Though he’s known as the “Selfie King”, former Special Assistant to the President (SAP) Christopher “Bong” Go’s latest social media post isn’t a photo of himself. Go shared on Sunday a photo of President Rodrigo Duterte and the simple meal the two shared while in Papua New Guinea for the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Summit.
The photos show a plainly dressed President Duterte enjoying a dinner of “bulad” (dried fish) and white rice. Go captioned the set “Kahit nasa Papua New Guinea, bulad pa rin ang kinakain ni Tatay Digong”.
President Duterte previously said that he prefers simple meals of canned sardines, corned beef, and bulad even if he’s staying in a hotel or surrounded by more expensive fare.
The photo set has quickly gone viral. In the ten hours since their posting, the photos have been shared nearly 16,000 times. The post currently has over 10,000 likes and nearly 300 comments. The massive response has been overwhelmingly positive – the simple lifestyle of the country’s highest official resonated deeply with many Filipinos.
Many comments use t ‘simple’ and ‘humble’ to describe the President.
while others still praise him for shying away from the extravagances often afforded him by his position.
Some commended the President on his choice of viand, saying they too enjoy the same meal.
The post also highlights Bong Go’s ability to connect the Filipino people directly with President Duterte. Go recently resigned from his position as SAP in order to pursue a senatorial bid for the 2019 mid-term elections. Despite his resignation from his government position, Go has said that he is in no way resigned from service. He still retails the title of SAP, however it now means Special Assistant to the People. Go, who has worked with Duterte for over two decades, often acts as a bridge between the people and the President. He able to take the concerns of the ordinary Filipino directly to Malacanang. On the other hand, he offers to Filipinos insight into the doings of the government and unfiltered access to the President in a way most media coverage cannot. Many comments on the post were by Filipinos sharing their own bulad dinners in solidarity and support for the President.