President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo in this year’s State of the Nation Address: “My father built the Halsema Highway from Baguio to Bontoc, and the Bagabag airport in Nueva Vizcaya to access the Ifugao rice terraces, which by the way, the UNESCO has recently praised for the way we have carried out our heritage preservation policy….” (Emphasis supplied.)
Huh? Really, Mrs. President? Last time I checked the Halsema Highway (also known as the Mountain Trail) was built in the 1920s by Eusebius Halsema and by the Igorot people [and some Japanese and some Chinese workers too] who helped him. Or maybe the more correct way of saying it is that the Halsema Highway was built under the guidance/leadership of Mr. Halsema.
You should fire your speechwriter for putting you in a bad light. But maybe the speechwriter is not to blame. As a presidential daughter I would suppose that you are privy to the correct information on whether your dad really built said highway. Your father might have improved the Halsema Highway (I’m just guessing that he did) but in no way did he build it. It is not called Halsema Highway for nothing. Credit grabbing is so uncool.
Photo courtesy of: www.sfbotanicalgarden.org