Aquino, Shalani bump into each other at airport
DUMAGUETE City—In the end, this city proved too small for them.
After much speculation whether they would cross paths here where they spent almost a day, President Aquino and his former girlfriend Valenzuela City Councilor Shalani Soledad bumped into each other at the airport a few minutes before their respective flights back to Manila.
Sources at the airport said the pair exchanged pleasantries very briefly before separately boarding their planes.
One source said that Soledad was about to board her Philippine Airlines flight scheduled at 3:20 p.m. Wednesday when she stopped to wait for Aquino who was on his way then to his private plane.
The President had just met with local officials at an office in the airport and had been informed of Soledad’s presence there, according to the source.
The source said when President Aquino saw Soledad he then went to her and shook her hand and asked how she was.
“Mabuti (I’m fine),” Soledad told the President who then told her that he would leave ahead of her.
Aquino took a private jet to the province because the presidential plane was under repair.
Soledad would have met the President earlier had she made it to her PAL flight at 7 a.m. Wednesday.
Soledad, who was in town for one of the local festivals here, should have joined the party of Valenzuela Mayor Sherwin Gatchalian who attended a 10 a.m. event where President Aquino inaugurated the newly built P265-million public market in Bais City.
After the inauguration, President Aquino was asked by the media if there was any chance he would meet Soledad while here for a brief visit.
“Sorry, none,” he said.
The President said he was not aware that Soledad was also here, explaining that he was in town for the inauguration of the Bais market as well as to visit the Link Sy IT Park and meet with supporters and volunteers who helped in his presidential campaign last year.
Aquino said that Negros Oriental had served as a “turning point” of his campaign then.
In Bais City, the President got cheers from the crowd when he twice praised the beauty of its mayor, Karen Villanueva.
Later in the day, he spoke to the Negros Oriental People Power Volunteers for Reform at the convention center and again drew applause and cheers when he talked about his “zero” love life.
“Even if I have no spouse or a partner in life, I can feel that here I am not alone,” Aquino said.
The Chief Executive then repeated the joke he made during his state visit in China where he compared his love life to Coca Cola’s variants: regular, light and now zero.
“But as I left Dumaguete, some people were praying that (my love life) would be full of Zesto,” he said, drawing much laughter from the crowd as he yet again used another soft drink brand in depicting the state of his heart.
Still, President Aquino said that even if he has no time to spare for his love life, he continues to hope he will have one.
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