President Rodrigo Duterte turned 74 years old last March 28. On the eve of his birthday, he was surprised with a Philippine flag-themed cake by his government staff.
His simple celebration was recorded on video and Duterte was seen making a wish before blowing his candle. He simply wished for the country to continue to progress and not to take part in other nations’ problems. This is an allusion to the controversial involvement of the Philippines with China.
A day before his birthday, Duterte attended a rally for PDP-Laban in South Cotabato, which was attended by 10,000 people. During the massive gathering, he expressed his desire to not hold a grand party and just celebrate his special day at home.
“Historically, ayaw ko talagang mag-celebrate ng birthday. Gusto ko sa bahay lang matulog ako. And if there’s somebody that is really welcome to me, ‘yung mga anak ko, pati ‘yung apo ko,” he shared.
It has become his long-time tradition for the President to reserve March 28 so he can spend his birthdays at his home in Davao and bond with his family members. The President was never fond of grand parties even when he was mayor.
As a form of celebration, Duterte’s cabinet members aired their birthday wishes for him.
Agriculture Secretary Emmanuel Piñol wished Duterte good health so he can continue ruling over the Filipino nation.
Presidential Communications Secretary Martin Andanar, on the other hand, crafted a poetic greeting about how Duterte was destined “to lead” the country and by following him as the ruler, people “may live your noble cause within our lives.”
Interior Secretary Eduardo Año lauded Duterte for his “passion” and “dedication” in resolving the predicaments that plague the country. Año also said the President also inspires the people to strive for the same level of performance.
While Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra said: “I wish that the people will understand better that everything he does as a father of the nation, while not to the liking of some people, is motivated only by the love of country and genuine concern for the welfare of future generations of Filipinos.”
Former Davao City Vice Mayor Paolo Duterte didn’t miss the shot to greet his father. He thanked the President for making time for them despite his busy schedule and advised him “to take some rest sometimes.” As for the sea of critics attacking his father, he said: “Inday Sara Zimmerman Duterte will take charge of them.”