MANILA - What would President Benigno Aquino III's life be like after his term ends in 2016?
For one, Aquino said he would probably wake up late on July 1, his first day of not being the President, a long sleep that he has been looking forward to.
"I will probably wake up late afternoon and not read the news," said Aquino.
And if there is one place he would like to go to after his presidency, it is Boracay, which, he said, he saw for just an hour when he inspected a project in Caticlan.
"I saw Bora but never got to the beach, never got to the sea. I will stay longer for one hour," he said to the cheers of the crowd.
What would life be after Boracay, one asked. Will he finally settle down with a possible life partner? Is this also part of his plans?
Aquino answered that he always has plans. Time, however, has been his enemy.
"If I will have more time, I will go to St. Jude more often, it might help," said the smiling Aquino to the delight of the crowd.
ROLE AFTER 2016
But being a former president, would Aquino be a critic, a fiscalizer, a supporter, or simply stay out of politics?
Aquino said there is no need for him to criticize or to fiscalize his successor, especially since he is not fond of giving unsolicited advice.
"As much as possible I will pray for my successor that he will build upon our successes," he said. "If they go the opposite direction, hopefully they will not get to that."
The President also said he is more inclined not to become president again even if the Constitution would allow it.
"You look at the human cost, I look at the faces of my sisters, nephews and nieces, another six years?" he said, adding that some of those who work for him are also looking forward to the end of his term.
"There is a human cost that I had to ask all these people to continue sacrificing," Aquino said. "Entering something should carry with it a plan of leaving and giving it to the next generation."
The President added that he is more optimistic now about the Filipino people than he was before despite some tough criticisms against him especially on his strong stance against some issues.
"Sabi niyo, ang taong may paninidigan, may prinsipyo; kapag ako nanindigan, sabihin niyo hard-headed ako," he quipped.
He believes that more than the physical infrastructures he put in place, the legacy of his presidency is that he was able to change the mindset of the Filipino, giving the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit as an example, that Filipinos can do better and be at par with the other progressive countries in the world.
"We have so many things to be proud of," he said.
READ: PNoy's greatest legacy? No more apathy among Pinoys
He, however, said that his administration is not without the strongest challenge. When asked about the most difficult challenge in his six years as president, he cited five major events: typhoons Yolanda, Pablo and Sendong, the earthquake in Bohol, and the siege in Zamboanga City.
"Nobody saw a challenge in that scale," he said.
But who or what would the President want to forget in his presidency? Aquino said it is the critics who have crossed the lines of responsible criticisms.
"How does one drive satisfaction by causing anxiety, what a perverse mind," he said, "yung kailangan paggising mo ng umaga paano ba ako babanat."
"Hindi ko sinasabing purihin mo ako kaliwa't kanan, but there are some people who crossed the lines," he added.
Finally, his piece of advice to the next president: "Do not lose the ability to listen."
Aquino hopes that he will not spend his last Christmas as a president attending to a national emergency like disasters or calamities. He hopes to spend it peacefully and spend more time with people who matter most to him.