It’s simple, really. Be considerate and observe good manners, Mister President. It’s stuff we all got taught in kindergarten. It’s time to revisit good ol’ Insulares breeding in times when we are hosting important guests.
So here is the first and probably most important one: Less talk about your mother. I mean, come on, would one be able to take seriously big leaders of the free and not-so-free worlds of the APEC forum waxing nostalgia about their moms every other two or three sentences?
Real men get “Mom” tattoos on their backs. Vladimir Putin probably has one. That way, they don’t have to talk about how much they miss their moms as much.
Following through on the topic of the women in our lives comes the next piece of advice: Hands off the ladies for now, Mister President.
Some athletes abstain from intimate activities before a crucial match. Considering that schmoozing with world leaders is mentally- and physically-demanding work, it is best that the President be a hundred percent on top of his attention span and, yes, in peak health.
This means getting a good night’s rest every night over the course of the APEC meet. A good night’s sleep makes for a sound mind and robust resistensya (a healthy immune system) to prevent those coughing fits that tend to hit smokers every now and then.
Nonetheless, given that your favourite topics — your mom and your chicks — are deemed taboo throughout the APEC summit, at least try to look interested in the discussions.
I mean, lots of things are at stake here — most pressing of all the future of economic trade amongst the countries represented in this meet considering that barriers to trade are coming down and pressure is bearing down on the monopolistic oligarch businesses in the Philippines to compete on a level field. Then there is the South China Sea situation — the elephant in the room; the topic that must not be spoken about. The President needs to approach that awkwardness with full mental hands on deck.
On that note, it’s worthwhile reminding the President to be careful about talk and gestures that could be misconstrued as a provocation to a fight.
“Laban” (fight!) is a dirty word when you are surrounded by people who are one-upping one another in a regional arms race the likes of which we have not seen since the end of the Cold War.
Even then, if and when the President actually gets around to paying attention to the important things going on around him, he should remain conscious of the state of his lower jaw.
I mean, to be fair, we all get slack jawed when we are awestruck by a rivetting speech or some other attention-grabbing event. But that’s what separates the men from the boys — an ability to keep it together under any circumstance. Composure and mindfulness is the operative term here when you are leader of a nation of 100 million.
So, yeah, when listening and not speaking, mouth closed Mr President. And in addition to that, sit up straight.
Think of James Bond. We never see James Bond standing on one leg or seated with a curved back while “playing the odds”, right?
Filipinos are in desperate need of their proud moment Mr. President. Do the country proud!
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