There has never been any moment in the history of Philippine politics when the family of a Presidential candidate embarked on a national journey to reach out to people in uncharted and remote areas.
A few days ago, members of the Duterte family, living up to their reputation as political mavericks and non-traditional, packed up a few clothes and rode a bus emblazoned with the picture of their patriarch – presidential front-runner Rody Duterte – to start a month-long journey which would take them from Davao City to places not reached by other candidates.
video from YouTube User Duterte Supporters4Life
The former wife, a daughter, grandchildren, relatives and close family friends decided to leave everything behind to join the arduous trip which would see them crossing the seas to visit remote islands of the country.
What makes this voyage remarkable and dramatic is the fact that Duterte’s estranged wife, Elizabeth Zimmerman, who maintains that while her marriage to Rody has been annulled she remains bound to her husband under the laws of the Catholic Church, is suffering from cancer.
Elizabeth, mother to Duterte’s three older children – Paolo, Sara and Sebastian, reportedly asked her doctors to complete the chemotherapy sessions so she could join the trip.
This is the same woman who was reportedly quoted in a black propaganda campaign of the administration party as having asked the Filipino people not to vote for her husband.
Elizabeth’s personal sacrifice to campaign for her husband even when her body is weak belies all of those black propaganda and exemplifies an undying love for the father of her children.
Sara, who is running for Mayor of Davao City unopposed, has joined her mother and serves as the skipper of the month-long voyage.
As of their last post, the family visited the City of Surigao and was all set to cross the Surigao Straits en route to the island of Leyte where Duterte was born 71 years ago.
From there, the Byaheng DU30 bus will move up to the northern-most part of the country with the family hoping to complete the trip before the elections on May 9.
I really hope somebody would record this journey with a video camera and show to the whole nation this spectacular journey.
This is a trip worth following and a drama more captivating than Pinoy Big Brothers or any other reality shows.
This is a family’s journey of love for their father, a man who has admitted his frailties as a human being but who professes and declares his love for the Filipino people.
Let’s ride with them in Byaheng Duterte.