President Barack came to town.

It was a grand and heartwarming welcome for President Barack Obama in Manila, red carpet, twenty-one gun salute, and a real hot sun. It was Filipino hospitality at its best: the native food, the pangkat kawayan, the Kuh Ledesma/Leo Valcez voices, and the courteousness and kindness that is innately Filipino.

I listened, of course, to what the two presidents have to say about the visit and the affairs of the region and the rest of the world. Criticisms abound, but we have to give it to these two great men (both my age), that they are doing their damnest best for peace and the betterment of all the peoples of the world. I do not doubt their sincerity and honesty, for they would have blundered in front of the cameras, but I did hear spontaneous responses, not calibrated, and sometimes, I would like to reprimand the critics for creating a whole bunch of senseless stumbling blocks the slows the success of these leaders.

Hope springs eternal.

The US President who came to right a wrong.

Before he proceeded to American Heritage where he laid a wreath, in heartfelt gratitude, to those American soldiers who never made it home, in the world war of 1940’s, those who had fallen side by side with the Filipinos in Leyte, at Corregidor, and in that gruesome Death March from Bataan to Tarlac, President Barack Obama gave a terse speech to the men and women in uniform, both Americans and Filipinos, and the veterans of WWII, telling them that the friendship between the United States of America and the Republic of the Philippines is IRON CLAD. 

If we are to make mental image of what is IRON CLAD, we think about a friendship forged in fire. President Barack couldn’t be emphatic enough, because actually, the friendship of the Americans and the Filipinos was forged in blood. President Barack was hurried in his speech, but he took his time shaking hands, even kissing, the veterans, and the soldiers. That is what mattered.

Thank you, President Obama, for a pleasant visit. You are the only President of the United States who admitted that a wrong had been done to our veterans, for more than sixty years, and you came to make it right. No matter what the critics find fault in you, you already penetrated the Filipinos’ hearts.

Godspeed.

(And Air Force One flew past my roof, because, since it is a no fly zone time, that’s the only air craft on the heavens that I heard. Ha ha)