Philippine President Noynoy Aquino and his celebrity sister Kris were having brunch one Sunday. Noynoy has been worried about implementing changes he is aware will hurt some sectors of society, members of an electorate that helped put him in power with an overwhelming majority.
"There are reforms that must be implemented but I have been delaying them Kris," Noynoy said, munching on Libby's corned beef, one of his favorite dishes. "We need to increase fares on the commuter trains, remove rice subsidies. But if I do this, it would hurt my popularity."
"Ahhh. But it is precisely now that you should do these things while your popularity is at its highest," Kris replied.
"What do you mean?"
Noynoy poured himself a glass of orange juice and looked at Kris expectantly.
"You still don't get it, brother dear, do you? You will never be as popular or as loved as you are today. Popularity is the best political currency and you should use it while you still can."
"You really think so?"
"The adoration of the masses is fleeting. Everybody wants something and the reality is, you will never be able to satisfy each of their demands."
"How do you know all these things Kris? You seem to know a lot, for someone who isn't a politician."
"Show business is not so different from politics," she replied. "To remain popular, you must understand human nature. After all, when you were elected, didn't you simply take a role?"
"The role of the president. Yes," Noynoy said. "It's just that you want to do so much but the government's resources are limited."
"That is the difficult part, Noy. To decide who will benefit. And that is where politics and show business part ways."
"I have a dream, Kris. A stronger, wealthier nation. Do you think it is possible?" Noynoy said in a quiet voice.
"Noy, everything is possible," Kris replied. "But there is always a price to pay. In order to build your dream, you may have to alienate some of your supporters. But that is the mark of a true statesman. To do what must be done."
Noynoy fell silent. He thought of the millions of Filipinos who depended on him to make their lives better, to give them food, jobs, education.
"Hay Kris. It can get lonely at the top."
"Oh Noy. It always is, it always is."
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