By Perry Diaz
Most of us adults probably don’t believe in Santa Claus. But President Benigno “P-Noy” Aquino III believes in Santa Claus. P-Noy said that when he was interviewed on YouTube. “I believe in Santa Claus. Santa Claus is perhaps the personification of people’s idea of generosity and caring,” he said in response to a question of a seven-year-old boy, identified only as Joshua. There you go — Santa Claus is the “personification” of people’s idea of generosity and caring. In other words, we can all be Santa Claus if we are generous and caring.
Curious, my investigative reporter James Macaquecquec went to see P-Noy at Malacanang to interview him. But Communications Secretary Ricky Carandang would not allow him. James took another approach. James told Ricky, “Hey, didn’t you know that my boss knew your parents when you were living in Sacramento some 30 years ago? Actually, my boss said he knew you, too, but you probably don’t remember him because you were only eight or nine years old then.” Ricky responded, “I was very young then. But I do remember my parents hanging out with some funny Pinoys in Sacramento.” “Funny Pinoys? I’ll tell that to my boss. Hehehe…” James said. “Just kidding, don’t tell your boss that cuz he might write some bad things about me in his PerryScope column, okay? And I’ll let you interview P-Noy… but only for five minutes, okay?” Ricky said. “A deal,” James shook Ricky’s hand.
The interview went as follows:
James: Good afternoon po, Mr. President.
P-Noy: Good afternoon din sa iyo, James (reading James’ press badge). Gee, that’s a funny sounding name, James Macaquecquec.
James: Yes, people make fun of it all the time. Hehehe…
P-Noy: Oh, don’t feel bad. Anyway, what do you want to know?
James: Your comment that you believe in Santa Claus is an interesting news item, Mr. President.
P-Noy: Well, when you think of Santa Claus, don’t you think of being generous and charitable… of giving to others?
James: When I think of Santa Claus, I think of receiving. Hehehe….
P-Noy: Same with me when I was a little boy. Now, I believe that “giving” is actually “receiving,” isn’t it?
James: Well, that’s what happens in exchanging gifts on Christmas, right? I give you something and you give me something.
P-Noy: No, no, no! When you give, don’t expect something back!
James: Well, why don’t you give me something then, Mr. President?
P-Noy: Sure, not a problem. Here’s a pack of blue seal Marlboro. You can keep it and you don’t have to give me anything in return.
James: But I don’t smoke, Mr. President.
P-Noy: Keep it anyway as a keepsake. Do you want me to autograph it?
James: Yeah! That’s nice of you, sir!
P-Noy: Now you can see. I gave you something and there’s nothing in return for me. That’s the art of giving. You should practice it, James.
James: How do I start?
P-Noy: Well, you might want to think about giving something to a friend when you get back to California.
James: That’s a good idea. You know, you’re so kind to let me interview you so I decided to give you something.
P-Noy: That’s very kind of you, James. When I was a boy, I used to make a wish to Santa Claus on Christmas Eve and Santa always fulfilled my wish the next day.
James: Why don’t you make a wish, Mr. President and I’ll convey it to Santa Claus when I get back to California.
P-Noy: Good idea. Let me think… Ah, I know what I want for Christmas!
James: What is it, Mr. President?
P-Noy: I want the new model of Xbox 360. Could you ask Santa Claus to give me that?
James: No problem, Mr. President. Your wish is my command.
P-Noy: Now, you can see how “believing in Santa Claus” works, right?
James: I see it now — You receive more than what you give.
P-Noy: Attaboy! You’re learning fast, James!
James: Yes, I learned a lot today. Now, it finally occurred to me why you gave P5 million to the MILF rebels and P31 million to the assassination squad, Alex Boncayao Brigade. You’re expecting to receive something bigger from them, right?
P-Noy: Of course! Who knows we might have a lasting peace in our country soon. Have a nice trip back to California, James. And don’t forget my new Xbox 360, okay?
James: Got it, Mr. President. Ay naku! Naloko na naman ako. He gets a brand new Xbox 360 for a pack of Marlboro. Lugi ako.
P-Noy: What did you say, James?
James: Nothing Mr. President. I was just talking to myself. Sorry.
P-Noy: That’s okay. I do that all the time, too.
James: I see. Hmm… Well, good-bye, Mr. President.
P-Noy: Good-bye, James. And don’t forget my new Xbox 360, okay?