In a week that reported that 3 million Filipinos regularly go hungry and six nations issued travel advisories on the Philippines, the country was more interested in how Shalani would fare as the new co-host of Willing Willie. (The answer: Not bad but she needs more energy. She could be the nation’s new sweetheart. Companies are scrambling for her endorsement.)
In reaction to Shalani’s newfound persona (nobody asked P-Noy about the hunger and travel advisory bits), the President responded, following the teleprompter: “ It seems she is looking at it as a perspective to broaden her ability to serve her constituents. The downside in being in show business, hopefully, will be very mitigated or non-existing.”
Perspective, downside, mitigated, and non-existing? Is that how real people, especially former lovers, speak of each other? For a while I thought P-Noy was commenting on the Myanmar elections.
The stiffness of P-Noy’s reply surprised many. Perhaps the President was annoyed, offended at Shalani’s disloyalty given that Willie had openly campaigned for Villar. Then there was the incident where Willie objected to the clip of Cory’s funeral on his show and Kris’ distaste for the host.
Or was it simply a case of seller’s remorse, of thinking he should not have let her go ?
It is probably none of the above (but I would not bet my house on it).
What Noy really wanted to say was fame in show biz is fleeting and that he hoped Shalani would have a soft landing and wished her well; but that was before his Presidential Legal Counsel took hold of the statement.
Incidentally, the PLC also crafted P-Noy’s break up email to Shalani which, imaginably, went something like this:
“My dearest Shalani:
Whereas we had a relationship that arguably was more than cordial.
Whereas it is never a bad time to explore one’s options in life.
Therefore, I wish to give the required 30 days’ notice that I shall henceforth cease and desist from engaging with you.
It is not about you, it is about me. You deserve better.
Your President and colleague in Government,
P.S. Please do not be offended if I have not been picking up. I also did it to Donald Tsang, the HK Chief Executive, who got terribly pissed.”
In lines straight from Princess Grace or Diana, Shalani replied: “Me and Noy, there was never any pressure of any kind, we never judged.” Not quite upto PLC standards but good enough, whatever it was.
So there we are, another week in the life of our beloved President, another week in the life of our beloved nation.
As for the hunger and the terrorist threats, that is for another time and place.
To be fair, Ricky Carandang of the Presidential Communications Strategic Planning and Development Office did comment on the former: “ The programs we are putting in place to combat poverty should result in a sustained reduction in hunger over time.”
He did not specify the programs nor the length of time.
But returning to what interests us, Filipinos are now focused on whether Shalani and Willie will become an item, if not already. Willie is clearly in love. As for her, well, Willie is kinda different from Noy, the energy, the smooth talk, the hair; but all that attention can be disarming.
My bet is she will go for it.
It might be a rebound, a putback to the President, or the revenge of a woman scorned although she does not appear so intentioned.
In the meantime Villar is chuckling to himself and Pangilinan is (or should be) wondering what he got himself into.