MANILA — Christopher Lawrence Go is special assistant to Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte. He is also a something of a selfie savant known for snapping pictures of himself with just about every person he meets — with or without their permission.
At a meeting of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations in Manila this week, Go, who goes by the nickname “Bong Go,” had the opportunity to meet a lot of famous people. Did he rise to the occasion? Yes, he did.
On Monday, shortly after President Trump met with Duterte for high-stakes discussion that may or may not have included human rights, Go published a trove of snaps, including a doozy of a portrait with the U.S. president.
Taking an evocative picture with Trump would have satisfied most men. But not Go.
Lest his fans interpret the Trump snap as of sign that the Philippines is no longer “separating” from the United States — as Duterte proclaimed last year — Go also got a picture with China's premier, Li Keqiang.
Posing with the likes of Shinzo Abe of Japan, Moon Jae-in of South Korea and Russia's Dmitry Medvedev, among many, many, others, would have exhausted most men. Go was not close to finished, pursuing the selfie-lover's showpiece: a picture with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.
Ceding to Trudeau's well-known selfie expertise, Go let the photogenic Canadian prime minister take the picture for him. And what a picture.
Monday's shots are, in some ways, a departure for Go, who rose to fame as a photobomber, not a photographer par excellence.
Among Filipinos, Go is famous for inserting himself in pictures of people who do not know he is there. The Philippine press dubbed him the “national photobomber.”
And it's not just about his smug mug. With press access limited, Go sometimes gives the world its first or only glimpse of what goes on behind close doors at high-level meetings. Over the weekend, he dutifully posted the first photograph of Duterte and Trump.
History in the making.
Kimberly Dela Cruz reported from Manila.