It’s easy to see why President-elect Rodrigo Duterte’s youngest son, Sebastian “Baste” Duterte, is the current “crush ng bayan”: He’s all mestizo good looks, ripped bod molded by surfing, the kind of wavy hair you could run your fingers through all day, and tattoos and a pierced lip that make you wonder just how baaad he can get. But as we got to know the 28-year-old Davaoeño over the course of election season, we discovered so many things about him that made us fall for him even more, beyond the good looks and washboard abs. Yeah yeah, we know he’s got a girlfriend and is a father of two, but we’re free to fantasize, right? #Basted
1. He stays true to himself.
The pierced, tattooed surfer dude knows exactly who he is, and he shows no signs of cleaning up his image now that he’s a presidential son for realz. “I want to continue surfing and doing all the things that I’m doing here in Davao,” he tells the Philippine Daily Inquirer.
2. He’s shy. (Aww.)
Baste has a reputation for being shy, but he overcame it to support his father in his campaign. “I just felt the need to speak out because I treat myself as an ordinary Filipino citizen; I feel what the common Filipino feels,” he says in a video interview. As the interview wrapped, he quipped, “After this, you’re not going to see me anymore.” Say it ain’t so, Baste!
3. He’s down-to-earth.
Growing up, Baste didn’t let being the then-Davao City mayor’s son inflate his ego. In an interview with The Philippine Star, he reveals that he used to push a kariton as a kid and that he runs a junk shop to this day, the earnings of which are good enough for him. His ambitions are in stark contrast to those of his older sister Inday Sara and older brother Paolo, who are Davao City’s mayor-elect and vice mayor-elect, respectively. “Hindi kasi talaga ako magastos na tao,” he says. “Okay na sa akin as long as I can save up for my kid.”
4. He refuses special treatment.
Baste, who openly admits to being a smoker and drinker, revealed to The Philippine Star that when he breaks rules in Davao City, he expects to be apprehended like everyone else—even when law enforcers hesitate to do so because who in their right mind would want to call out the mayor’s son? He says of these encounters with law enforcers, “Sinasabi ko talaga, hulihin niyo ako, kasi hindi talaga tama na hindi niyo ako hulihin at nakita ng maraming tao. Dapat patas lahat.”
5. He believes in equality.
This simple guy clearly mirrors his father’s pro-poor stance. He tells CNN Philippines, "I believe in equality, that's why I really try to live a simple life because I want to be fair to those people who don't have much.”
6. He’s not just a pretty boy; he also knows his shit.
Hear the Political Science graduate of Ateneo de Davao University talk about the “ideology of the poor” and “social equality” in this campaign video, where he debunks claims that his father is a “communist” and a “dictator.” Gotta love a man who has the smarts to back up the looks.
7. He has nothing but love for LGBTs.
Much like his dad, who has declared that he would consider legalizing same-sex marriage in the Philippines, this progressive dude is no homophobe. In the Philippine Daily Inquirer interview, Baste says, “I have a lot of gay friends. I’m very comfortable with them. They’re fun people. I can’t really see them as different people from all the others. When I meet someone new and he’s gay, it’s the same thing—I treat him like everybody else.”
8. His fanboy moment with Sen. Miriam Defensor Santiago is everything.
When Baste met the sharp-tongued senator before the presidential debate in Dagupan City, he fanboyed so hard that he couldn’t resist having his picture taken with her. He wrote in the photo caption: “I was so captivated by your presence that I did not know what to do. When you grabbed my arm during the picture, my heart just smiled… You are sweet and inspiring. I never easily get starstruck but you had me at mere sight.”
9. He has a sense of humor.
Yes, he knows about #RP69FanFic, and he doesn’t mind that y’all are making up dirty little scenarios involving him, Sandro Marcos, Brian Poe Llamanzares, and the other names dragged into this Twitter hashtag craze. He tells the Philippine Daily Inquirer, “As long as it’s for fun, okay lang.”
10. He’s got mad pipes.
Besides this video of Baste belting out rock jams by Pearl Jam and Incubus, there’s another one of him casually singing South Border’s “Kahit Kailan” with a cigarette between his fingers and his mobile phone raised so he can read the lyrics off it. South frickin’ Border. High notes and all.
11. He makes the best kissy face in the history of all kissy faces.
Hold onto your ovaries before you hit the play button. Don’t say we didn’t warn you.
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