In the dead of the night, he called his advisers for a last-minute briefing. He sat on a mono-block chair with a table hastily set up to be his command post. His men perched his tent, not far from where the hopeless and the vanquished slept. He was there to show them - that the most powerful person in the land is one with them in their suffering. To make them feel they were not abandoned. Forgotten. That the long arm of the government reaches their frail hands. I do not know the reason for the thoughtful gesture. He could just send his men while he ran the day-to-day affairs in the comforts of Malacanan. But as they say, never underestimate the impulse of the heart.
He is after all, the beloved President.
The devil is in the details. It was obvious he wasn't aware that his picture was taken. The other photo revealed how grounded this man is. He drank from a humble styrofoam cup. He had a pen light next to him - to guide him in the dark. News stories tell he retired in a cot, at the mercy of the elements. The next morning he would tell reporters it was so cold that he wore jacket to sleep. And while an aftershock roused him at the middle of the night, he had a good rest.
I have never seen such leader go to great lengths just to be with his people. To lay under the stars, to camp out in the middle of nowhere, where even a clean toilet is hard to find. It's no wonder, no matter how his critics and those non-believers try to put him down, the people can easily spot the benevolent from the desperate: those who cling on to power.
It's been more than three years since my vote had put him to office, and still, it amazes me how he turned out to be the leader no one has ever seen in our lifetime.