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TOTGA: Duterte talks about being made to choose between being an abogado ang settling down in US with first GF

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President Rodrigo Duterte still remembers the one that got away, his first girlfriend before he married his first wife.

In a speech, Duterte reminisced about how close he was to marrying his first GF – he already gave her engagement and wedding rings and had her wedding dress made – but her parents gave him the cold feet.

“Kasi noong na-abogado ako, hiniwalayan ako ng — ‘yung girl ko. Tapos in utter desperation, nakilala ko ‘yan si (first wife Elizabeth) Zimmerman. Susmaryosep,” said Duterte. Duterte said his first GF was a “tisay”, the daughter of an American working for the defunct Pan Am (or Pan American World Airways) and Filipina stewardess of Philippine Airlines. Duterte said her parents sent her to study in the Philippines when she got into some trouble in the US.

“So nakilala ko sa — ‘yung frolics natin sir, San Beda mayroon every… Nakilala ko, niligawan ko, naging girlfriend ko. So hinihintay nila matapos ako. Dito siya sa Davao nakatira, sa nanay ko. Sabi ng nanay ko, ‘Kung hindi mo pakasalan, pauwiin mo ‘yan. Huwag mong — huwag mong gawaing querida ‘yan. Ano ka? Kawala-wala mong pera, ako pa nagpakain tapos you have the gall’,” said Duterte. “So sabi ko, sige, mag-uwi siya una. December. Third year ako. Nagpa-trahe de boda nandoon na. ‘Yung engagement ring ng nanay ko binigay na sa kanya nung nauna siya sa America. Tapos December 21 sumunod ako,” he added.

“Alam mo ma’am, 22, naiba na ang istorya kasi ‘yung nanay pati tatay sabi nila, ‘Well, you can bring her but only for a few months. At pagkatapos mo sa law pumunta ka na dito kasi ang Pilipinas wala talagang pag-asa. Walang trabaho, walang ano’. Sabi ko, ‘Hindi… Hindi naman napag-usapan natin ‘yan’. So sa 23rd, may office party sila, sumakay ako ng taxi, diretso ako sa airport,” said Duterte.

Fortunately, there were plenty of Filipinos working at the San Francisco Airport and he told them he had to go back to the Philippines because his father died. “Pero patay naman ang tatay ko. Double dead na. I was able to take a ride. Pag-uwi ko sa ano — 24, tinawagan niya ako,” said Duterte. Duterte’s father died on February 1968. He graduated from San Beda Law School in 1972.

Duterte said he had accepted then that they were not just meant to be. “Sabi ko, ‘Siguro hindi talaga natin swerte’. Kaya ‘yan ang buhay. Naglipad ako ng San Francisco, dala-dala trahe de boda, binigay ko ang wedding ring pati trahe de boda, iniwan ko doon. Ang g*** patay na siguro ngayon ‘yung buang, hindi naman sinauli ‘yung dalawang singsing. Oo, totoo. Ganun ang buhay ko,” he said.

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