A ‘hard day’s night’: Duterte’s ‘ex-men’ sing their hearts out

Ramon Lopez, Karlo Nograles, and Fortunato de la Peña sang the Eraserheads’ ‘Huling El Bimbo’; Salvador Medialdea played the guitar and rendered The Beatles’ ‘A Hard Day’s Night’; and former President Rodrigo Duterte himself sang the Martin Nievera hit ‘Ikaw’ and the Jimmy Webb composition ‘MacArthur’s Park’

All together now Rousing finale in ‘A Night of the Singing Ex-Cabinet Men.’ | PHOTOGRAPHS BY JOEY MENDOZA FOR THE DAILY TRIBUNE

The Night of the Singing Ex-Cabinet Men party held 9 November at Dusit Thani in Makati was an event of many firsts.

It marked the first time that former cabinet secretaries of the Duterte administration gathered to sing their hearts out. It was also the night these former government officials saw each other after their stint in public service. It was likewise the first public appearance of their boss, former President Rodrigo Duterte.

BONG Go, Rodrigo Duterte, Ramon Jacinto, and Sen. Imee Marcos.

In a speech, Duterte reminded his “ex-men” to love the life given to them and to stay healthy. He also thanked God for being good to him and making him president in his “old age.”

That night, Duterte was welcomed as a rock star, while former Trade Secretary Ramon Lopez, Cabinet Secretary Karlo Nograles, and Science and Technology Secretary Fortunato de la Peña sang the Eraserheads’ “Huling El Bimbo.”

(from left to right) MEDIALDEA and Jacinto., Salvador Medialdea and Daily Tribune’s Business assistant editor Komfie Manalo.

The event’s organizer, former Information and Communications Technology Undersecretary Ramon Jacinto, said he didn’t have a hard time convincing everyone to come: “It started as a casual conversation and to have fun. But eventually, it ended up being a serious concert.”

(from left to right) Delfin Lorenzana, BERNADETTE Romulo-Puyat, MARTIN Andanar, Teodoro Locsin Jr., Salvador Panelo

Former Tourism Secretary and current Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas Deputy Gov. Berna Romulo-Puyat said the party proves it is now possible to gather and to have fun responsibly: “Wearing a mask is now optional. But the important thing is everyone is vaccinated before going out and having fun. There is nothing wrong with social gatherings as long as everybody is responsible and understands that each of us is responsible for our health.”

(from left to right) Harry Roque, BENJAMIN Diokno and Bong Go., VIC Rodriguez and Alfonso Cusi.

Former Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas Gov. and now Finance Secretary Benjamin Diokno likened the event’s success to “our economy (that) continues to grow and remain strong.”

Former Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea, who wisecracked that he’s bringing his “guts,” played the guitar and rendered The Beatles’ “A Hard Day’s Night.”

Duterte himself sang the Martin Nievera hit “Ikaw” and the Jimmy Webb composition “MacArthur’s Park.”


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