But of course, there could never be another Snow White nor Sleeping Beauty except the originals from the rich imagery of Disney.
But in the case of the Philippine president, it is funny how local media made full take, nay a big fuss, of his missing important events in summits abroad he was supposed to attend.
It is always given the national government shoulders the hefty expenses for these trips. Obviously the company of officials, assistants and whoever came with the entourage get the most out of the free trip.
So why does the president attend summits and snub some of the events when it is the reason for his trip?
President Duterte was absent from these major gatherings with other leaders in the just concluded ASEAN summit in Singapore:
- Asean-Australia Informal Breakfast Summit
- 20th Asean-Republic of Korea Summit
- Working Lunch Hosted by the Singaporean Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong for Asean Leaders and Guests
- 2nd Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) Summit
- Gala Dinner
For the lapses in the just concluded ASEAN summit, and nearly every major multi-day gathering, he was bound to skip one or two events.
In a statement released Wednesday evening (November 14, 2018), presidential spokesperson Salvador Panelo said Duterte missed the meetings because “he took power naps to catch [up] on sleep.”
Also the Chief Presidential Legal Counsel, Panelo issued assurance that the “absence has nothing to do with his physical health and well-being which have been the subject of speculation.”
But in the past, in some cases, Duterte or his spokesmen claimed he had to miss some of the activities due to health reasons.
On the just concluded APEC summit (Nov. 17-18, 2018) in Port Moresby, Papua, New Guinea, Duterte skipped some events, including the gala dinner Sunday night (Nov 18). His trade minister was forced to pose with heads of state donning bright yellow and red Papua New Guinean shirts.
While Duterte did not miss events during the ASEAN Summit in 2017 since that year, it was because the Philippines was the host. As chairman, Duterte was constrained from being no show at any of the activities.
In the past ASEAN and Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summits, Duterte had also skipped these events:
- APEC gala dinner in Vietnam (November 2017)
- Two summits in Laos: the ASEAN-US and ASEAN-India summits (September 2016)
- Photo-op of ASEAN leaders with US President Barack Obama, also in Laos (September 2016)
- APEC family photo in Peru (November 2016)
- APEC Economic Leaders’ Retreat “where heads of state divide themselves into smaller groups” and they can “freely discuss among themselves” (November 2016)
- APEC gala dinner hosted by Peru President Pedro Pablo Kuczynski (November 2016)
Sleep experts says power naps should last from 10 to 30 minutes. the longer, the better. The meetings that Duterte skipped would last for approximately one hour each, so that he should get well rested, then.
Experts opined that “the power nap is meant to maximize the benefits of sleep versus time. It is used to supplement normal sleep, especially when a sleeper has accumulated a sleep deficit.”
Last September, the president admitted he had gone through endoscopy and colonoscopy, tracing history of constipation in the family.
Duterte also shared he suffers a bad case of Barrett’s disease, a chronic and usually severe gastrointestinal reflux disease or GERD.
The president needs more bed time to rest. At 73, it is tasking his endurance more than ever. I worry about the president’s health and well-being.
Let assistants bring his famous kulambo (mosquito net) so he can get good night sleep while in summits abroad.
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