MAASIN CITY, June 14 (PIA) — The visit last week of Undersecretary Ramon “Mon” Cualoping III, director-general of the Philippine Information Agency (PIA), to Barangay Laboon here, the birthplace of President Rodrigo Roa Duterte, was the realization of a long-cherished dream.
“It was a dream come true,” the Undersecretary of the Presidential Communications Operations Office (PCOO) said in remarks during the midyear assessment of PIA in the region held at Haiyan Hotel in Tanuan, Leyte, Friday, June 11.
He said it was really his dream to visit the place where the president was born to see for himself how a small boy coming from a laid-back, mountain barangay would soar high to become the country’s most powerful man.
“This man could probably be judged as the best president of the Philippines in our history,” Cualoping said.
On Wednesday last week, Cualoping stepped on the ground of Brgy. Laboon, and spent several minutes interacting with the peers of the president.
He was accompanied by Olive Tiu, PIA regional director, and City Mayor Nacional Mercado together with the city councilors.
“On a humid and hot Wednesday with overcast skies, the 9th of June, I was able to visit barangay Laboon, Maasin City, Southern Leyte, the birthplace of President Rodrigo Roa Duterte,” Cualoping later posted in his facebook account.
He acknowledged the effort of Mayor Mercado in arranging a meeting with the president’s elementary classmates, Constancia Ortega and Leonila Faelnar, saying he was most grateful and honored.
“To hear directly from them childhood stories about their classmate who would later on become Davao City’s legendary mayor and the Philippines’ maverick president is a once in a lifetime experience, a manifestation of oral history passed on for future generations to know,” Cualoping posted.
He added: “I felt like I was watching a documentary. But this time, I was part of it. With the two ladies vividly sharing anecdotes about President Duterte, such as how years after when then Mayor Duterte invited them to visit Davao, where they were treated like royalty, including a chopper ride to see the city’s progress.”
“As I left the barangay, and as the rain started to pour, I felt so happy, so inspired,” Cualoping said. (Reports from Marcelo Pedalino – PIA Southern Leyte)