WATCH: Panelo serenades real estate executives

Ralf Rivas
WATCH: Panelo serenades real estate executives
Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo breaks the norm and breaks into song during a typically stiff business forum

Salvador Panelo not only speaks for the President. He apparently sings too.

The presidential spokesperson was invited to the Asia Leaders Forum to give stakeholders an update on the administration’s infrastructure programs

The briefing took an odd turn when it started with Panelo singing Sharon Cuneta’s “Sana’y Wala Nang Wakas,” much to the amusement of the media, urban planners, and real estate executives.

Business forums are usually very formal. Panelo’s song number was a clear departure from the norm.

The business executives, consisting of some chief executive officers and company owners, quickly raised their phones to record his surprise number.

Meanwhile, foreign journalists who were at the event found Panelo’s performance amusing.

“This is the first time we heard a government official sing,” one of them said.

Some bloggers were impressed that he was able to hit the right notes.

Panelo then went on to read some rollout updates of crucial infrastructure and railway projects. 

He then admitted that Public Works Secretary Mark Villar, who was not invited to the press conference, was better suited to answer questions.

Panelo also took a swipe at former president Benigno Aquino III for underspending and supposedly not having major infrastructure projects during his term.

After the brief press briefing, the program emcee announced that Panelo would sing two more songs due to public request. Some couldn’t hide their puzzlement about who actually made the request.

His second song was Dean Martin’s “From the Bottom of My Heart.” A song released in 1962, this millennial reporter had to listen carefully and Google the title using the lyrics.

Panelo then rendered an original ballad and said it was for the brokenhearted in the audience.

“Take my hand, be my girl, and we’ll live forever. I’ll touch your hand, kiss your lips, they are my forever,” he sang, while holding the hand of one of the female business leaders.

Had he joined the singing competition, The Voice Philippines, would Panelo have compelled judges to turn their chairs around? –

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Ralf Rivas

A sociologist by heart, a journalist by profession. Ralf is Rappler's business reporter, covering macroeconomy, government finance, companies, and agriculture.