What’s your greatest fear? – leaders confess fear of insects, failure

DAVAO CITY (MindaNews/18 Oct) — Fear is what many of us have in common but choose not to talk about. This emotion is something that many of us see as a gateway to our weakness. It can take in many forms, but overcoming it ultimately brings us to one reality: to see the light at the end of a dark tunnel. Whether that light will flicker or shine on is up to us.

In this story, we take a closer look at the fears of our city leaders and how they deal with them. Fear is only human nature, after all.

Rodrigo Roa Duterte
City Mayor 1988-1998; 2001-2010; since 2013; Davao City representative, st district (1998-2001); Vice Mayor (2010-2013), OIC Vice Mayor (1986-1988), former prosecutor
Failure. In public service, I would hate to fail because this is the lifetime vocation that I have chosen. I want to succeed. My greatest fear is failure. But whether I’m failing or not isn’t something that I can find out at the moment. Only the people can tell in the future when I’m gone or when I’m out of office for a time; they would begin to make an assessment of how I took care of the city. I hope that I won’t get a failing mark because public service is where I put a big part of my life, my self, and my honor to be of service to my fellow men. I deal with this fear by being honest, and by just being there for the people whenever they need me.

Sara Z. Duterte-Carpio
Laywer, Mom, City Mayor (2010-2013), Vice Mayor (2007-2010)
My greatest fear is to meet an untimely death when my children are still so young. I deal with this by praying to God nga di ko kuhaon og sayo. I want to see my grandchildren pud unta. Haha! -lawyer, mom Sara Duterte-Carpio

Paolo Z. Duterte
Vice Mayor (since 2013); former Councilor
SPIDERS!!! My arachnophobia came when I was still in grade buying banana cue at Manang Ras store in front of Philippine Women’s College when I suddenly felt something crawling up my legs. I was wearing a boy scout uniform then. Pagtan-aw nako katong color itom ug yellow na spider na pirting dakua na gikan sa wire, pwerte nakong ambak ug dagan. To deal with my fear I always make sure that I clean my surroundings especially in our bedroom kay basig naay musulpot na tapay-tapay na spider.

Senior Superintendent Vicente D. Danao Jr.
Director, Davao City Police Office
Every time you overcome your fear, you get to build your personal foundation and become stronger. I used to be afraid of my father when I was young. He was very strict; he’s what we’d call a disciplinarian. But as I grew up, I realized that his “strict” upbringing shaped me to become a better person that I am now. I was afraid of my father until I graduated from PMA. To overcome fear that we face daily, I advise people to have a presence of mind. Whether you find yourself in a disaster or any dangerous situation, don’t panic. Have a little knowledge of self-defense; this can come in handy when you’re in a life-threatening situation. If you’re in a situation that always haunts you, pray; there’s no type of fear that can’t be overcome by prayer. Just leave everything to Him.

Pilar Braga
City Councilor, former teacher
Water: the ocean and floods. Solution: I go to the mountains instead of the beach. I take the plane instead of the boat. Hehehe! I also fear rats. Grr! Most of all, I fear failure. That’s why I work my darnednest and try to be organized, focused, and prayerful. A life well lived is simple a compilation of days well spent.

Arturo Boncato
Tourism Assistant Secretary
I never think about fear always. Thinking about fear really draws you to it. By not thinking about fear makes you think about better things—like things that matter and can move you forward. That’s always been my attitude because if we put fear first, then that paralyzes people. It’s not something that I have in my right now. I draw a lot of strength and courage in the things that I do and the things that I believe in. Now I’m very much involved in tourism development, and that’s where I get a lot of encouragement. There is so much opportunity for us to move things upward and forward. Everyday is a day to be hopeful about.

Lisette Marquez
City Tourism Officer
The one thing that I avoid seeing or listening to are ghost stories and horror movies because I just cannot pollute my mind with visuals and the ideas explored by these. I’d rather be blissful not knowing what’s out there because I don’t want my faith to wither because I know I have a bigger God. Whenever somebody starts talking about ghost stories, I walk away; I change the channel when horror movies air on TV. It’s easier than way than to be than be fearful about it.

Angela Librado-Trinidad
Barangay Captain, Lawyer, former Councilor
Anything and everything about my children. If something happens to my daughter or my son, I think that’s the greatest fear that I can think of. I’m hoping that nothing of that sort can happen while we are alive. My husband and I try to protect them as much as we could but of course protection has limitations and it might go against the children’s rights. I’m trying to strike that balance, although it’s really difficult.

Leo Avila III
I used to have fears about failure but I have overcome that already. I just take things as they are and one at a time. I make my desires known and I don’t expect a lot. I’ll be grateful for what may come. I’ve now discovered the secret of happiness: that is to accept everything. I’m afraid of snakes, heights, and the deep sea and drowning. I confronted them one by one: I took a course in scuba diving, I climbed Mt. Apo, and I ride on zip lines. The fear is still there but I know I can conquer it. It’s all in my mind.

Diosdado Mahipus
City Councilor
My greatest fear is that I might stay young forever. Can you imagine being young forever?! Kidding aside, I have no fears in life because i’ve learned to overcome the worries and problems that I have—what we call the fear of the unknown. People develop fears because they do not know what’s ahead of them or what’s going to happen to them. That’s why they have these imaginary fears. But if you already know what’s in store in life for you, especially if you’re a believer of God Almighty, there is no more fear to stay within you. If a person has no more fear, he starts to be an achiever, he achieves and excels in things that he does because he doesn’t have worries and hesitations.

Mabel Sunga-Acosta
City Councilor, former TV news anchor
It’s flying ipis (cockroach). To overcome it, I kill it on sight. I also make sure to do general cleaning for prevention. I also have fear for my loved ones. I always pray for their good health and safety.

Nilo “Small” Abellera, Jr.
City Councilor
I have a fear of needles and syringes. Whenever I need to have a shot, I always look away. I don’t like the feeling of needles on my body; they make my spine tingle. I’ve always had this fear back when I was a child; that is why I have grown to dislike going to the hospital.

Leah Librado-Yap
City Councilor
I have an inexplainable fear of snakes. I really do not know how I developed such phobia. Before, just looking at pictures of snakes gives me a shudder. In order to outgrow my fear, little by little, I made myself look at pictures and I allowed my friends to drag me into watching the movie Anaconda.

Joseph Lawrence Garcia
Assistant Head, City Information Office
Fear is something that you feel in situations that call for it. At this moment, I am not in that situation that is why I’m not fearing anything. I am afraid, however, of failing myself and failing others because I’m a man for others.

Amalia Bandiola
Editor in chief, Mindanao Times
I live in great fear of being misquoted