MANILA, Philippines – He describes himself a serious man when work needs to be done, but President Benigno Aquino III is also like any ordinary guy who likes to sing, crack jokes, and spend time with his family.
Audiences saw this side of the President during his interview with comedian Vice Ganda, which aired Sunday, January 4, where PNoy shared some tidbits about his life.
From being president of the Biology club to his days as former president Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo's student, here are 10 random things we learned (or were reminded of) about the President.
1. Former president Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo was his teacher
Back when he was in college at the Ateneo de Manila University, PNoy actually studied economics under former president Gloria Macapagal Arroyo, whom he described as very knowledgable and able.
“Hindi naman terror, parating nakangiti (She's not a terror, she was always smiling),” he said of the former president. He said the students were given a very long reading list – a single-spaced list spanning 3 pages – to go through over the semester, and that his exams seemed to cover one book per question.
His grade from that class? “Naalala ko B+ eh,” he said. (I remember, it was B+.)
2. To relax, he likes to drive around.
Vice mentioned one tidbit about the President – that in his youth, he would go off alone on long drives. sometimes as far as Tarlac, something he was fond of.
“Parang in control ka sa buhay mo, para bang normal ulit, may oras kang mag-isip, wala kang iniintindi,” he said of his hobby.
(It’s like you’re in control of your life, like everything’s normal, there’s time to think, you’re without a care in the world.)
3. He was once president of the Biology club in high school
He didn’t have as many activities back when he was a young student, said PNoy, because their school’s activity day fell on Wednesdays, which was also when his family would visit PNoy’s father, Senator Benigno Aquino Jr, among those arrested and detained by the Marcos regime following the declaration of martial law.
4. There’s a bullet still lodged in his neck
Back in 1987, he and his security detail were on their way back to Malacañang and met rebel soldiers who attacked them.
The rebel soldiers were retreating from Malacañang when they crossed paths. He was in a vehicle when he got shot several times, once in the neck. The bullet couldn't be taken out because it might cause complications.
“Hindi pala pwede kayo pwedeng i-kiss sa leeg kung nagka-girlfriend ho kayo (So you can’t be kissed on the neck if you have a girlfriend),” said Vice.
“Ganoon na nga ‘yon (I guess that's the case),” said PNoy.
5. On Kris: She’s “interesting”
PNoy didn’t talk much about his famous sister, Kris Aquino, but he did say that he thought she was “interesting” – a term he repeated when he was shown a picture of her in the latter part of the interview.
PNoy was also shown photos of other political figures and government officials, such as BIR Commissioner Kim Henares, Vice President Jejomar Binay, and suspended National Police chief General Alan Purisima. Read more on that here.
6. He’s single
Vice did ask PNoy about his relationship status – and he confirmed that he was single, though he had been seeing someone up until a few months ago.
One more tidbit: he also confirmed that Grace Lee used to be his girlfriend. Previously, they were only known to have been dating.
7. He’s been to Boracay, but only for an hour
The President said that while he has been to many parts of the country, he can usually only stay for a few hours. For example, though he's been there, he hasn't seen much of Boracay.
“'Yung Boracay minsan ko lang napuntahan sa buong buhay ko…Nakapunta ako for one hour. Tiningnan ko lang yung beach."
(I went to Boracay, but only for one hour. I just viewed the beach.)
He said he’d eventually like to be able to travel more to see more of country’s beautiful sights.
8. He loves to sing when he’s alone
PNoy gamely sang a few lines of “Estudyante Blues” with Vice.
"Mahilig po ba kayong kumanta?” (Do love to sing?) Vice asked the President.
"Lalo na kung mag-isa,” PNoy replied. (Especially when I am alone.)
"So, gusto niyo po ba lumabas muna kaming lahat para kumanta kayo?” Vice teased. (So do you want us all to leave so you can sing?)
9. He watches UAAP
The President said he likes watching the UAAP games but unfortunately, he can only do so at home, because according to him he has to be “neutral.”
When Vice asked him if he always wishes for La Salle to be defeated in every game, PNoy answered, “Manalo ang Ateneo (For Ateneo to win)."
PNoy is a graduate of Ateneo de Manila University, whose rivalry with De La Salle University in the realm of sports is well known.
10. He’s cool with his thinning hair
“Tanggap ko na,” he said of his thinning ‘do. (I accept it.) His choice of shampoo, which Vice nervously asked him about: Clear and Mane n’ Tail.
What did you think of the interview? Let us know in the comments below. – Rappler.com