JUST 11 days to go and we will see part of our history ending and a new one beginning.

In the past few weeks, we have seen rounds on social media where President Rodrigo R. Duterte feted employees and officials of various departments under the Office of the President.

He opened Malacañang to them and gave them either the Presidential Medal of Merit or the Order of Lapu-Lapu with the rank of Kamagi, a prestigious national order of merit conferred by the President of the Philippines to officials and personnel of the government and private individuals in recognition of invaluable or extraordinary service concerning a campaign or advocacy of the President.

From office personnel to the presidential photographers to heads of agencies and departments, PRRD took time to thank them and honor them for their service to the country.

And you could see the gratitude on the faces of those who were given such recognition. They were never short of words on their respective social media accounts in sharing how it was indeed a great privilege to serve the country under the best Philippine president they have ever known.

It was no doubt an immense honor for them to be serving the President and the entire country for the past six years.

I could not help but comment when one of the staff of the Office of the Special Assistant to the President (Osap), Ate Cheryl, also wrote an appreciation post to PRRD and Senator Christopher "Bong" Go. I commented on Ate Cheryl's post and thanked the Osap staff for helping a lot of Filipinos in need over the past six years, particularly when the Covid-19 pandemic hit the country hard.

I've known a lot of my friends, churchmates, colleagues, and many other Filipinos and their families who were assisted with their hospitalization bills, medical and surgical expenses, or even burial expenses through Osap. Our family, too, is a beneficiary of PRRD's care through this office.

I may not have a personal experience with PRRD save from his first public appearance in July 2016 when he graced the Philippines-France game of the Fiba Olympic Qualifying Tournament at the Mall of Asia Arena and I had the rare chance of interviewing him at halftime (I was seated beside him while the rest of his Cabinet members were all seated around him) or during Hidilyn Diaz's courtesy visit at Panacañang, but I could feel the real change that he was campaigning for from the very start.

There is no need to list them down here, I think you too also felt and experienced the change that made us become proud Filipinos again.

On Sunday, January 19, 2022, we would see PRRD witness his daughter, outgoing Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio, take her oath as the 15th vice president of the Republic of the Philippines in our beloved city.

This is a milestone not just for Dabawenyos but also for Filipinos all over the world. A renewed hope that real change will continue even if PRRD ends his term on June 30. May God be with our new elected leaders and bless the Philippines through their governance.