On Februray 3, 2016, droves of supporters of Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte trooped to MRRD NECC (Mayor Rodrigo Roa Duterte National Executive Coordinating Committee) National Headquarters because the man who will spearhead the Iron Fisted Presidency would be dropping by.
Tarpaulins of Mayor Duterte hanging from the roofs welcomed the supporters even before they entered the building, and more tarpaulins with Mayor Duterte’s images and fighting words adorned the walls of the offices. They made for interesting reading and diverse photo opportunity background for those who waited in the corridors. There were already more than a hundred of them when I arrived at 1130am, hours before Mayor Duterte was scheduled to arrive.
Later, the number swelled to more than the corridors, stairs and escalator of the building could hold. They spilled over to the streets. They stayed there under the unforgiving scorching sun to show their fealty to Mayor Duterte and to have a glimpse of the galing sa masa, para sa masa (from the masses, for the masses) presidentiable.
Meanwhile, inside the MRRD NECC offices, the campaign leaders convened. Some of the volunteers produced the MRRD NECC membership cards while others slaved over the desktop and were at the mercy of the most temperamental printer known to man. John, Aljun and I belonged to the latter category.
According to the time stamp on my camera, Mayor Duterte entered the conference room at 457pm amidst a thunderous applause and incessant chants of “DU-TER-TE! DU-TER-TE!”. The Philippine eagle has finally landed at the MRRD NECC National Headquarters. This goosebumps instant played in slow motion for me, almost in black-and-white, like they do in silent movies. Mayor Duterte is the valiant protagonist in this particular one.
Mayor Duterte addressed the crowd, listened to the campaign leaders and top honchos of MRRD NECC and was the subject of a barrage of photos and selfies. He patiently and charmingly posed for and with the supporters, contrary to the abrasive persona that the media portray him to have. Mayor Duterte left after almost two hours, making his supporters overjoyed.
Due to my low position in the totem pole, I was not able to have a solo photo with Mayor Duterte. However, seeing Mayor Duterte in the flesh and almost touching him were enough for me. Seeing him in person and watching people’s reaction to his presence reminds me of a rock star. I am sure in the hearts of the grown up women who giggled and blushed in his presence, he is one. He deserves the attention because he is one charismatic and accomplished man.
Add his magnetic presence to his achievements as a local executive in Davao and his plans for the Philippines when he wins as president result to one winning candidate. Yes, I used “when”, not “if”.
I would like to express my sincerest appreciation to the following:
- To all the supporters of Mayor Duterte who waited without much complaint and behaved in an orderly manner while he was at the headquarters. I hope that you were able to get a selfie with him or at the very least saw him. 🙂
- To the members of the Philippine Seafarers’ Group (PSG) for once again doing the backbreaking work the day before and on the day of Mayor Duterte’s visit. Special shout out to Marshall Sardinico Golloso for having successfully photocopied the application forms. You succeeded where others failed.
- To the lady in white lacy dress who set aside food for us. 🙂
- To Sir Joecel for the compliment on my first MRRD NECC entry. 🙂
- To EE, JP, AG, RD, JS, DR, PDC, EO, Eking, and Mitsu. You are the best!!!