Tugade may try diplomatic post

Given a chance to provide service again to the government after his stint as secretary of the Department of Transportation, citizen Art Tugade is willing to be back anew in the public service, especially in a diplomatic post.

“That’s my long-been dream since I was a kid, to be an ambassador. President Marcos, sir, please help me to make my dream come true to be an ambassador even not in big countries,” Tugade revealed during his interview with the Daily Tribune’s digital show Straight Talk.

Tugade remembered he was once asked during his childhood why he wanted to be a diplomat, and he answered simply, “because when I die, I would want my coffin to be wrapped with the Philippine flag. A silly answer but that thought remains in me.”

“Any country will do. I am a team man, a good follower, and a very good soldier. Wherever I may be placed, then I will accept it. When the President asks me to be in that country, I will answer ‘Yes sir,’ and I will find ways to deliver. That’s a dream come true for me, and I can say that I fully achieved the full cycle of life. Then I can rest,” Tugade stated.

But Tugade maintained that he is currently enjoying his private life with his grandchildren, especially his children, because he now has the luxury of time to be with them, stolen during his public service in the past six years.

Tugade, a close and trusted ally of then President Rodrigo Duterte, said he will not retire from serving Filipinos, and being an ambassador is just one dream on his bucket list.

“Public service does not necessarily mean that you will hold a high post. Paying your taxes and picking up trash are just some services you can do for your country. All service in the government does not come in huge color, they come in small packages. You will be in service especially when you do not humiliate people,” according to the former secretary.

Tugade said that he is seeing the burning passion of President Marcos Jr., which will transcend to his cabinet members and other government officials.

Art’s biography

And while enjoying his life as a private citizen after his stint as Transportation secretary, Tugade said he will launch a book “The Art of It All,” which will be distributed for free to those who would want to know how life has been for him for the past years.

“I have a 23-year-old grandson and a one-year-old, who are fond of calling me Papa, and I would want them to remember me (through that book) so that they can relate to some ways of doing things, and in relating they follow so that they will have a revolutionizing attitude and appreciation. I wanted to write this book to give honor to my parents. How I wish that they are still alive when I was still the secretary of DoTr so that they can see the fruit of their hard work,” he said.

Aside from immediate family members, Tugade has also written in the book how he is appreciative of the people who molded him to be the person he has become.

“I also want to honor my school (San Beda College) for giving me free education from grade school, even until in the College of Law, and even my competitors in business, whom I call collaborators, for honing my ways of thinking. I hope readers will learn from my book and life’s experiences. I want them to immortalize the book, not the person, but what the person stood for and what the person continually stands for,” Tugade ended.

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