Du30 on love: ‘Nakasira talaga (ng buhay)’
LAST Feb. 9, at the debut party for actress Ysabel Ortega, daughter of former senator Lito Lapid and singer Michelle Ortega, President Duterte cautioned her about rushing into early “emotional involvement”: “Nakasira talaga [ ng buhay] , yang pa-in love, in love na iyan.”
He should know: he’s experienced in the ways of love, a womanizer. Which he admitted publicly at a Dec. 1, 2015 concert: “that is true, that is very true,” he said.
Not from the view of a love victim, the fate of many a young woman, but in the eyes of the predator who lures the woman to the fall.
More girlfriends While wooing votes in the presidential race, Duterte confessed to having two wives: Elizabeth Zimmerman, an ex-flight stewardess, with whom he has three children, and “Honeylet” Avanceña, a nurse, with whom he has a daughter. And two girlfriends, whom he didn’t name: a cashier and a cosmetics shop worker, who lived in P1,500/month boarding houses and didn’t need a car (as their trip, he said, was “only from the house to a hotel”).
The Pasay City regional trial court that annulled in 2000 his 27-year marriage to Zimmerman indicated there were more girlfriends than Duterte admitted to voters. The court noted he had “the penchant to engage in extramarital affairs throughout his married life.” His wife alleged Duterte was “a womanizer who had frequent outbursts of temper.” (Check out a Rappler story on the litigation by Marites Danguilan-Vitug.)
He chose not to contest the allegations and owned them up publicly. The court in its 2000 decision annulling his marriage said he “flaunted” the women, introducing them as “Mrs. Duterte” at social functions.
Politicians too So the more valuable advice Duterte could’ve given young women like Ysabel Ortega: how to handle love with a womanizer like him. To prevent a headlong plunge into love or survive the fall— and perhaps snag a president as the love partner.
Other politicians may learn too from his skill in “compartmentalizing,” which the court ruling recognized: his “being a good government leader but not a domestic leader,” a hallmark in the mastery of love.