Body Talk with Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte: ‘Actually, I am a Mama’s Boy!’

FUNFARE - Ricky Lo (The Philippine Star) - May 5, 2016 - 10:00am

(The Philippine STAR has been conducting interviews with the five presidential candidates. To see how fit for office they are, each of them is invited to do a “Body Talk.” Four down: Vice Pres. Jojo Binay, former DILG Sec. Mar Roxas, Sen. Grace Poe and Sen. Miriam Defensor-Santiago. Last but not the least is Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte. No need for further introduction. Let’s go straight to the “executive check-up.”)

When Davao City Mayor Rodrigo “Digong” Duterte came to The STAR office last Wednesday afternoon, accompanied by his partner Honeylet Avanceña and their daughter Veronica (nicknamed Kitty), all he had for a very late lunch was a cup of white rice, fried fish and monggo, with fried sliced banana (saba) for dessert. It was Honeylet (a nurse) herself who served his plateful which he downed with iced tea.

As soon as Digong arrived, he was welcomed by a far more electrifying hysteria than the one generated by the visit of Maine “Yaya Dub” Mendoza a few months ago. He was mobbed by fans waiting for him outside the STAR office in Port Area, Manila, and those at the lobby composed of STAR editors, columnists, reporters and employees, together with media guys from other companies who attended the general presscon prior to the exclusive roundtable with The STAR guys.

We finally experienced the “Duterte charisma” that draws record crowds anywhere he goes. AlDub multiplied by five, we daresay.

He was game and playful during the “Body Talk,” answering all the questions no-holds-barred, much to the delight of the Entertainment Staff. (We quote verbatim some of his Tagalog answers to retain the unique “Duterte flavor.”)

On your way to The STAR office, you must have seen the street families sleeping on the sidewalks. How did you feel about them?

“They are a familiar sight to me; they are everywhere. The sheer number is very high in cities, in highly-urbanized places.”

What have you lost during the campaign?

“My privacy. Sa totoo lang, I’m a very private person. As a matter of fact, before this campaign, I could walk to any place and nobody would recognize me, nobody knew me…except, of course, in Davao. But when my face was made public, noong naging mura na ang mukha ko, I could no longer hide my persona. So I would answer you by saying that my first regret is losing my privacy.”

And what have you gained during the campaign?

“Well, I was able to tell the Filipino people the truth about so many things.”

When did you have your last executive check-up?







“My blood pressure is okay, my blood sugar is okay, my cholesterol is okay.”

Have you consulted a psychologist?

“No. There’s no need.”

Are you taking any vitamins?

“Yes, Centrum.”

What about medications?


How is your diet?

“More gulay lang ako; hindi ako mahilig sa meat. My favorite is monggo.”

Do you drink?

“Not anymore because my doctor advised me against it. I had Bariatric Esophageal Erosion and it could have worsened if I didn’t stop drinking. Maging Stage One na sana ako.”

Do you smoke?

“Before, yes. But I have stopped a long time ago, that’s why Davao is a no-smoking city.”

Did you try marijuana when you were young?


What workout do you do?

“I do the treadmill for one hour every day.”

How much sleep do you get these days?

“On the average, about six hours.”

Favorite sleepwear?

“T-shirt and shorts.”

Last thing that you do before you go to sleep?

“I clean my guns.”

Oh, guns! How many do you have?

“I have five guns. I clean them as my therapy.”

First thing that you do as soon as you wake up?

“Wash my mouth with Listerine. And then I go downstairs to read The Philippine STAR.”

What’s the first section that you read in The STAR?

“The front page…the news. And then I turn to the Entertainment Section and read your column.” (Blush! Flattered!)

How do you cope with stress?

“These days, I hardly have time to relax. But I used to hunt wild boars. No more time to watch movies but I can listen to music, especially to the songs of Sarah Brightman and Bocelli. I get a massage every day.”

How’s your love life?

“Nil to nothing.”

How’s your sex life?

“Nil to nothing.”

Lights on or lights off?

“Lights on. It increases the libido.”

What makes you cry?

“My mother.”

What about your mother?

“I cried a lot when she was buried. I call on my mother and my father when I have problems.”

When was the last time you cried?

“Just recently.”

Over what?

“During the campaign when I was very tired. I felt beat and down that night and I kept on repeating names that I could not figure out. I was eating alone and I saw a picture of my mother. Bigla na lang ako nag-breakdown. I whispered to my mother, ‘Tulungan n’yo ako!’”

Oh, you must be a Mama’s Boy?

“Yes, I am. Actually, I am a Mama’s Boy, kasi I’m the eldest.”

What makes you angry?

“Oppression. I do not like oppression even when I was young. I stand against oppression.”

When was the last time you were angry?

(Thinks hard) “Nung nasira ang sapatos ko.” (Shown in a photo on the front page of The STAR a few days ago.) “Ang lalaki ng mga security ko, ang lalaking mga mama, pero hindi nila nakita.”

What’s the first thing that you notice in a woman?

“Her face.”

You’re noted for being macho. Has there ever been a time when you needed Viagra?

“Yes. When I was…Actually, humihina na ang lalaki at the age of 50. Nagkakaroon na ng…” (He seems to insinuate at erectile dysfunction. — RFL) “Our fathers are really malas…At 50, you are no longer the animal that used to roam in the forest. You need to feed on something.”

Describe Rodrigo Duterte in three words.

“A human being.”

(E-mail reactions at entphilstar@yahoo.com. You may also send your questions to askrickylo@gmail.com. For more updates, photos and videos visit www.philstar.com/funfare or follow me on www.twitter/therealrickylo.)

  • Latest
  • Trending
Are you sure you want to log out?

Philstar.com is one of the most vibrant, opinionated, discerning communities of readers on cyberspace. With your meaningful insights, help shape the stories that can shape the country. Sign up now!

or sign in with