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MANILA, Philippines (UPDATED) – Television personality Kris Aquino was open about her disappointment after President Rodrigo Duterte was unable to attend a business summit and one-on-one interview with her in Davao City.
An emotional Aquino, onstage for the Go Negosyo summit said: "Hindi ko rin po alam kung dahil sa mga sitwasyon na nangyari sa ngayong linggo kaya inisnub ako. Pero President Duterte, please give me a chance. I hope one day, mamahalin mo rin ako."
(I don't know if the events this week explain why I was snubbed. But President Duterte, please give me a chance. I hope one day, you will love me too.)
Before she came onstage, Trade Secretary Ramon Lopez announced to the audience of around 500 entrepreneurs that Duterte would not be able to attend the summit because of a migraine.
Lopez explained that this might have been due to the visits to the President's visits to Malaysia and Thailand. Duterte arrived from Malaysia in the wee hours of Friday and even held a news briefing after.
The one-on-one interview between Duterte and Aquino was supposed to take place during the summit. It was meant to be her television comeback after a 7-month hiatus.
Aquino, however, expressed optimism that the interview would still take place in the future and still managed to make light of the situation.
"Minsan, ang first date hindi natutuloy. President Duterte, pinaghandaan kita...26 na lang ang bewang ko ngayon. Sisiguraduhin ko pong magiging 25 para sa next time na pagkikita natin," she joked.
(Sometimes, the first date does not push through. President Duterte, I prepared for you...My waist is now just 26. I will make sure it will be 25 in our next meeting.)
Advice from Kuya Noy
Aquino shared that in her distress at hearing about Duterte's non-attendance, she called her older brother, former president Benigno Aquino III, for advice.
"Nagtanong po ako sa Kuya ko kung dapat kong ituloy. Tumawag ako, sinabi ko 'Noy, I'm alone,' sabi ko. Sabi ko sa kanya, 'What do I do?'" she said.
(I asked my brother if I should still push through with this. I called and said, 'Noy, I'm alone.' I said, 'What do I do?')
To which the older Aquino advised her to forge on because she had made a commitment to Go Negosyo.
"'Nandiyan ka because you believe in the Philippine economy at nandiyan ka because you want everybody to be included in the growth of our economy.' So ituloy po natin ito di ba?" said Aquino, bravely rousing the crowd.
('You are there because you believe in the Philippine economy and you are there because you want everybody to be included in the growth of our economy.' So let's carry on, right?)
The TV host then proceeded to host the summit. Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III stood in for Duterte.
Kris later took to Instagram to address the situation, first posting photos of her trip to Davao and captioning them "#GandangDiNapakinabangan" (beauty that wasn't used to its full potential) along with a laughing emoji.
#GandangDiNapakinabangan (thank you @kbrosas for this perfect quote) A video posted by Kris Aquino (@krisaquino) on Nov 11, 2016 at 3:52am PST
On November 12, Kris called the incident an "epic snub," but her comment came with a photo that read, "If life gives you lemons, make lemonade."
She also thanked her friends, family, and fans online for their support.
Humble & realistic enough to admit it was an epic snub- but learning so much from @beyonce. #Lemonade #GoNegosyo2016AngatLahat (P.S. To all of you: my family, friends, and compassionate netizens- group hug tayo? Thank you for showing me love & appreciation. ) A photo posted byKris Aquino (@krisaquino) on Nov 11, 2016 at 4:52pm PST
Prior to the Go Negosyo summit, Kris had posted photos of the messages of support she received from Vice President Leni Robredo and young actress Nadine Lustre. Aside from these messages, Kris' good friend Boy Abunda was in Davao to support her as well.
Her good wishes touched my heart. Thank you VP @lenirobredo A photo posted by Kris Aquino (@krisaquino) on Nov 10, 2016 at 3:52pm PST
Just landed & this text from @nadzlustre made me#krisatDuterte #GoNegosyoAngatAngLahat A photo posted by Kris Aquino (@krisaquino) on Nov 10, 2016 at 6:42pm PST
Pia Ranada covers the Office of the President and Bangsamoro regional issues for Rappler. While helping out with desk duties, she also watches the environment sector and the local government of Quezon City. For tips or story suggestions, you can reach her at email@example.com.