Duterte inauguration: Meet your new First Family
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About two weeks before the May 9 elections, a socialite’s father died, and as the “alta” society of Manila gathered at the Forbes church wake, some guests were seen and overheard showing members of the Duterte family on their phones, laughing, mocking and basically saying, this is the first family you’re going to get if you vote for Duterte.

Today I made it a point to take my day off, stay in bed and watch the inauguration of President Rodrigo Duterte on TV.
I was surprised to see how dignified the family looked—as they put it on Twitter, “They cleaned up well.”

Duterte inauguration
L-R: Paolo, Sara, President Duterte, ex-wife Elizabeth Zimmerman, Sebastian Duterte

My friend Grace has always said she likes the face of Sara Duterte, who looks butch on a regular day with her shaved hair and tattoos. Today she looked so elegant in her blue terno. I like her so much, I’m already thinking Sara Duterte for President, 2022. The same Sara who notoriously punched a sheriff at a demolition site. This woman has balls.

Duterte inauguration
Duterte children in the Palace, including youngest Kitty (from the President’s partner, Honeylet Avanceña)

“It feels so good that the President and the family is actually representative of the demographic of the modern Pinoy today,” observed my friend James from Hong Kong. “Some are local and some are mixed. Some with divorced or separated parents. So refreshing,” he added.

Duterte inauguration

Basically you have relatable people in the family. Not “alta”, and even though not decent by others people’s standards, we’re liking this family.

Duterte inauguration

Generations of Duterte women

duterte women

The President arrives with his partner Honeylet and daughter Kitty

Duterte family

I’ll admit that I’ve been waiting for June 30 for a long time.
When Duterte first announced he would have a simple oath taking in Malacañan if he wins, I already wanted to vote for him.
Recently, I had lunch with a friend of mine in the catering business, who groaned when he heard that the food served at the inauguration would be maruya.
Truthfully, I had to Google maruya. It seems to be a delicious banana fritter. Yum.


I felt sad when Noynoy left the Palace and didn’t stay behind for the ceremony.
I stopped playing Candy Crush when Duterte took his historical first steps as President on the staircase of Malacañan.
I loved the acapella singing of the National anthem, and I cringed on my shabu-shabu lunch when Freddie Aguilar sang.
But when Duterte said his speech, I just had to catch my breath and cry a little.

“I thought the speech was brilliant and to the point. No frills and plain spoken,” said my friend Grace. “I like how the whole event set the tone—from inauguration to the speech to the first family’s demeanor,” she added.

Teddyboy tweet

Read the full text of inaugural address HERE.

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