ONE of the coolest American presidents to occupy the White House is President Barack Obama.

In 2008, when he ran for president of the United States for the first time, his political battle cry was “Yes We Can.”

In his farewell speech last Tuesday in Chicago, he declared, “Yes We Did.”

On Jan. 20, he leaves office after two terms of eight years.

One amazing feature of American democracy is the peaceful transfer of power at the expiration of the term of a sitting leader to a duly and freely elected president.

With his usual eloquence, President Obama delivered his final speech as president in television before the American people and his world audience.

In his address, the President cited his achievements.

Among them, the improved economy, climate change measures, taking the mastermind of 9/11, longest job creation period, Cuba breakthrough, shutting-off of Iran’s nuclear might without firing a shot, health insurance to 20 million Americans.

Amidst chants of “four more years,” he said America was better and stronger than when he started eight years ago.

We are sharing some paragraphs from Mr. Obama’s speech.

“After eight years as your president, I still believe that. And it’s not just my belief. It’s the beating heart of our American idea — our bold experiment in self-government.

“It’s the conviction that we are all created equal, endowed by our creator with certain unalienable rights, among them life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.”

“Yes, our progress has been uneven. The work of democracy has always been hard. It has been contentious. Sometimes it has been bloody. For every two steps forward, it often feels we take one step back. But the long sweep of America has been defined by forward motion, a constant widening of our founding creed to embrace all, and not just some.”

On the challenges to American democracy, “The peril each poses to our democracy is more far reaching than a car bomb or a missile. They represent the fear of change. The fear of people who look or speak or pray differently. A contempt for the rule of law that holds leaders accountable. An intolerance of dissent and free thought. A belief that the sword or the gun or the bomb or the propaganda machine is the ultimate arbiter of what’s true and what’s right.”

We wish the Obamas all the best.


I’m confused as to who is trying to oust who in Manila.

Is it President Duterte trying to oust VP Leni?

Or is it VP Leni who’s trying to oust President Duterte?

Depends on who’s speculating, I guess.

We have a saying in Bulacan which goes this way, “Natatakot sa sariling anino.”

Meaning, afraid of one’s shadow.

Are some of the President’s men in Manila beginning to fear their own shadows as they keep on harping that there is an oust Duterte movement in New York and that the supposed mastermind is from New York?

With 6,000 lives lost extrajudicially to the anti-drugs campaign of their boss and President Duterte’s open admission in a TV interview that he doesn’t mind the rule of law in some cases, there are reasons to be afraid of.


Former New York Consul General Mario Lopez de Leon, Jr. and his wife Eleanor.

Here’s a fearless man and friend.

Former New York Consul General Mario Lopez de Leon, Jr. continues to spend wisely and happily the initial moments of his retirement by going back to the home province of his dearly beloved wife Eleanor.

The late Sen. Miriam Defensor Santiago would refer to that as obedience to the senator’s bride marital dictum of “I go my way, you go my way.”


Last week, ConGen Mario spent time with his 88-year-old Mama, who I said was only 68 in my “New Now” calendar.

I can sense Jun Hornilla and Ador Equipado smiling because under my same calendar, they just turned 60 recently.


Going back to the former ConGen who, like the other ConGens in New York before him are sorely missed by the community they left, retired ConGen Mario is continuously keeping in touch with U.S. friends through Facebook.

The difference is we are still adjusting to seeing him in golf shirts and polo shirts and not in suite or necktie and jacket.

Remember, ex-ConGen Mario was once selected by Cristina Dc Pastor among the best dressed men in the East Coast of America, which I protested.

But, later on, I withdrew my protest when a fine Filipina in New Jersey said I looked like Hollywood actor Richard Gere.


This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it