When the President is sick,  the public also feels the pain



Elinando B. Cinco

Elinando B. Cinco

It is wholly safe to say that whenever President Duterte is under the weather, Filipinos feel the pain of anxiety and concern for him.

It is because our filial values extend to the sick bed of our leaders, not just to family members and friends. It is also our act of demonstrating Christian charity.

A pain is a pain no matter what part of the human body it strikes. It immobilizes the body and the person stops functioning, even refusing to let his mental faculty go to work.

For example, when newspaper photos of the Chief Executive grimacing in pain while attending the enthronement of the new Japanese emperor, the 59-year-old Naruhito, last Wednesday, not a few sectors of the public told both traditional and social media: “Bring our President home. He’s sick!”

We all want him to finish his term. He is a hands-on leader who is needed to implement all his programs of government. The people look up to him not only as their President but also as  a father-image figure.

Back at home the following day, the President was told by his doctors that muscle spasms near the pelvic region were the main reason of his agony. It was agitated when he fell from his motor bike, while trying to disengage its stand or he was adjusting his right boot.

The President said he has a history of falling lightly from his big bike while still mayor of Davao City. He is not known to have any particular liking for any other sports, but motorcycling.

But there was an unkind posting in social media about his premature return to Manila Tuesday evening.

It said that the swift trip back home was to cover up the apparent “snub” by the Royal Japanese family of the President during the enthronement rites. It further told that the President was just seated behind Japanese officials.

Further, it mentioned that the President was ignored by the Royal family, as well as by other foreign dignitaries and invited monarchs.

Of course, no such thing happened even to the nearest make-believe scenario.

The DFA and the Presidential Press Office furnished local newspapers and TV networks with photos during the ceremonies that showed the Chief Executive seated with the members of the Royal Family.

Those photographs were in TV film clips and were front-page items.

Now, back to some Chief Executives who were known health buffs.

The most popular of them all was Ferdinand Marcos. While on an official visit to South America, he water-skied in Cancun, Mexico.

While on dry land, his golfing buddies were businessmen Manuel Nieto and Nanoy Ilisorio, and newsman Nereo Andolong. He tried playing tennis with Cesar Virata and Peping Rono.  And was very good at whacking the fast balls in a pelota court.

Fidel Ramos, in his younger days, was in sky-jumping. But when he was finishing his term, he preferred working on terra firma – jogging.