President Rodrigo Roa Duterte chats with Louie Gordon Yu Lee after the artist presented a portrait painting to the Chief Executive at the Malacañan Palace on March 4, 2019. RICHARD MADELO/PRESIDENTIAL PHOTO

MALACAÑANG — President Rodrigo Roa Duterte on Monday, March 4, expressed gratitude after receiving a painting of him made by Louie Gordon Yu Lee, a Chinese-Filipino artist. According to the painter, this is his way of showing appreciation to the Chief Executive for all his efforts in the nation’s development.

During the presentation in Malacañan, President Duterte said all the paintings that were given to him since he assumed office would remain in the palace for the Filipino people.

The painting features the likeness of the President and Mount Apo, the highest mountain the Philippines and located in the Chief Executive’s hometown.

President Rodrigo Roa Duterte poses with Louie Gordon Yu Lee after the artist presented a portrait painting to the Chief Executive at the Malacañan Palace on March 4, 2019. KARL ALONZO/PRESIDENTIAL PHOTO

According to Lee, the gold leaf on the Philippine map in the painting symbolizes progress and prosperity for the nation, while the two doves next to the world map signify global support for the Philippines and unity.

In a statement, Lee said, “I painted this work of art on behalf of the Filipino-Chinese community as a show of gratitude to all that President Duterte has done to transform our nation and to create peace and progress between the Chinese and the Filipinos.”

“I wish President Duterte more power and good health and for his wisdom to shine and, leading the Philippines as a great nation, our dear countrymen are proud of you. I hope President Duterte can inspire more people with your good heart and great leadership,” he added

Lee also advocated supporting arts as a way to create a national identity, adding that artists can bring inspiration to motivate people to live better. According to him, the Filipinos are inherently “artistic and romantic,” which must be strengthened.

Balikbayan Media Center
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