MANILA - Former President Fidel V. Ramos could give a stand-up comedian a run for his money.
He cracked jokes, often with a straight face, before he got down to serious business as keynote speaker at the Philippine Press Institute's 2013 Civic Journalism Awards ceremony at the Traders Hotel here Thursday night, keeping many in stitches.
As he got on the stage after PPI Trustee and Philippine Daily Inquirer publisher Raul Pangalangan introduced him, he flashed his famous thumbs-up sign and did a victory jump reminiscent of the EDSA Revolution of 1986.
He also demonstrated how the people of Pangasinan and Ilocos Norte where he comes from, embrace and kiss each other contodo amor, and impersonated the way the famous Lanao del Sur leader, Ali Dimapuro, spoke.
He then bent down to pull out sheets of bond paper that bore his speech from his right sock and proceeded to throw some to its pages on the floor, saying the draft sent to him by PPI chairman Jesus Dureza was too long.
After his well-applauded speech, he lingered with the members of the press, and obliged some with “selfie” photos he choreographed.
He also again bragged that his eye glasses are smudge proof. He then pulled his eyeglasses off to demonstrate why they are smudge proof by putting his fingers through the holes to reveal that they had no lenses.
Ramos said his natural affection for the press is due to the fact that his late father, former Foreign Secretary Narciso Ramos, was himself a journalist, having published the community paper, The Pangasinan News, in Lingayen, Pangasinan, in the early 1930s.
He said his father was the reporter, editor, printer and salesman – all rolled into one, while his mother, Angela, was the English language consultant, and the lone member of the board of directors.*CPG