Rody still can't get this 'Bicol beauty' off his mind

Published October 12, 2021, 2:19 AM

by Ellson Quismorio

Looks like President Duterte was really smitten by this “Bicol beauty”.

Bicol International Airport (Photo from PNA)

It’s been four days since he inaugurated the Bicol International Airport (BIA) in Daraga, Albay, and yet it’s still on his mind and he continues to speak fondly of it.

“Mayroon lang akong ipakita sa inyo na isa sa pinakamagandang nagawa ko sa para sa Pilipinas at ito’y isang project doon sa Bicol, at tapos na ‘yung airport nila (I just want to show you this, it’s one of the most beautiful things I’ve done for the Philippine and its a project in Bicol, their airport has been finished),” Duterte proudly said at the beginning of his pre-taped “Talk to the People” public briefing on late Monday night, Oct. 11.

“Masabi ko mas — hindi nakalahati ang Davao, talagang maganda (I can say that it’s more — the one in Davao isn’t even half as pretty, it’s really beautiful). I think next to Cebu, itong Bicol International Airport sa Naga ang pinakamaganda (this Bicol International Airport is the most beautiful),” he said. He would later correct himself that the BIA is situated in Daraga.

The President had a clip of the inauguration played during the briefing. He boasted that the check-in system there is now contactless and can be facilitated via one’s smartphone.

“Well, it (clip) failed to mention that at the background of that airport is the Mayon Volcano. Makikita mo ang Mayon Volcano doon sa airport mismo, sa likod, napakaganda (You can see the actual Mayon Volcano behind that airport, so beautiful),” he gushed.

President Duterte looking at the marker he unveiled at the Bicol International Airport during its inauguration on Oct. 7, 2021. (Screenshot from Facebook live)

The P3.5-billion BIA is dubbed as the country’s “most scenic gateway” due to its use of the volcano as backdrop. It is expected to serve 2.2 million passengers annually.

Duterte praised Department of Transportation (DOTr) Secretary Arthur Tugade for his work on the BIA project, the construction of which had suffered from long delays.

“I’d like to commend Tugade for the splendid work that he has done,” he said.

“Kaya lang sayang ayaw niyang tumakbo ng senador. Kumpletuhin lang daw niya ‘yung projects niya tapos pareho kami siguro mag-retire. Sabay-sabay kami (It’s a shame that he doesn’t want to run for senator. He said he’s going to complete the projects assigned to him and maybe we’ll both retire. At the same time),” Duterte said.