MANILA – President Aquino on Wednesday said the most difficult challenge for him during his presidency is the emotional toll it is taking on everyone around him, including his family and his staff.
Speaking at an event of the Ateneo Professional Schools in Makati City, the President said, “The end of my term marks the beginning of normalcy in their lives. I don’t think I am prepared to sacrifice everybody else’s lives.”
Aquino was keynote speaker at an event of the school dubbed as “Four as one: forming leaders for nation building forum," which is part of the 40th anniversary of the professional school.
During the forum, Aquino was more than willing to respond to some questions from deans of the school.
“One of my oldest staff members — oldest meaning, hindi physical age pero yung length of time that she’s been with me — she has this old style calendar na pinupunit niya yung pahina; it marks the number of days left… parang at the end of the day is marked by a joyous occasion for her… when she gets to remove one more page,” Aquino shared.
According to Aquino, he copes by praying, by listening to music -- though he admits finding Adele “depressing."
“At the end of the day, I talk to God, pray to god and say… i ask that may we be made instruments of His will. I am going to listen to some music before I retire. In fact, i am beginning to appreciate classical music these days… I am sure a lot of people here have heard of Adele… kaya lang pag you listen to adele na… parang nakaka-depress afterwards, parang nawawala yung uplifting moments,” the President said.
Adele is famous for her break-up songs.
Aquino said he also finds time to spend with friends.
“From time to time, even something as simple as a meal, you share with some friends. Natuwa ka, nangiti ka. From time to time, may ability ka pa para makangiti ng konti, okay na rin,” he said.
He also doesn’t feel inclined to keep responding to what he referred to as a cottage industry of critics, he said.
“Will i spend most of my time answering the cottage industry of critics that has sprung up? Or di ba, parang Father Oligares advised me noon, ‘Wala sa debate, wala sa usapan, sa gawa na lang.’ And I tend to follow that advice, ‘yong why spend time debating with somebody who will never have an open mind? Why not just do what has to be done,” he noted.
With over 800 days left before his administration ends, Aquino also said his administration is about delivering on the needs of the public, citing the praises his administration has been receiving.
“Yung opposition kasi is parang easiest thing to do e criticize and complain. And in the administration naman you have to produce; and i think we are producing and i think I’ll let their records that they earned speak for itself. We get all of these praises from the foreign business community, from foreign political leaders etcetera on what is happening in transforming the Philippines.”
The chief executive also rallied his fellow Ateneans in government to do well in their jobs.
“President Estrada at one point was talking to UP graduates while i was congressman, then and I overheard a conversation and they said “Alam mo sa dami nyong mga taga-UPng nandito at hindi pa natin napa-asenso itong bansang ito, sarado na natin yung UP,” he said it as a joke.
“Now there are a lot of Ateneans in government. I hope that we really fulfill all our promises coz there might be a call to close the Ateneo naman after that,” he lamented.