First published in the Philippine Online Chronicles
Just as how undecided President-elect Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino III is on his wedding plans (Yes, he’s just leaving it to Madame Auring), the country’s first bachelor President also finds difficulty in picking his official home while serving his term. In this case, he cannot simply leave it to the stars. Time is running out.
Barely two weeks before he takes his oath as 15th President of the Republic on June 30, Aquino has to make up his mind quickly. One thing is for sure at this point: he will not be living in the Palace. He said Malacañang has negative vibes, adding that it is where the late dictator Ferdinand Marcos and his family stayed for 20 years, and where President Gloria Arroyo lived for more than nine years.
A number of possible picks have been eyed, but none of them got the outright “Yes.” Such indecision has earned criticisms from netizens, while some simply wait for the President-elect’s final answer.
As of this writing, at least three places stand out as Aquino’s possible options: Times St. in Quezon City, Arlegui Mansion in Manila, and Bahay Pangarap (House of Dreams) also in Manila.
At home on Times St.
As early as the campaign period, Aquino has expressed that he would want to “go home” to his family’s one-story house on No. 25 Times St. at the end of the day. He said he would stay away from Malacañang so “the powers and trappings of the presidency would not go to his head,” Inquirer.net posted.
Times Street is a narrow street in Quezon City, easily accessible via Quezon Avenue and West Avenue. There are no gates to secure the street from any vehicle passing by. Yelllow ribbons have lined it since late PresidentCorazon Aquino’s death.
President-elect Aquino has been staying on Times St. since the May 10 polls, except for his short visits to their residence in Hacienda Luisita in Tarlac.
In a press conference, the bachelor president said he feels at home in their residence on Times St. “This is my spiritual psychological well-being. I’m here in a very comfortable position,” he said, adding that it is where he grew up.
The Aquino family had lived on Times St. since 1961.
In response to Aquino’s initial statements, the Quezon City Council has adopted a resolution welcoming the Aquino’s inclination to reside on Times St. The Council is composed mainly of allies of former Mayor Feliciano Belmonte Jr. who bolted the Lakas-Kampi party of the administration and joined Aquino’s Liberal Party.
Aquino may feel very convenient working as president in his residence on Times St., but some of his neighbors feel the opposite. Living near the center of political tension means a nightmare for them.