Monday, June 9, 2014

VP Binay and the Makati sidewalk

There are some experiences in life that is just worth writing down not for it's life changing lessons it brought you but out of the total randomness... it feels surreal. 

Today, June 9 is one for the books. We all know that the center of the Philippine government is in Manila. But it doesn't mean that you bump into certain officials as if it's an everyday occurrence. In the off chance that it happens, you might get a glimpse of them from a far and safe distance barred by a throng of security detail. 

In the ordinary realm of a Makati office worker's life, a coffee break may mean a quick visit to the nearby Starbucks for a coffee to-go. And that's what we did today. 

Mara and I were talking about some mundane things going back to the office when we saw the flashing lights of government-issued SUV cars parked along the busy street of Makati Avenue just in front of our office building. 

My imagination went overdrive. And in the tradition of my favorite past time, I concocted a story about the whole scene. I speculated that it must be Vice President Binay making a withdrawal of a thousand peso at UCPB. Mara countered that if that's the case why can't he just instructed the secretary to do the errand. But then I told her that maybe the VP doesn't want to share his ATM PIN. It was a totally crazy exchange but it made the afternoon heat bearable with that lively banter. 

Just before we reached the main facade of UCPB, a group of Barong-clad men exited from it. And right in the middle of them is the VP himself!
The Vice President of the Philippine Republic
Hahaha! In my mind, I was doubling over from laughter. But I couldn't laugh out loud. Not within the vicinity of those mean-looking security detail! While at it, my thought process has worked double time with side comments and what-nots!

In the most random event in my life, we saw the VP with a friendly smile stop in front of us. Of course with the intent to have a chat with us? And in my most un-sophisticated and finesse-gone-out-the-window reaction, I blurted out, "hello, Veep!" Who says that? I hope he didn't get my sitcom/tv series reference!

VP Binay made a point of shaking our hands with the sincerity of a longtime friend. It felt natural and warm. Ha! He even made a totally random comment about my hand, "mainit yata ang palad mo, hija?" to which I cheekily responded with "mainit po kasi ang kape."

It was such a surreal experience that I was not able to even think about having our photos taken with him. Although, I reasoned that am not really a fan. And yet in that less than 2 minute encounter, I was captivated. 

VP Binay is a charming man. And as an official occupying the second highest post in the land, he bestowed an aura of accessibility. It made me realize that the wide margin he generated from the last elections was probably due to his charisma and his everyday-man persona. 

For a man who is probably no taller than 5'0 feet, my encounter with him today made him appear larger than life!

So VP Binay, thank you for taking the time to say hello to everyday folks like us. No wonder the ordinary residents of Makati revers you. 



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