Meeting the Malaysian ambassador and his wife
I’ve said it and I’ll say it again and again. Blogging, even micro blogging through Twitter or Plurk, does wonders for you and for your life. Not only can you share your thoughts, tips and photos with others (which may help them in the process, without you necessarily knowing about it), earn a bit but more importantly, get to meet new, interesting people and experience new and exciting things.
Just take the case of a pretty cool thing that happened to me a few weeks ago. Because of the power of the Internet and micro blogging, I had the ultimate honor to meet the Malaysian Ambassador to the Philippines Dato Seri Dr. Ibrahim Saad and his beautiful wife Datin Seri Zainab Kader.
Before I continue, let me just say, though, that there’s a small story behind all of these.
However, I won’t share the minute details anymore. Suffice it to say that former senatorial candidate Atty. Adel Tamano and Twitter had something to do with this pleasant twist of fate. Which reminds me…I have another kuwento involving my new Malaysian friends and Sir Adel…I’ll share that in the next few blog posts 🙂
So anyways, after a few days of communicating with the Ambassador of Malaysia to the Philippines and his wife, I came across this brief article about them on Tatler Malaysia. It talked a bit about how they met and about how their love has remained strong through the years. It made me see the softer, sweeter side of my new Malaysian friends. I must say that after reading that brief article about them, I could not help but be grateful for the interesting turn of events.
Fast forward a few weeks later, Datin Zainab told me that they were set to be in Mindanao for a 2-day visit. She then asked me if perhaps I was interested to meet them. Well, you oughta know by now what my answer was 😉
So on a bright and sunny Wednesday noon, my mom (whom I asked to come along because I knew she’d have a blast herself) and I waited for His Excellency and his wife at a seaside restaurant. While we waited, we chatted with Mr. Bo, a Malaysian who has lived in Mindanao for more than 20 years. My mom and I also met Mr. Bo’s family – his wife’s Pinay and knew how to speak fluent Malay language and his daughter, who knew how to speak fluent Tagalog and Bisaya!
It didn’t take long before Dato Seri Dr. Ibrahim Saad and Datin Seri Zainab Kader finally arrived. Actually, as soon as I saw them alight from their vehicle, I thought I was about to faint because of too much excitement-slash-nervousness-slash-confusion-slash-gratitude-slash-everything-rolled-into-one! It was only then when I saw Dato Zainab’s big, warm smile that I became at ease. She was one of the most regal ladies I’ve ever met! Then I met the Malaysian ambassador – and I guess I looked too stunned because his first question was, “So you have to cheer for Malaysia so that we’ll win in the Suzuki Cup, okay?” [a little side note: ever since the Philippine Football Team, the Azkals, caused quite a stir in the Asian Football circuit, I’ve slowly become a football fan myself. Turns out, His Excellency Dr. Ibrahim Saad used to be a board member of the Asian Football Federation and was Secretary General of the Football Association of Malaysia!] I think I managed a smile. Whew.
I also remember one of the first few questions Dato Zainab asked me: “Do I look like what you imagined?” I thought that was sweet! I knew there and then that the ambassador and his wife are cool 🙂
* that’s me with my back on the camera…because I’m camera-shy like that! Hehe. That’s Mr. Bo in a blue striped polo, His Excellency Dato Seri Dr. Ibrahim Saad and the consul-general of the Embassy of Malaysia in Davao City, Mindanao. I was seated right beside Datin 🙂
I spent nearly two hours with the ambassador, his wife and their entourage and I can safely say that I didn’t feel uncomfortable at all. It was just like spending two hours with friends whom you haven’t seen in quite a while. We talked about Kuala Lumpur (where my mom and I will be in a few days! Woot woot!), Malaysian food, BIMP-EAGA, Marawi City, Sir Adel (but of course!) and football (I even had the guts to ask for a football from the Ambassador – one that’s signed by the entire Malaysian team! *gulp* I swear my intestinal fortitude can get me into trouble one of these days hehe). It was truly an afternoon to remember.
To Dato Seri Dr. Ibrahim Saad and Dato Seri Zainab Kader – thank you very much for that wonderful afternoon. I cannot thank you both enough!