By Marivir R. Montebon
We get to see the truth in two events.
At the Kalayaan Hall, Health Secretary Dr. Pauly Jean Rosell Ubial enthusiastically presented the Duterte administration’s health program. It is geared towards universal health care for all people.
She told the audience that jampacked the hall on September 29 that it was the first time in the history of a presidency that the health budget was biggest, so much bigger than the military or education allocation.
The end note was of course, a lot of hope and well-wishes from the Filipinos in the Big Apple.
Pressed for time, I asked the secretary, while trying to get to our places in a photo session, if the required downpayments in hospital admissions have been or will be eradicated.
The secretary whispered, that is tough, but we are going to work on that as well. There goes another hopeful wish for that night, as I was reminded how humiliating it felt to be asked for a down payment at a private hospital in Cebu when I was profusely bleeding and told by my Ob-Gyn to rush to the hospital.
I insisted to the receptionist that I be admitted because I was bleeding and that I have no time to go to the bank.
Such horrid memory I erased fast as the cameras went clicking on us.
On October 1, people were hobnobbing at the lobby of the Grand Hyatt before the Couture Culture Change formally opened. The black tie evening was light and convivial, but I had to softly ask a little uncomfortable paparazzi question to Loida Nicolas Lewis, one of the event’s celebrated guests.
May I ask for your reaction that some people in New York are plotting to oust President Duterte?
Ms. Lewis, civic leader who take to the streets for advocacies and raises funds for the arts, humanitarian work, and politics with New York’s upscale denizens, looked at me and said, I cannot answer rumors. She smiled and added, we are quiet a good community to be divided by talks.
I thanked her and ended our conversation. It was time for pictures and selfies. (Photos by Edwin Josue)