"JE NE COMPRENDS PAS"
The Aquino presidency then had government information people describe their chief executive's mission to Europe as a success in an overall report to the nation. How else could they have judged their own junket to join the extravaganza of the bicentennial of the French Revolution in Gay Paree? They simply had to justify the gargantuan expenses of a big entourage by that begging mission.
Well, they struck out in West Germany and possibly hit a homer in France. It was then a waiting game on who among the two countries would help the Philippines. Which of the two was known on flamboyance and elegant promises, but short on delivery? Considering the huge entourage of the Aquino loan-seeking mission to Europe and the large amount of dollars brought out by this group, Europeans might have believed there was truth to a boast made by a former Aquino official that the Philippines is really "a rich country pretending to be poor." Those guys and their wives in the Aquino junket were better off not being too visible when they were cluttering up the ritzy cafes and boites de nuit. After viewing the extravagance of the Pinoy whooping it up in Paris, officials of the Group of Seven (G-7) industrialized nations from which the Aquino mission was seeking financial assistance might have then considered the Philippines as a donor nation.
Not familiar with the refinements of the French tongue, I remember listening to comments on speeches delivered by President Aquino in French at the different functions in Paris. Portions of her speeches were aired on local television.
Filipino experts in the French language and a few local French residents said that Aquino's fractured French was lamentable and should have never been delivered and that she should have just spoken in English. The kindest remark was that it was what is known as "Brooklyn French," that is, it was spoken with a fractured American accent.
I think it was no less than then President Francois Mitterrand who had to ask for an interpreter when Cory delivered her speech in his own native language.
To the French, her speech was simply "petits pois."
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