DAVAO CITY: After much anticipation from her fans—and fanfare from her end via Instagram—disappointment filled the air at the SMX Convention Center in SM Lanang on Friday when Kris Aquino’s one-on-one interview with President Rodrigo Duterte was cancelled at the last minute.
Originally scheduled at 4:30 p.m. as part of the Go Negosyo Micro Small and Medium Enterprise Summit, it wasn’t until over an hour later when an announcement was made that the President had sent word he could not attend the event because of migrane.
Aquino, who arrived very early at the venue, soon after went up the stage accompanied by her best friend Boy Abunda, and acknowledged the “town hall interview” was not pushing through.
With her voice initially uneasy —cracking slightly at times—she candidly admitted her disappointment and took
the humorous route.
“Minsan ang mga first date, hindi natutuloy [Sometimes first dates don’t push through],” she said, eliciting laughter from the audience and several other government officials on stage including Sen. Juan Miguel Zubiri and Albay Rep. Joey Salceda, among others.
“President Duterte pinaghandaan kita, nag-diyeta ako ng dalawang linggo.
26 na lang po ang bewang ko ngayon. Sisiguraduhin kong maging 25 para sa next time na pagkikita natin [President Duterte I prepared for you. I went on diet for two weeks. I’ve slimmed down my waistline to 26. I’ll make sure it goes down to 25 next time,” she said.
Aquino also shared how she asked for her brother former president Benigno Aquino 3rd’s advice on what she should do after being stood up. The former president, she said, told her to keep her commitment to host the program.
Addressing Duterte, she said: "Please give me a chance. I hope one day, mamahalin mo rin ako [I hope, one day you will love me].”
After interviewing the participating entrepreneurs on stage—where she took every chance she could in emphasizing that their success took place during her brother’s term—Aquino granted a short interview and said that she still appreciated how President Duterte’s camp made sure to properly apologize to her over the cancellation.
She said: “Kris was here, Duterte was not, but I’m really appreciative that Bong Go came to explain [w[why he failed to show up]and maybe there will be other opportunities.”
Trade Secretary Ramon Lopez said that Duterte wasn’t feeling well after a two-day trip to Thailand and Malaysia.
“He has a killer schedule. I was with him ever since the series of state visits,” Lopez explained.
Aquino has not had a television show since taking a hiatus in March due to health reasons, and following her move from ABS-CBN to APT Entertainment in September.