MANILA, Philippines – For one night, Malacañang officials, led by none other than President Rodrigo Duterte, and members of the media exchanged controversy for crooning as they celebrated the holiday season with a Christmas party.
At the Malacañang Press Corps party, held at the Heroes' Hall in Malacañang on Tuesday night, December 12, it wasn’t only Duterte who sang but Special Assistant to the President Bong Go, Presidential Spokesman Harry Roque, and Presidential Communications Secretary Martin Andanar.
Reporters and even Malacañang staff were surprised that the usually poker-faced Go turned out to be the official who would sing the most number of songs that night – 5.
Go, who made sure to sip some liquid courage (red wine) first, belted out tunes, like classic love song “All My Life” by America, “Let It Be” by The Beatles, and “Superman” by Five for Fighting which he dedicated to his “boss.”
“It’s not easy…to be Mayor Duterte,” sang Go, changing the last line of the Five for Fighting hit.
As he sang, Go even had back-up dancers in the form of Malacañang staff swaying their arms and hips behind him.
After his “segment” Go gamely shook hands with reporters who congratulated him on his performance. By the time he was back in his seat at the presidential table, the top Duterte aide was red in the face and neck, his body’s reaction to alcohol.
Duterte, who, earlier during the party had begged off from singing because of a “bad stomach” ended up singing a few songs of his own. Was he perhaps inspired by his aide?
The President treated his audience with his rendition of “You Raise Me Up” by Josh Groban, a refreshing change to his usual number, “Ikaw". As his aide dedicated a song to him, so Duterte dedicated his performance to his late mother Soledad Roa Duterte.
But, at one point, Duterte appeared to forget the lyrics and the band behind him played instrumentals without any voice accompaniment. Unfazed, the President began to recite some poetic verses with the music in the background.
Presidential Spokesman Harry Roque, meanwhile, perhaps owing to his relatively young age, sang a more current hit: “O Pare Ko” by the Eraserheads.
Presidential Communications Secretary Martin Andanar, with his baritone, belted Frank Sinatra’s “New York, New York,” particularly relishing the lyrics, “Start spreading the news.”
But there wasn’t only singing. Duterte ballroom-danced with Presidential Communications Assistant Secretary Lorraine Badoy. Roque danced with a presidential security aide.
For many of those at the party, it was a night to remember, not least because this was the first MPC Christmas party with Duterte. The President said he hopes to have such parties every year. – Rappler.com