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Entertainment

Pres. DU30: At 71, I need Viagra!

FUNFARE UPDATE - Ricky Lo - The Philippine Star

He doesn’t make you feel that he is the 16th President of the Republic of the Philippines, not at all.

When Pres. Rodrigo Duterte met with Philippine STAR president/CEO Miguel Belmonte and the editors last Wednesday afternoon at the “ghost-inhabited” Malacañang Palace where, away from his family based in Davao, he is reported to be feeling “alone and lonely,” Pres. DU30 set the tone by, although he earlier admitted that he could be “suplado,” casual and informal, speaking spontaneously and not, unlike most of his predecessors, in a studied manner, sometimes spicing up his sentences with a few four-letter words.

In his second exclusive dialogue with The STAR (the first was two weeks before the elections last May 9, the only Philippine paper on whom he bestowed the honor), the editors asked him very serious questions (about extra-judicial killings, the Philippine-China relations and some such “heavy” stuff). Each editor then asked a question — Lifestyle editor Millet Mananquil (on being “lonely at the top” and ghosts), Sports editor Lito Tacujan (about the Rio Olympics), et al.

When the Entertainment section’s turn came, I asked only one question: On a lighter note, with your schedule now being so airtight and so hectic (that afternoon, Pres. DU30 had a quick lunch at around 3 o’clock, before he met with the The Netherlands Ambassador to the Philippines Maria Christina Theresia Derckx and then The STAR) what more did you sacrifice (aside from his privacy and family time)…do you still have a love life?

Pres. DU30 was direct to the point, mincing no words.

“At 71,” he confessed, “I need Viagra,” describing the state of his being very graphically, complete with the language of the hands. “When I was younger, it was like a bullet train,” demonstrating the speed of the train, “and then it slowed down a bit,” like a train reducing speed as it approaches a station, “and now,” he added with a smile, “it keeps on retreating slowly back to the station,” with stretched arm moving accordingly inward, making his visitors break into laughter.

That was the same answer he gave when asked the same questions for a “Body Talk” story during his first meeting with The STAR editors and reporters.

How is your love life?

“Nil to nothing.”

How is your sex life?

“Nil to nothing.”

Lights on or lights off?

“Lights on. It increases the libido.”

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

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

And, yes, he added during that Wednesday meeting, with all the problems he’s facing, how could he still think of, well, “something else?”

“It’s all patriotism,” he stressed. Looking back at the sign Ang Sagisag ng Pangulo ng Pilipinas hanging on the wall.

After Pres. DU30 tackled a few more questions about really serious issues, Sir Miguel presented to Pres. DU30 a framed copy of The STAR with then presidential candidate/Davao City Mayor featured prominently on the front page.

Some photo ops and shaking hands, and then we bade Pres. DU30 goodbye.

(E-mail reactions at [email protected]. You may also send your questions to [email protected].)

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