Filipinos have been baffled for the past month about why President Rodrigo Duterte’s skin has become unnaturally dark. It’s not a sun-kissed, just out-of-the-beach tan — it’s more of a discoloration. He once said it was caused by his choice not to use sunscreen, but yesterday, he gave a different explanation for the dark patches on his face.
Duterte blames it all on a facial cream owned by his partner Honeylet Avanceña, which he said burned his face. But fret not — he has consulted a dermatologist about his skin problem.
In a mix of English and Filipino, he said yesterday in a speech during the during the 44th Philippine Business Conference and Expo: “This (skin) got burned so I went to a derma[tologist] who is really good. Because I used my wife’s cream. My wife [she said] ‘That’s ok.’ But when I looked at the mirror, why did my skin become darker?”
Duterte said his complexion doesn’t matter — what’s more important is his character.
He said: “For me, a man, it’s not really the color of the skin or the face, [what’s more important] is your character.”
So for a woman, it is important?
He also made light of rumors that his changing complexion was caused by health problems, possibly aware that his nemesis Communist Party of the Philippines founder Jose Maria Sison claimed in a Facebook post that the facial discoloration was the “symptom of a kidney problem, an indication of renal failure.”
Duterte joked: “They say those who have a problem with their kidney, they become dark. So I say, ‘Duterte is sick.’ I’m like that.”
Let’s hope Duterte’s dermatologist prescribes him a skincare regimen suited to his skin type.