MANILA , AUGUST 4, 2013 (PHILSTAR) By Delon Porcalla - The country’s most eligible bachelor is finally enjoying the presidency.

Halfway through his six-year term, President Aquino admitted yesterday that he has learned to enjoy being Chief Executive, contrary to the last three years.

“All jokes aside, this is a role I have come to enjoy,” Aquino said candidly in a speech he delivered at the inauguration of Brother Industries Philippines Inc. in Tanauan, Batangas that invested about $114 million and would eventually hire 3,500 workers.

His statement is in stark contrast to what he had been grumbling about since he took over Malacańang in mid-2010: that he had a 24/7 job with no overtime pay, no entitled leaves of absence and how the buck always stops with him.

It was no secret that the 53-year-old Aquino was a reluctant presidential candidate to begin with, pushed into the May 2010 presidential race by a growing public clamor following the death of his mother, democracy icon and former President Corazon Aquino.

Griping about his job had become common fare. There were times when he compared his P95,000 gross monthly salary to what a chief executive officer or chief operating officer in a multinational company receives, which runs to several hundreds of thousands of pesos.

He also complained about his loss of privacy. The names of the girls he dated always ended up in the front pages.

But yesterday, Aquino said the job description of being President is “misleading,” that “it is not enough to account for all my specific responsibilities” such as ceremonial ribbon cutting and the like.

Among the other hats that a President wears are that of being “salesman-in-chief” as he is tasked to endorse the Philippines to foreign investors and tourists; also “head inaugurator; groundbreaker; ribbon-cutter and disaster relief worker.”

Apart from these “unofficial titles,” there are also the serious functions like being the commander-in-chief of the Armed Forces of the Philippines and being the chairman of the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) board. Aquino – who is not really known as a basketball aficionado – was persuaded to attend the finals match between Smart Gilas Philippines and Iran at the SM Mall of Asia arena in Pasay Sunday night.

“I was encouraged to attend the basketball game, as either Chief Booster and Lucky Charm; and since we didn’t win, perhaps now I am being blamed for our loss last night,” Aquino joked, drawing laughter from the crowd.

Chief News Editor: Sol Jose Vanzi

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