Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo—the Vice President who became President because of EDSA II and the second woman to stand as the nation’s commander-in-chief—was our president for nine years. In the beginning, she disarmed us with her resemblance to Nora Aunor, her Lilliputian appeal, and her blinding smile.
Little did we know that behind her cuteness is a leader whose tenacity would put Napoleon Bonaparte to shame. We offer her this send-off as she prepares for life as a congresswoman. (You didn’t expect her to take up gardening after she moves out of Malacañang, did you?)
Madame President, here are the 10 things we’ll really miss about you.
1. Your penchant for fine dining. We have fond memories of your entourage’s dinner at Le Cirque in Manhattan, New York. Was the Wild Burgundy Escargot any good? How about the Californian Osetra Caviar? We’re counting on you to tell us what a $20,000-dinner tastes like. That’s almost a million pesos in Philippine currency. Enough for two million fish balls!
2. Your interesting phone pals. Thanks to you, we discovered that the best way to relieve stress was to phone a friend. We should all have our own private Garcis. They’re perfect for those times when you just want to call someone and say hello.
3. Your darling husband. You picked a man who’s your true match. He has certainly blazed a trail as our country’s first-ever First Gentleman. We don’t mind that he has an imaginary friend named Jose Pidal. He’s just a delightful barrel of surprises. Just like some of your other relatives, friends, and associates.
4. Your “I am sorry” spiel. Elton John was wrong when he sang, “Sorry seems to be the hardest word.” You killed us with your heartbreaking speech. Anyone who wants to be forgiven for making a big mistake should use it as a template for their spiels.
5. Your girly-girl side. As the most powerful woman in the land, we thought you were no longer concerned about superficial stuff. We love you for proving us wrong. We totally understand why you got yourself some implants. You’re an inspiration to working women everywhere. You reminded them that whatever they achieve is immaterial if they don’t have the right cup size.
6. Your more-than-bearable likeness of being. Rene Boy Facunla does not let you down. Ate Glow is someone we would welcome to our homes. We hope she never leaves.
7. Your unflappability. We’ll never forget the time when an earthquake interrupted your speech in Tuguegarao, Cagayan. You stood your ground and deadpanned, “Wow. Let’s pray it will not be anything like Chile or Haiti.” That’s our girl!
8. Your eldest son. Just one question: Was he breastfed as a baby? The poor boy got skinned alive by Winnie Monsod. He should take pointers from you before taking on these damn interviews about his wealth and what-not. We still like him, though. He’s very entertaining.
9. Your katarayan. If you put your mind to it, you can give resident political tigress Senator Miriam Defensor-Santiago a run for her money. Your edge: You have better outfits. We loved your Inno Sotto “French Fries” gown in your last State of the Nation address even if some people said the color reminded them of Barney.
10. Your holiday economics. It’s great that you could move around traditional holidays to more convenient dates. You gave us many long weekends so we could spend money that we don’t really have for travel, shopping, and other distractions that will make us forget about the country’s never-ending troubles.