Friday, July 19, 2019

Meeting Mrs. Arroyo

PAMPANGA Second District Representative and House Speaker Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo never ceases working for the betterment of her constituents.

Just recently, she took a day off in fulfilling President Rodrigo Duterte’s legislative agenda, to personally visit and bring gifts to a remote village in Sasmuan town, Pampanga.

Here, she emerged in a casual bright Pink polo and with a big smile to match. She radiated a more vibrant and relaxed aura than ever, a reflection that she feels right at home with her kabalens.

Upon arriving at Barangay Batang 1st after a 30-minute boat ride with son returning Congressman Juan Miguel “Mikey” Arroyo, she was warmly welcomed by the locals. She gleefully greeted everyone, even shaking the hands of those who reach onto hers.

The local and national media were in full force and I as one, witnessed how the former president was deeply endowed by her constituents in the coastal town. They were all excited as they prepared and served the freshest catch of the day.

As Mrs. Arroyo walked towards the luncheon table, she enthusiastically invited us, the media, quipping “let’s eat” in her native language. At that moment, I saw an image of one of the country’s most influential and powerful figures at her most accessible.

She sat a few tables away from us and while indulging the sumptuous seafood right in front of me, I cannot help but glance at the highly respected lady, which eventually lead me to reflect on her ever evolving role in politics and beyond. It was difficult not be impressed by her solid work that is eminent in her home province.

During the short press conference, she was quick to answer with transparency and great knowledge the issues thrown at her by the journos, from Federalism to Bangsamoro Organic Law.

As I observed her every detail and comprehend the words she uttered, I was able to feel a sense of engagement, sincerity, and comfort. What we have in front of us is someone who deserves our praise and adoration, not just because of her status, but because she’s a real person who has maintained enough grace under pressure.

After the formalities, she was ready to leave and my gut told me to ask her for a selfie. Unguarded, she said “sure,” as she flashed a smile for the camera.

Now, I have a portrait to remind me that one day, I was able to meet Mrs. Arroyo, in her most true form. I aim to look back on this special image, as I watch her continue her legacy and journey as the first woman Speaker of the House.


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