Practical shooting remains the favorite pastime of President Benigno Aquino 3rd because it is also his “stress buster.”
Aquino said he finds time to fire his favorite gun at least once a week at a firing range.
“I still engage in practical shooting, once a week. It gives you a break from everything,” he said during an interaction with students from Miriam College who visited him in Malacañang.
The President recalled that when he was in high school his favorite subjects were Practical Arts, History and Electronics. He boasted that he was able to assemble a one-channel AM radio and a voltage adaptor.
“We were asked to assemble an AM radio. I made one that had only one channel. Also an AC/DC adaptor,” he told his young audience.
He described high school as “one of the most enjoyable periods” in his life.
Aquino also relived the days when he was into “video arcades in QUAD, now Greenbelt” in Makati City.
“Whatever you think is unique about your situation, may version ang previous generations,” he said.
He added that he also likes volleyball as a game because “obligado ang teamwork” while basketball produces only “superstars.”
Turning serious, the President took a swipe at his critics, describing criticisms against him as a “cottage industry.”
But he said ignoring potshots is one of his New Year’s resolutions.
“We have a cottage industry of people who make a living criticizing me . . . [I will] just ignore people who [are]hopeless,” he stressed.
Also on top of his list of resolutions is to be “more understanding toward his Cabinet” which he pressures a lot.
The President said he will ensure that his Cabinet members do not suffer from burnout.
“The Cabinet is very hardworking, very dedicated. Perhaps I should begin to give them a little more breathing room, baka ma-burnout [lest they suffer from burnout],” he said.
When the Chief Executive got back from his Christmas break, he called his Cabinet members to a meeting on New Year’s Day.
The President said that while Cabinet members could have earned bigger salaries in the private sector, they chose to sacrifice for the country.
In December, Strategic Communications Secretary Ramon Carandang resigned after more than two years in office.
On Christmas Day, Energy Secretary Jericho Petilla offered to resign over his supposed “failure” to deliver on his promise to bring back power to areas devastated by Super Typhoon Yolanda. The resignation was rejected.
On Monday, Public Works and Highways Secretary Rogelio Singson also offered to quit his post if charges that the bunkhouses being constructed for typhoon victims are proven to be overpriced.
Aquino said that he took a break in December but personal issues made him “senti” or sentimental.
“I took a break and wound up in Tarlac. My aunt who was not in good health, her son died . . . na-senti ako [I got sentimental],” he told the students.
He was also saddened because he could not be with his parents.
“I saw pictures of dad and mom. Obviously we would not be together for the holidays.”
To give a picture of his daily activities, Aquino said he usually checks the news every morning, both local and foreign.
“[The] first thing is to get informed. I digest the news and get it as unembellished as possible,” he stressed.
“Currently we’re monitoring the situation in South Sudan,” he added.
Aquino asked the youth to help his administration ensure it will not pass on to its successor the problems it is currently facing.
“We will not bequeath to the next administration the problems we had to face. It takes a collective effort,” he emphasized.
“The things we see wrong, we are committed not to perpetuate,” he added.