I had, occasionally, joined the media delegation to trail President Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino III or PNoy in one or two of his 40 official and state visit travels to 24 countries.   

Despite this, I haven’t had the opportunity to interview him one and one, up close and personal. But, he left an imprint in me, though. Yes, for those who knew me well, it’s food-related. I would remember PNoy every time I indulge in Ben and Jerry’s (bought either from Rustan’s or S&R) and eat and/or hear people talk about deep-dish pizza. 

e talk about deep-dish pizza. 

It was way back when his mother, Corazon “Tita Cory” Aquino, was the Palace resident and I was a member of the Bratpack, the collective name of journalists covering Malacanang. One sunny afternoon while waiting for the Palace visitors to come out of their meeting with Tita Cory, lo and behold NoyNoy made a rare appearance at the Palacegrounds. 

He chatted with us for a while. Noticing the weather was a bit hot, he inquired if we wanted to cool down with Ben and Jerry’s. Who would say no to Ben and Jerry’s?!

Then, on May 6, 2015, a year and a week before the presidential polls, PNoy went on an official North American trip to Chicago, Illinois and Ottawa, Canada. For a foodie, one of the highlights of his Chicago visit, where he received a signed jersey of the NBA team from Transunion president and chief executive officer M. Jim Peck, was a short getaway from his gruelling schedule to savor the famous Chicago deep dish pizza. 

As a journalist, to be able to extensively write a light, feel good article about his escapade, it’s a must to have a taste of the famous deep dish pizza, baked in a round pan similar to a pie pan with buttery rich dough spread on the bottom of the oiled pan, partially baked before toppings are added. 

Although, I prefer thin crust wood-fired baked pizza when I had my share of deep dish pizza, I then fully understand PNoy’s reason to get away for a bit to have his fill. It’s yummy, crispy, flaky and rich.

This shows that despite his stature, it merely proves that no matter how old one gets, there’s still a little child hidden in his heart, which every now and then surfaces.

To sum up all the comments of his six years, PNoy governed with humility, decency, integrity, and accountability and the underlying desire to improve the lives of the Filipinos.

It’s no wonder that people from all walks of life lined up to pay homage to him. One of them was former Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas Governor Amando “Citizen Say” Tetangco. A co- blue-and-white alumnus, Citizen Say (this is what he wanted to be called shortly after he retired as the longest BSP Room 501 resident) queued with no fuss. 

But no matter how quiet one would want to pay his last respect, Gov. Say’s fame and stature as an eighth time triple AAA banker did not escape the eagle eyes of the volunteer marshals. Voila, Citizen Say was escorted by one and was allowed to cross the line to be quickly ushered in.

And as for the ATBP, here’s what I heard from the business community: Philippine Airlines (PAL) will be missing its self-imposed June deadline for Chapter 11 filing. Instead, it’s now looking at the middle of this month as it’s in the process of “fine tuning” the language of the required documents. PAL management has laid out plans to fully inform the public, stakeholders of the extent of its Chapter 11 undertaking, including the media.  

Another scuttlebutt going around the banking corridor is that Philippine National Bank (PNB) is scouting for a new independent director following the resignation of Lito Villanueva. Mr. Lito, who was elected to the PNB board only last April 27 along with Willy Sanchez, tendered his resignation “due to health reasons.”

As the wheels of business churn, promise that this corner of the corridor will provide updates as well as some juicy stuff.

Talkback to me at sionil731@gmail.com

Source: Manila Bulletin (https://mb.com.ph/2021/07/02/anecdotes-atbp/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=anecdotes-atbp)