Dear Mr. President,

As the official campaign season begins and marks the countdown to your term as president of the republic, allow me to thank you for the service you extended to the Filipino people. Some projects and programs may have been there before your term started, but completing them is already worthy of appreciation.

This may raise the brows of those who think otherwise, but it is my duty as a Filipino to show appreciation, for the good and positive things accomplished during your term.

Before the election my dream was to see whoever wins reaching out to political opponents and asking them for help, to work hand in hand to create a strong Republic, how nice it would be to see all the past and present leaders sharing whatever energy they have, channeling them to propel our nation forward, You may have tried, and may probably have dreamt the same, if you did so maraming salamat po.

On trains, roads, bridges and other government infrastructure completed during your term, those built, and being built, maraming salamat po, malaking tulong ito sa mga nangangailangan.

On airports, seaports, tourist ports, tourism facilities, and for preparing for the travel boom that is to happen soon after the pandemic, maraming salamat po. Mayroon na kaming magagamit na agaran, at hindi na namin kailangang mag antay pa.

On health and welfare of the Filipinos, sa pagpapatayo ng mga ospital, sa lakas loob na pakikiharap sa pandemya at sa kagustuhang maiparating sa taong bayan ang suporta ng gobyerno sa pamamagitan ng ayuda, medisina at iba pang pangangailangan ng mamamayan maraming salamat po. Sa aking sariling pananaw ay higit ang nagawa ninyo sa loob ng 2 taon kaysa sa magagawa ko sa aking sariling kakayahan, kayat mas mamarapatin ko na hindi punain kung mayroong mang pagkukulang, bagkus kayo ay aking pinasasalamatan.

Sa lakas ng loob na harapang labanan at puksain ang droga, maraming salamat po na mas ninais ninyo na bigyan ng proteksyon ang kinabukasan ng mga musmos na Pilipino.

You were a battered president, your term had too many trials, natural and man-made. War, economic sabotage, real and artificial food shortages, a volcano eruption, typhoons, earthquakes, flooding, a
pandemic, a super typhoon, unabated corruption, and many more, but you fought well and you survived, in return we survived with you.

For doing your best I am grateful.

Take with you, Mr. President, the heartfelt thanks of your fellow Filipinos as you sail through the sunset of your presidency. Mabuhay po kayo, mahal na Pangulo.

(Palawan News is reprinting this opinion piece written on 02-08-2022 with permission from the author, Elroy John “Clink” Hagedorn. The writer, the youngest son of former Puerto Princesa mayor Edward Hagedorn, is widely recognized as a successful entrepreneur. Soft-spoken and low profile in character, Clink is not known to participate in public political discourse. His recent posts on social media are an enlightening read. – Editors)