Heads were turned on Sunday, February 2 when a Rodrigo Duterte impersonator walked into a Hong Kong church frequented by many of the city’s Filipino community members during a mass service. By his side was an uncanny doppelganger of North Korean leader, Kim Jong Un.
Impersonating Duterte was 57-year-old Filipino Cresencio Estremos Jr., who also goes by his impersonator name of Cresencio Extreme. Taking on the look of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un was Hong Kong-based impersonator Howard X, who also acts as Estremos’ agent.
With Estremos wearing a traditional barong tagalog shirt and black trousers, and Howard wearing a black Mao Suit, the two looked almost exactly like the two real leaders and gave the spectators great photo opportunities.
Agence France-Presse reported all eyes were on the duo as they sat in on the hour-long mass.
While many found the performance amusing and took the opportunity to take photos with the toy gun-holding impersonators outside when the mass service ended, some were not so impressed.
One lady described the stunt to AFP as being “impolite.”
“Coming in here to make a scene—our Duterte is not like that,” she said.
But the church wasn’t the only location visited by the leader impersonators as the two also posed for some photos while eating fried chicken at a local Jollibee.
In an attempt to follow close to Duterte-style rhetoric, Estremos said after the meal: “When I arrived at Hong Kong airport, I didn’t see any beautiful ladies, but now I realize that Jollibee is where they are all hidden.”
He added, “If any drug lords are listening, I might look like him, but I’m not the president. So I will kill you, but don’t kill me.”
It wasn’t the first time Estremos made a public appearance as Duterte. Many may recognize him from the Philippine reality show, “Pilipinas Got Talent,” where he first gained widespread attention in 2018.
On the show, Estremos went on stage with four bodyguards and wowed judges with not only his strong resemblance to the country’s president, but with his impressively Duterte-like voice.
Estremos, who hails from Manticao, Misamis Oriental, said he found fame when a photo of him went viral and as a result got many appearance invitations.
He told the South China Morning Post that he used to be afraid of the fact that he looked like Duterte until a TV manager encouraged him to enjoy it.
“I never could have anticipated people’s reactions,” he told SCMP. “One of the Duterte’s goals is to kill all the drug lords and get rid of corruption, so when people discovered I looked like him, I was scared that the drug lords would think I was the President and kill me.”
During his appearance on “Pilipinas Got Talent” last year, Estremos did say that he hoped to meet the real Duterte someday.
“Mr. President, it is my dream na mag kita tayo. Palagi ako nag susuporta sa programa mo (It is my dream we meet. I have always supported your program),” said Estremos.