New British envoy a fan of Maya, Sir Chief

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Oct 29 2013 03:12 PM | Updated as of Oct 30 2013 10:29 PM

MANILA – Maya and Sir Chief of “Be Careful With My Heart” have gained a new supporter – this time in the person of new British Ambassador to the Philippines Asif Ahmad.

In an interview with ABS-CBN News’ Karen Davila, Ahmad said he is a fan of the top-rating Kapamilya daytime show because of its unique plot.

“Oo [nanonood ako ng] isang serye na tungkol sa isang yaya at kay Sir Chief… Magandang kuwento kasi ito ay pagkakataon na ang isang yaya mapaghusay ang kanyang buhay,” he said.

Asked if he understands its story, Ahmad said: “Konti lang sa dialogue. Lahat ay love team at iba’t ibang shot.”

According to the new envoy, he learned how to speak in Filipino when he was in London where he took a seven-month class.

“Kasi para sa lahat ng diplomat, ito ang bagong initiative ni William Hague. Ako’y nagsimulang mag-aral ng Tagalog sa London sa loob ng pitong buwan. Ngunit ang pang-unang guro, siya'y nagkasakit. Nagsimula ang ibang guro, si Janice Pabida, siya ang magandang guro,” he said.

A confessed linguist, Ahmad said he also knows how to speak in English, Bengali, Urdu, Kutchi, Farsi and French.

But Ahmad said he enjoyed learning Filipino a lot because it is like a combination of the English and Spanish languages.

Appointed as Britain’s Ambassador to the Philippines last July replacing Stephen Lillie, Ahmad said he is in awe of the Filipino spirit which "never gets dampened.”

“What I find funny here is that people are just going about their normal lives. They can find funny things in everything that they do, through traffic or through patiently waiting for a jeepney or when it’s really a very wet day. Nothing can dampen the spirits here,” he said.

“The best example I can give you, one member of my team during the floods actually waded through the water to get to work. She was the happiest person. She even apologized because she was wearing wet clothes,” he said.

Saying it is important for him to know the country’s language, Ahmad said he will use this as a vehicle to create new ties with Filipinos.

“Para sa akin, ito ay pagkakataon na mapahusay ko ang aking wika at magkaroon ng mga bagong kaibigan sa Pilipinas. Siguro para sa mga katrabahador sa embahada natin, mayroon ng bagong kaugnayan, negosyo at mamamayan ng Pilipinas,” he said.