Feature

The toddler who helped the president.

The week's news at a glance.

Philippines

Malou MangahasKhaleej Times (Dubai)

The president of the Philippines is a lucky woman, said Malou Mangahas in the Khaleej Times. Gloria Arroyo, dogged by corruption charges, has been hanging on to office by her fingernails. Suddenly, to her delight, she finds herself upstaged in the press by a toddler. Adrian “Adi” Maronilla Jr. is not your typical 4-year-old. He could sing scales by age 1, speak English at 2, and name the capitals of 200 countries by the time he was 3. On his first day of school, he was put in the top grade but packed it in after two weeks, saying he knew all the lessons. Quick to sense a photo opportunity, Arroyo has invited him to meet her at her palace. But she’s not the only one who wants a piece of Adi. His parents have been inundated with requests: Some want to know what Adi eats and what vitamins he takes; others want to buy his father’s sperm. Many are clamoring to hear his ideas on how to solve the national crisis. Adi’s remedy is quite simple. All will be fine, he says, if people would stop quarreling and listen to one other. As with many very clever people, the knowledge is impeccable. But the chance of anyone actually following the advice is, alas, close to zero.

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