Noynoy The Man

“His warrant of arrest and impeachment case are faster than a speeding bullet train, more railroading than a locomotive, he’s not bored, he’s not vain, It’s Noynoy the Man!”

The only son former president Cory Aquino left behind has lived in the public eye since his father, the political martyr Benigno Aquino Jr., was assassinated in 1983. As Aquino III, he has been a Congressman, a Senator and is now a President. Yet while he’s been candid, even chatty, in interviews, he’s never really bared his private self : he has never, to use a Jackie O term, “disemboweled” himself in public in this era of celebrity-hood.

“Noynoy Aquino never seemed to mind that he’s lived in the shadow of his great parents, Ninoy and Cory, and must continue living up to their legacy. In fact, he’s chosen no other life, and is proud of it.

He was his mother’s son in every way. Before and after the 1986 Edsa Revolution and into his mother’s presidency, he devoted his years, day after day “the prime of his bachelorhood” trying to protect his mother and the rest of the family, a task that fell a tad short of obsession after the many coup attempts.

“I can’t have a good night’s sleep until I know my mother is safe, or even kung nakauwi na si Jiggy” (his only nephew at that time).

This obsession with security could only intensify after he, with his security detail, was ambushed before midnight during the 1989 coup attempt. His bodyguard died and he was heavily wounded (bullet fragments were lodged in his body). If you asked him what he loved to read, he’d say, apart from the business section of the dailies, books on the military and military strategy. He was into guns and target shooting.

Where his family’s security is concerned, he’s what every man of the house should be:  protective. Out of this sense of filial duty, he provided Kris a security detail after she went on national prime-time TV talking about her relationship crisis; he just wanted bodyguards to be around her during her turmoil.

The vision and the values he has, he can’t say often enough, he got from his parents. “I feel I’m continuing what they did and see no need to do different,” he once told us. “I believe in what they fought and it’s my role to carry and pass on the torch to the next generation. But don’t you sometimes hope time will come [when] there’s no need to pass on that torch anymore because everything is all right?”

He’s had no career other than politics. As a young Ateneo graduate he was retail sales supervisor and youth promotions assistant at Nike. When his mother became President, he couldn’t and didn’t go into business so he worked, in finance, in the three firms of his uncle, Antolin Oreta, on days his mother didn’t need him.

But as early as then, it was obvious that his heart and interest lay not in the corporate world or business but in politics. Politics as it shapes governance, not as it buys one hidden wealth.

“It really feels different when you make a difference in people’s lives.”

While he’s internalized his parents’ legacy, his affinity to his mother was and is extraordinarily strong and special. His decisions and “stand in politics and, presumably, in his personal life ” have been shaped by his mother.

This was why in all the fights of Cory, Noynoy stood by her side, even literally initially to protect her, but in time, to fight his own fight.

The national prying eye wasn’t so much on his legislative work or political accomplishments, but on his bachelorhood.

“As you know, it wasn’t for want of trying [to find a life partner],” he says. “Ours has not been an easy family, starting with my father’s detention… Somebody [I will marry] has to be someone who can withstand all the things I’m getting myself into. When you’re looking for a partner, she must be somebody who can join me in all these things. I can’t have a normal relationship.”

Indeed, many women seemed to have given up trying to marry into this political, and now, national destiny. However, despite his non-date at the altar, Aquino is never jaded about marriage. But it’s no exaggeration to say that he’s subsumed his love life “indeed his personal life” to the fate and cause his mother and family have embraced.

However, he remains idealistic about marriage. “The perfect union was my parents. They were together even as they were apart,” he says.

He does see and go out on dates with young, very pretty women but mostly away from the public eye.

Except for a few cases, his taste in women hews closely to what his mom was simple, conservative, low-key.

Not only should it be a woman you can bring home to mother, in the case of this President’s son, it should also be a woman who wouldn’t give his mother a bad image or cause her embarrassment.

When his mom was President, it was as if he had this “criterion” at the back of his mind when he dated. His conservative taste in women (then, at least) ran to how girls dressed.

Beyond the peripheral, he looks for his mother’s same values in women: integrity, spirituality, generosity, courage. (Yes, same planet but younger age demographic.)

Asked why he’s been linked often to women in media, he told us, “Eh that’s my milieu, I interact with them often. Why, how many congresswomen and senators are there for me to court?”

When his mother was President, he thought he could be married way before he turned 40. “Imagine, by the time your kid turns 10, you’d be 50 na,” he said then. That deadline, even if it wasn’t a serious deadline, is long past.

He says that this persistent talk about his bachelorhood will make me a “perpetual bachelor” as it always drives home the unique challenges his family has always been thrust into, and scares away the girls.

He told us how Jiggy once kidded him, “Mauuna pa ba ko sa ‘yo?” if only to rub in how long and how many generations it’s been taking him to find a life partner.

“But I think it [marriage] will be part of God’s plan, His blessings. God knows what’s in store for me,” he said, sounding like his mother. “If I had children then, would I have been so focused and remained strong [in the nation’s fight], I thought”.

* Reposted some excerpts (updated) from Thelma Sioson San Juan’s article ” Why Noynoy Is Not Married from Philippine Daily Inquirer.

2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. ann
    Feb 05, 2012 @ 04:29:07

    Great blog 🙂


  2. Anonymous
    Dec 22, 2013 @ 22:51:10



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