COVERING then Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte during the campaign period last year was tough. It was a long ride before he was persuaded to run for the presidency. And the reason? He could not leave his city to just anyone else.
We could barely remember how many times he politely said no to supporters coming from as far as Luzon and even abroad. And in every press conference that he would say this, not one reporter is smiling - we share the heartbreak of every Filipino dreaming to experience his leadership.
But after his daughter agreed to take over the mayoralty, everything went smooth sailing. He won the elections - took trips overseas as Philippine President, brought justice to issues that were forgotten, and fought wars so the nation can see a better country.
Above all this, he still manages to sleep at least three days in his home in Davao City every week. He is taking care of the nation but he did not forget his city.
Yesterday, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe arrived in the Philippines with his wife. They have discussed on counter-terrorism, drug rehabilitation projects, infrastructure development, maritime cooperation, and development projects.
It was a productive meeting as Abe concluded he looks forward on enhancing the relationship of the two nations.
Today, the two will share an intimate breakfast in Davao City and a tour inside Mintal's Little Tokyo follows. The place used to be the home to Japanese migrants who established Abaca plantations in the district prior to World War II.
Indeed, a warm and sincere welcome for the first head of government to officially visit the Philippines this year. The last prime minister to visit Davao City was Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohammad in 1994, authorities said.
We don’t know what could be going inside the president’s head but one thing is certain, whatever inconsistencies the previous leaders of this nation had for areas outside Metro Manila it’s all behind us now. We now have a leader who shares to the rest of the country all the good that we should experience.