By: Elena Grace Flores
President, Rodrigo Roa Duterte, is trying to make customs, break traditions and surpass protocols to show that he is the maker of manners. Being an iconoclast and populist which is a heady combination, the nation is watching as he make, will remake or unmake manners and many other out of the box things during his tenure.
The question is, what kind of style the president is portraying like John Fitzgerald Kennedy, built a new Camelot with distinctive elegant style as inspired by his First lady Jacqueline. Then came Ferdinand Marcos with his wife Imelda bringing a new brought a new strongman style and pomp to Malacañang and affairs of state that made him stay in power for two decades. Cory Aquino’s is not undermined at all because she was successful in painting everything yellow.
Duterte for one detested royal titles that denote respect like the President of India, Shri Pranab Mukherjee, who prefers to be addressed by the Hindu honorific “Shri”. Duterte encourages less ‘formal’ communications,” according to spokesman Ernie Abella. In fact, he ordered that his Cabinet members will be called “Secretary” instead of usual “Honorable” because not all are honorable? His fashion sense is also as confusing as his statements. He was noted wearing a “barong” which is a formal attire in a distinguished event but paired with the casual “maong” pants. He wanted to be rugged and all that perhaps to get the affection of the masses which is massive in the Philippines – but his not having a good taste for one time and a mix match with another can dub him as the President with confusing lifestyle.