Duterte shows Abe his “simple” life in Davao City
DAVAO CITY - After seeing for himself the "simple" life of President Rodrigo Duterte and tasting the infamous durian fruit in Davao City, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe left on Friday for Australia, the second leg of his four-nation trip.
On board Japanese Air Force One, Abe, accompanied by his wife, Akie, left the Francisco Bangoy International Airport here at 12:43pm.
After Sydney, Abe will proceed to Indonesia and Vietnam before heading back to Tokyo.
Prior to his departure, Duterte hosted Abe and his wife Akie to breakfast in his home at a subdivision here, which could not be considered as a posh one.
According to Assistant Presidential Communications Secretary Ana Maria Paz Banaag, Duterte invited Abe to his house because he wanted him to "feel at home" and for him to feel that "we are more than friends, we are brothers."
Duterte even showed his bedroom to Abe and explained why a white mosquito net was partly hanging on the bed, said Special Assistant to the President Christopher "Bong" Go, who joined the two leaders and an interpreter, inside the bedroom of the two-storey house.
While looking outside the window, Duterte explained his neighborhood to Abe, Go added.
The Internal House Affairs Office of Malacanang prepared Filipino delicacies, such as heart of banana salad, monggo soup, fresh fruits, biko, suman, kutsinta and puto, coupled with Earl Grey black tea, coffee and coconut juice, for breakfast.
Duterte's partner, Cielito “Honeylet" Avance?a, was also present in the breakfast, which lasted for about an hour.
The two leaders later joined some 200 Filipino and Japanese businessmen for a photo opportunity at the Waterfront Insular Hotel here.
Abe also adopted a juvenile female Philippine eagle, considered as an endangered species, during a ceremony in the same hotel.
A Philippine eagle rescued from Talaingod, Davao deal Norte late last year was named as "Sakura."
Duterte presented to Abe a replica and a framed picture of the rescued eagle.
During their lunch, Abe and his wife tasted durian, a thorny fruit with pungent smell, and other fruits being grown in Davao. Duterte gave Abe a Barong Tagalog, the Philippine national dress, made of pineapple fiber, as a present.
The two leaders were not in formal attire during the events:- Duterte wore a checkered blue polo shirt and brown pants, and Abe, white polo and gray pants.
"Basically, with the visit here in Davao, the objective is to be more relaxed, more friendly atmosphere (between the two leaders)," Banaag said, noting "yesterday in Malacanang was different. This one is a lot lighter."
Duterte first received Abe in Malacanang in Manila on Thursday when the latter announced the one trillion yen that Japan would be extending to the Philippines over the next five years.
Abe was the first world leader who visited Davao and invited by Duterte to his home since he assumed office six months ago. The 71-year old president was mayor here for about two decades.
During the trip here, Mrs. Abe visited Mintal Public Cemetery, where remains of some Japanese, who emigrated 100 years ago, could be found.
The Japanese couple went to Mindanao Kokusai Daigaku, a school where most Nikkei-jin or Japanese-Filipino children, have been studying.
According to Abe, the Philippines was the first country that he visited for this year to demonstrate the fact that he places much emphasis on his relationship with Duterte and the Philippines. Celerina Monte/DMS