an NGO Executive Director.