Mega Manila Subway


Tokyo Metro 10000 series


Tokyo Metro 16000 series


EDSA-Cubao interchange


EDSA-Quezon Avenue interchange


Novaliches Station


Tandang Sora Station

The P374.5-billion ($8.08-billion) project to build a subway connecting the cities of Makati, Pasay, and Taguig is being revived by the transportation department under President Rodrigo Duterte.

The Mass Transit System Loop or Light Rail Transit Line 5 would have been the most expensive public-private partnership (PPP) deal implemented under former president Benigno Aquino III’s administration.

But it was removed from the PPP pipeline because of scheduling constraints, with officials saying that talks on the subway’s final alignment were “eating up much time.”

The current administration said the subway PPP deal is being revisited because “there is demand for the service.”

“It is in the pipeline. We are revisiting it. We are 45 days on the job. [Terms of the project] should be better understood so that when we tender it, we do it right,” Noel Kintanar, transportation undersecretary for rails and toll roads, told reporters on the sidelines of a transportation forum organized by ANC.

“Just because it’s off the table doesn’t mean it is off the table forever,” he added.

Under the old plan, the project would be a 20-kilometer (km) system that will consist of a 16-km tunnel, a 4-km elevated railway, and 11 stations.

The subway system is seen to link the Makati Central Business District, the Mall of Asia in Pasay City, and Bonifacio Global City (BGC) in Taguig.

Other rail projects

The country’s first subway project forms part of a bigger rail transport plan, which includes 7 other PPP projects.

Kintanar told reporters that the LRT1 Cavite Extension, LRT2 operations and maintenance (O&M), LRT Line 4, LRT Line 6, Metro Rail Transit (MRT) Line 7, as well as the extension of the Philippine National Railways (PNR) to Clark, Pampanga and to Los Baños, Laguna are being continued by his department.

The LRT1 Cavite Extension was awarded to Light Rail Manila – a consortium of Ayala Corporation, Metro Pacific Investments Corporation (MPIC), and the Macquarie group – in September 2014.

Light Rail Manila’s directive: rehabilitate the 20 stations and train cars of the LRT1 in 18 months and start the construction of the P64.9-billion ($1.37-billion) LRT1 extension from Baclaran to Bacoor, Cavite in June. The group’s aim is to fully operate the extended line by 2020.

For LRT2 O&M, Kintanar said his department is thinking of expanding the terms of the PPP contract.

“For the operations and maintenance of the LRT 2, we are looking at expanding it to full PPP. Wrap the west extension deal with the O&M, full rehabiltation of LRT2 trains, rehabilitation of elevators and escalators to a whole project,” Kintanar explained.

Meanwhile, the concessionaire of MRT7 is awaiting the final location of the so-called common station in North EDSA, before it starts construction.

The MRT7 will connect EDSA corner North Avenue, Quezon City to Araneta-Colinas Verdes Subdivision, City of San Jose del Monte, Bulacan.

Another project tabled for implementation is the LRT6, a railway system seen to run 19 kilometers from Niog, Bacoor City, to Governor’s Drive, Dasmariñas City in Cavite.

“We are looking at the bankability of the projects before tendering it. We should make sure that it is financially viable for the private investors,” Kintanar said, adding that pre-qualification submission for the LRT6 is scheduled in September.

“Our program isn’t only limited to Metro Manila. We are also looking at other major urban centers like Cebu and Davao. We are consulting the respective communities to know what kinds of projects should be implemented,” the transportation official said.
“What we want to achieve in the next 6 years is to get the process going regardless of whatever happens in the next administration. It’s important that the projects are on the ground. Obviously, we want to finish it sooner rather than later,” Kintanar added, without disclosing timetables for each PPP deal.

The country will have its first subway system from Mindanao Avenue in Quezon City to the airport in Pasay City by the second quarter of 2024, said Transportation Secretary Arthur Tugade.

Called Mega Manila Subway, the project will use “Japanese tunneling expertise,” Tugade said on Tuesday during a forum that launched “Dutertenomics,” the administration’s economic program anchored on the concept of building key infrastructure.

Tugade said project construction may begin in the last quarter of 2020, but he is pushing it earlier to 2019.

If everything goes by plan, the Mega Manila Subway can accommodate a daily ridership of 350,000.

The P227-million subway project will be included in the national budget with additional funding to come from foreign government loans.

Phase 1 is from Quezon City to Taguig City, a trip which Tugade said can be done in half an hour.

The proposed 13 stations are North Avenue, Quezon Avenue, GMA Network-Kamuning, Araneta Center-Cubao, Santolan-Annapolis, Ortigas North, Ortigas South, Kalayaan Avenue, Market! Market!, Cayetano Boulevard and FTI.

Figure App-B (4) 4 Option B1a b

Route Option B1


Fort Bonifacio Map (insert)


The phenomenal event of the Filipinos


The fashion show is now five years and six months old now. The now-successful franchise featuring activewear and top designers received a warm, vast-ballroom-filled welcome in the Queen City over the weekend on November 8, 2008 at the Pacific Grand Ballroom of the Waterfront Cebu City Hotel & Casino in Cebu City, following a triumphant debut last July 31, 2008 at the Rigodon Ballroom of the Peninsula Manila in Makati City.
  • (Exceptions: “How fitness marries fashion” from the July 25, 2008 issue of the Philippine Daily Inquirer:)

“That was how the idea for Inquirer Lifestyle series’ Fitness.Fashion show was born. That Samsung chose to share this fashion vision turned the idea into reality. “The collaboration merely confirms Samsung’s sustained efforts to define what a lifestyle brand is all about. And PDI Lifestyle is a strategic alignment,” said Pen Roque, Cheil Country Director for Samsung Philippines.”

“We tapped some of today’s designers to collaborate with top active brands.”

“They are Vic Barba, Joey Samson, James Reyes, Louis Claparols, Rhett Eala, Patrice Ramos-Diaz, Tonichi Nocom, Randy Ortiz, Ivarluski Aseron, Arcy Gayatin, Rajo Laurel, and of course, Lulu.”

“They are collaborating with Kipling, Bench, Speedo, Adidas, Nike Golf, Puma, Marks & Spencer, Fila, Aigle & Oxbow. Virgie Ramos’ Swatch is also supporting this collaboration.”

“Leica, Tweetie, Amanda, Rina, Sen. Cayetano, Jeena will be guest models in this show on July 31 at Peninsula Manila, with Inquirer contributing editor Apples Aberin-Sadhwani, Ruby Gan, Svetlana Osmena, Fely Atienza, Akiko Thompson, Enchong Dee, Paolo Abrera.”

“L’Oreal is doing the hair and makeup.”

The project was completed in July 2008, a year after the July 12-15, 2007 EDSA Tres in Makati City, and the excavation and construction works of the millennium celebration stage in the said intersection with the Swatch Millennium Clock and the Peninsula Manila’s rooftop with lighted parols, twin stairways and a giant stage for one month from November 2007 to December 2007. The project’s proponents were the Ayala Corporation, the MVP Group of Manny Pangilinan and the Cultural Center of the Philippines and the Metro Manila Development Authority.

The exceptions of the articles from the said newspaper were:

“Personalities like Senator Pia Cayetano, Waterfront GM Marco Protacio, jewelry designer Tweetie de Leon-Gonzalez and socialite Amparito Lhuillier were among the big names who gamely participated in the event.”

– “A dynamic, eclectic 2008”, by Apples Aberin Sadhwani, published in the December 26, 2008 issue of the Philippine Daily Inquirer.

“Fashion becomes less a spectator sport when sport itself becomes the fashion.”

“Last Thursday, Inquirer Lifestyle staged the rousing, filled-to-the-bleachers (despite the heavy rains and flooding) curtain-raiser to its Lifestyle Series of events with “Fitness.Fashion,” a catwalk team-up between some of the country’s top designers and best-selling activewear brands, at the Rigodon Ballroom of the Peninsula Manila in Makati City.”

“Co-presented with Samsung, it drew guests who cut across the fields of fashion, business and commerce, arts, media and entertainment. With the support of HSBC and Peninsula, the show had 12 sought-after designers melding their creations with the latest brand collections: Kipling with Vic Barba; Fila with Lulu Tan-Gan; Nike Golf with Anthony Nocom; Speedo with Louis Claparols; Adidas with Patrice Ramos-Diaz and Rhett Eala; Marks & Spencer with Arcy Gayatin; Aigle and Oxbow with Rajo Laurel; Bench with Joey Samson; and Puma with Ivarluski Aseron and Randy Ortiz.”

“Other guest models were Akiko Thompson, Amanda Carpo, Rina Go, Paolo Abrera, Phoemela Baranda, Svetlana Osmeña, Jeena Lopez, Enchong Dee, Ruby Gan, Fely Atienza, Trishan Cuazo, catwalk queens Tweetie de Leon-Gonzalez and Apples Aberin-Sadhwani, and Inquirer’s own Tessa Prieto-Valdes and Leica Carpo.”

– “Style statement: Sporty”, published in page E-4 of the August 3, 2008 issue of the Philippine Daily Inquirer

“The four Technomarine ambassadors are TV host Bianca Gonzalez, basketball player Kiefer Ravena, soccer player Phil Younghusband and actress Heart Evangelista.”

– “Diamonds meet plastic in watches of ‘unconventional luxury’, published in the September 20, 2013 issue of the Philippine Daily Inquirer.
“The celebrities will be led by the so-called “Magnificent 7”—Richard Gomez, Lucy Torres, Ogie Alcasid, John Estrada, Rissa Mananquil-Trillo, Dingdong Dantes, and a “surprise guest” whom Ortiz will not name. “
“Guest models include beauty queens Venus Raj and Shamcey Supsup, and actors Rayver Cruz and Daniel Matsunaga.”

– “Randy Ortiz show could be the biggest for 2013” by Joselito O. Tolentino, published in the September 27, 2013 issue of the Philippine Daily Inquirer.

“Presented by Samsung Mobile with the Waterfront Cebu City Hotel & Casino, Fitness.Fashion had Cebu’s elite either walking the runway or taking front-row seats to cheer on their peers.”
“There were, among others, Cebu City Vice Mayor Mike Rama, who modeled for Anthony Nocom + Nike Golf; Waterfront’s own general manager Marco Protacio for Randy Ortiz + Folded & Hung; socialites Amparito Lhuillier, Elvira Luym, Margie Lhuillier and Teresin Mendezona, modeling, respectively, for Randy Ortiz + Folded & Hung, Cary Santiago + Folded & Hung and Arcy Gayatin + Technomarine.”
“Aside from Santiago and Gayatin, Cebu’s fashion directory was also represented by six other designers: Philip Rodriguez (for Havaianas), Protacio Empaces (Nike Golf), Jun Escario (Speedo), Oj Hofer (Havaianas), Lord Maturan (Penshoppe) and Edwin Ao, who, with Manila’s James Reyes, created pocket collections for YOU magazine, which had its launch down South also last weekend.”
“The show, directed by Jackie Aquino and hosted by 2bU! and Super’s Bianca Consunji and model Trishan Cuazo, also included other Manila fashion fixtures like Louis Claparols and Joey Samson (for Kipling), Lulu Tan Gan (Speedo) and Rhett Eala (Technomarine).”
– from “Fitness.Fashion in the South”, published in the November 14, 2008 issue of the Philippine Daily Inquirer.

Lupang Hinirang, Para Lalong Mas Makahulugan Ang Pambansang Awit para sa mga Kababaihan

Ang “Lupang Hinirang” at ang ating watawat, mga simbolo na ating kalayaan dapat buong buhay nating pinapahalagahan.

Screenshot 2017-06-05 12.23.45.png

Ang Philippine Commission on Women, gumawa ng sariling bersyon ng Pambansang Awit, para turuan ang mga kababaihan ang tamang pagkanta ng awiting ito.

Ang “Lupang Hinirang” ang ating pambansang awit.

Mahalaga ang pagkakaroon ng national anthem para sa isang bansang malaya, katulad ng Pilipinas

Simbolo ito ng pagbubuwis ng buhay at hirap na dinanas ng ating mga bayani para makamit ang ating kalayaan.

Simbolo rin ng pagiging Pilipino.

Pero dismayado ang National Historical Commission of the Philippines, maraming kabataan daw ang hindi kabisado ang “Lupang Hinirang.”

“Mayroong na punda kami na teacher, merong ding estudyante, pero kagipitan na nakakalimutan nila, kaya kailangan natin talaga ang puspusan pagpapaliwanag,” sinabi ni Teddy Atienza, Head of the Heraldry Section of NHCP.

TVB News Cares


TVB News, formally known as the News and Information Division, is the newsgathering arm of Hong Kong’s Television Broadcasts Limited (TVB). Its slogan is “TVB News Cares”


On 19 November 1967, TVB premiered its very first 2 News Report programmes, the evening News at 7:30 and Late News (22:30).

On 16 November 1970, Noon News and News Headlines were also added into TVB Jade’s schedule.

On 1 November 1976, News at 7:30 was renamed News at 6:30 as the newscast moved back by one-hour.

On 1 January 1968, the first Morning Talk and News programme, Morning Assembly, hosted by the news editor Edward Ho, From 19 April 1976 to 29 April 1977, the show was renamed Morning News Report.

On 19 November 1980, the Nightly News at Ten was launched.

On 6 September 1981, Good Morning Hong Kong premiered and currently airs from Monday to Saturday.

On 19 November 1967, the first few male news anchors: David Lee, Josiah Lau, Chu Wai Tak, Stephen Shiu.

On 2 January 1978, the first female first anchor Anite Yip debuted on TVB News.

On 4 January 1988, all news programmes on both TVB Jade and Pearl updated their opening sequence with the day’s date and the headline sequences.

On 1 January 1980, Cantonese subtitles were introduced.

On 3 January 1983, TVB News News at 9:30 added subtitles and was renamed News File in 1985.

News File ended on 14 May 1993.

On Monday, 2 September 1996, computer subtitles was reintroduced and it has remain ever since.

On 21 September 2003, TVB and its news department, along with other divisions moved to TVB City at Tseung Kwan O. Subtitles was also included on TVB Pearl on 17 October 2006.

On 13 July 2008, TVB News programmes started broadcasting in 16:9.

On 2 February 2009, TVB News programmes started in High Definition permanently.

On 30 June 2012, TVB iNews converted from Standard Definition to High Definition, News ticker was also modified to fit the HDTV screens and News Titles for iNews was also updated.

On 27 August 2012, began to include more News, Finance, Weather and Information in its website.

On 15 November 2012, Weather Report began broadcasting in high definition and in subtitles for the first time.

On 1 January 2013, TVB Jade, TVB HD Jade, TVB iNews and TVB Pearl modified their subtitles to fit into high definition.

On 20 May 2013, TVB iNews remodified their schedules and broadcast the news programmes live and continuously in high definition.

On 14 July 2013, TVB News updated their opening sequences to make it more realistic.

On Sunday, 1 June 2014, TVB News’ main news studio were given a major revamp as well as the new titles for all of its news programmes and subtitles. Good Morning Hong Kong also updated its opening sequences on Monday, 9 June 2014.

On 22 February 2016, Putonghua News moved to TVB J5.

Anyare sa LRT-MRT Common Station?


Ito ang nakakalungkot na kwento ng LRT-MRT Common Station.

Kapag ang public infrastructure ay nakatali sa business interests, kawawa ang publiko. Narito ang kaso ng sinasabing “common station” para sa LRT at MRT. Itatayo ang project para magdugtungan ang 3 linya ng tren at maging mas maayos ang paglalakbay ng mga commuters. Pansinin na sa unang disenyo ay magkakatabi ang linya ng MRT3, LRT1 at ang itatayong MRT 7. Madaling makakalipat ng linya ang pasahero. Pero dahil ito ay sa tapat ng SM North Edsa Annex itatayo, ayaw ang Ayala na may-ari ng Trinoma. Kaya nung panahon nina Mar Roxas at Jun Abaya sa DOTC, binago ang plano. Nilagay nila sa Trinoma ang common station, kung saan hindi maaaring magtagpo ang 3 linya at maglalakad pa nang malayo ang pasahero para lumipat ng linya. Pumalag ang SM dahil nakapagbayad na sila sa gobyerno at umabot sa SC ang kaso. Naglabas ng TRO ang SC. Ang proyekto na dapat sana ay 2010 matatapos, 2016 na ay wala pang anino tayo na nakikita.

Nagyon, may compromise na raw sa issue ng common station. Nagpirmahan pa nga ang mga Ayala, SM, MVP at SMC. Itatayo daw ang compromise common station sa pagitan ng Trinoma at SM, sa kanto ng EDSA at North Avenue! Pero anong itsura? Hindi common station ang itatayo dahil magkahiwalay ang linya ng tren at kailangang maglakad nang malayo ng commuter para makalipat ng linya. Talo na naman ang publiko.

Ang unang larawan ay ang orihinal na disenyo ng common station na magkakatabi ang linya ng tren at madaling makakalipat ang pasahero.

Ang ikalawa at ikatlong larawan ang disenyo ng compromise common station sa kanto ng EDSA at North Avenue kung saan mas malayo ang lalakarin ng commuter. Bakit kanyo nangyari ito? Dahil ang Department of Transportation Undersecretary for Rails and Tolls  na si  Noel Kintanar ay dating opisyal ng Ayala at ayon sa aming sources sa loob ng ahensya ay kilalang tagapagtaguyod ng interes ng Ayala.

LESSON: Hangga’t ang public infrastructure ay nakakabit sa business interests, kawawa ang publiko. Interes ng negosyo ang laging kunsiderasyon at mananaig.

Sa orihinal na disenyo, nasa ilalim ng isang bubong ang 3 linya ng tren, madaling makakalipat ang mga pasahero.

Pero sa bagong disenyo, hindi na magtatagpo ang 3 linya ng tren. Dalawang magkahiwalay na linya na at maglalakad ng malayo ang pasahero. Dadaan pa sa isang commercial “atrium” na gets na natin sino ang may-ari.


Ang orihinal na halaga ng proyekto ay P778 million. Sabi ng iba, maaaring umabot sa P2 bilyon ang proyekto dahil sa bagong disenyo.

LRT 1 North Extension Project - Common Station (2).png.jpg

Should the parties decide to build the Common Station between The Annex at SM City North EDSA and Landmark Annex-Trinoma malls, they will all meet again to finalize its engineering design.

The project will also involve construction of head-to-head platforms for LRT 1 and MRT 3 at EDSA with a 147.4-meter elevated “walkalator” to MRT 7 on North Avenue, near the SM City North EDSA Skydome.

However, “There’s difference between signing and doing, but apparently we have come to an agreement. Assuming that the architectural and engineering designs are done and agreed with, hopefully we can ground break before the end of this year,” the DOTr Secretary acknowledged.

like a rolling stone

Ito ang nakakalungkot na kwento ng LRT-MRT Common Station.

Kapag ang public infrastructure ay nakatali sa business interests, kawawa ang publiko. Narito ang kaso ng sinasabing “common station” para sa LRT at MRT. Itatayo ang project para magdugtungan ang 3 linya ng tren at maging mas maayos ang paglalakbay ng mga commuters. Pansinin na sa unang disenyo ay magkakatabi ang linya ng MRT3, LRT1 at ang itatayong MRT 7. Madaling makakalipat ng linya ang pasahero. Pero dahil ito ay sa tapat ng SM North Edsa Annex itatayo, ayaw ang Ayala na may-ari ng Trinoma. Kaya nung panahon nina Mar Roxas at Jun Abaya sa DOTC, binago ang plano. Nilagay nila sa Trinoma ang common station, kung saan hindi maaaring magtagpo ang 3 linya at maglalakad pa nang malayo ang pasahero para lumipat ng linya. Pumalag ang SM dahil nakapagbayad na sila sa gobyerno at umabot sa SC ang kaso…

View original post 278 more words

24th Southeast Asian Games on GMA

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GMA’s live coverage of the 2007 South-East Asian Games in Nakhon Ratchasima Thailand from December 6 to 15

NAKHON RATCHASIMA–There was grating regret among GMA television crewmen when they learned a few minutes late that mountain bike’s Jovy Barba had landed RP’s first gold in the 24th Southeast Asian Games.

This was midmorning of Dec. 6, the Games opening day.

GMA production head Edgar Reyes squinted and shook his head, trying to ward off frustration.

No assigned GMA cameraman at the finish line, no video feed of the event from the site of the downhill bike race either.

There was a mini disaster brewing.

The government coverage team could not afford to let one golden moment slip for excited viewers back home.

Not to worry. The GMA team, with logistics man Manny de Asis promptly dashing out of sight, would pull strings at the International Broadcast Center.

By mid-afternoon, GMA had a video of the opening gold for Team Philippines, courtesy of friends from Thai television.

Barba’s golden feat, a buena mano, was played up to anchor a subsequent 11-gold RP medal harvest on the third day of the Southeast Asian Games in this charming, quiet, tree-lined capital three hours by car from Bangkok.

For the record, Gozon reported, GMA has not allowed a single RP gold medal slip.

He said the commercial broadcast television and radio coverage team here, which got a rah-rah visit from GMA Network, Inc. Chairman and CEO Atty. Felipe L. Gozon on the eve of the opening, has faithfully recorded and reported all vital details of the Philippine participation.

GMA came here with a medium-size crew, backed by six broadcasters, in pursuit of the coverage theme “A Time for Heroes.”

It was mostly a toast to Filipino victors but, at the same time, it could not be helped that losers, including a few Filipino villains, also surface on the television screen.

OK, this is a little exaggerated, but among the unseen, unsung heroes here are some 30 staffers, the core of the GMA work crew, flown over for the Games.

You bet that’s a huge group, twice the size of a basketball team.

But it could be oversized if it’s only basketball, boxing and billiards the TV crew has had to cope with. Filipino athletes have participated in a total of 43 events here.
“By a plain count, we are directly involved in the coverage of 30 events here, excluding those in Pattaya and Bangkok,” explained GMA delegation head Bobby Arias.

Indeed, the challenge could be daunting, awesome as crossing the ocean when all you have is a frail boat for a short ride down the river.

The good news is that, with a day left in the 24th Southeast Asian Games Friday, the intrepid GMA team has reached shore commendably.

It’s not very easy, bared chief producer Chit Gatan, but the secret is multi-tasking.
For example, technical expert Louie Lamata, on a regular 8 a.m. to midnight shift, takes care of not two or three, but a total of 12 studio monitors.

One cameraman provides technical support, does editing and, at the same time, run assorted errands.

They have an unsavory name for this type of coverage: guerilla operation.

Naturally, with NBN-4 crew up on its toes 24 hours a day, practically everything involving the RP participation, like defeat and frustration, gets its deserved footage.

For example, there was also focus on the villains who tried to conceal their perennial ineptitude with an unwarranted walkout in boxing, thereby displaying the ugly side of the Filipino here.

Yes, it’s not defined among its role, but when it showed the glaring inferiority of the RP women boxers against their Thai rivals, NBN-4 has, in a big way, also helped discourage mediocrity in Philippine sports.

Please send in more heroic, dedicated Filipino sports officials.


Inauguration of Gloria Macapagal Arroyo

On the line in the cases at bar is the office of the President. Petitioner Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo alleges that he is the President on leave while respondent Karen Lourdes Pascual claims he is the President. The warring personalities are important enough but more transcendental are the constitutional issues embedded on the parties’ dispute.  While the significant issues are many, the jugular issue involves the relationship between the ruler and the ruled in a democracy, Philippine style.

First, we take a view of the panorama of events that precipitated the crisis in the office of the President.

In the May 10, 2004 elections, petitioner Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo was elected President while Sen. Noli de Castro was elected Vice-President.  Some (10) million Filipinos voted for the petitioner believing he would rescue them from life’s adversity.  Both Macapagal-Arroyo and de Castro were to serve a six-year term commencing on June 30, 2004.


The inauguration formally ended the Presidential transition of Gloria Macapagal Arroyo that began when Arroyo won the 2004 Philippine presidential election. Her inauguration took place in Cebu marking it the first inauguration to be held outside of Luzon. Cebu became the place of inaugural as a gesture of gratitude for Arroyo garnering the highest number of votes.

Inaugural events

Pre-inaugural speech

The President arrived at exactly 7:45 a.m. She came dressed in an Inno Sotto-recycled green, silk chiffon gown with a brooch emphasizing its elegant, flowing lines. Her only other jewelry were her earrings.

The inauguration took place at the Quirino Grandstand, Rizal Park, Manila and Cebu Provincial Capitol, Cebu City as revealed by President Joseph Estrada on his final State of the Nation Address on July 28, 2003.

Among those who braved the gusty winds and intermittent drizzles were former president Fidel V. Ramos, Supreme Court Chief Justice Hilario Davide, Jr., House Speaker Jose De Venecia and wife Gina, Senate President Franklin Drilon, members of the Cabinet, Metro Manila mayors led by Manila Mayor Lito Atienza, members of the Senate led by newly-elected senator Manuel “Mar” Roxas II, Jamby Madrigal, Ralph Recto, members of the House of Representatives and foreign dignitaries who were all seated at the center stage of the grandstand.

Vice President Noli de Castro arrived a few minutes ahead of the President who came in at exactly 7:45 a.m. She was accompanied by her husband, First Gentleman Jose Miguel Arroyo, son Dato and his wife, Cacai.

A 21-gun salute from the Philippine Marines greeted the President’s arrival. She was given the traditional military honors before trooping the line with Armed Forces Chief of Staff Gen. Narciso Abaya.

At the stage, the President was welcomed by the four members of the cabinet which included Social Welfare and Development Secretary Dinky Soliman, Defense Secretary Eduardo Ermita, Interior and Local Government Secretary Jose Lina and Metro Manila Development Authority Chairman Bayani Fernando.

The national anthem was sang by singer Sarah Geronimo. It was followed by an ecumenical prayer given by the religious leaders from the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines, El Shaddai, the Philippine Council of Evangelical Churches and the Iglesia Ni Cristo, and Islam.

Then Executive Secretary Alberto Romulo introduced Arroyo and gave her speech that lasted for 20 minutes.

Singers Jolina Magdangal and Mark Bautista along with the Ateneo Chamber Singers rendered the inaugural theme song entitled “Tayo Na” while young performer Dindi Larena narrated her own version of the song “Para sa Inang Bayan,” a special composition of Jessie Lucas.

The President left the Quirino Grandstand shortly before 9 a.m. to fly to Cebu City, where she took her oath of office along with De Castro at the Cebu Provincial Capital. The oath was administered by Chief Justice Hilario Davide, Jr.

Oath of office

Clad in an aquamarine terno the President arrived at the Capitol at 11:45 a.m., 10 minutes after the arrival of Vice President Noli de Castro. She was given arrival honors, including a 21-gun salute by soldiers in green uniforms adorned with yellow stripes, and white pants.

After trooping the line, the President stood on stage and waved to the Cebuano crowd which gave her a little more than a million vote lead over closest rival Fernando Poe, Jr. in the May 10 elections.

Actress Nora Aunor, who supported Mrs. Macapagal-Arroyo, sang the National Anthem. An ecumenical prayer followed.

Supreme Court Chief Justice Hilario Davide, swore in Vice President Noli de Castro at 11:50 a.m. and Macapagal-Arroyo at 12 noon. A 21-gun salute honored the President as she signed her oath of office.

After the inauguration of the new President, Estrada chose to leave the Cebu Provincial Capital by riding in a Jeepney which he and Macapagal-Arroyo had ridden in on the way to the ceremonies, to make the point that he was once again an ordinary citizen, when he board a plane back to Manila from Villamor Airbase in Pasay City and moved to his new home at Manga Avenue, Barangay 581, Santa Mesa, Manila.

His supporters greeted his declaration with a roar of approval, and repeated chants of Estrada’s nickname: “Erap!”

Estrada said he was ending his long political career by serving the people of Manila.

Born in the city’s Tondo district, he had been mayor of San Juan del Monte, senator and vice president.

After Estrada retired to private life following the end of his term he remained active in the Philippine political scene, constantly voicing opposition and dissent to government actions and policies, which he deemed as threats to the liberal traditions and democratic foundations of the country.

Post-inaugural events

The president proceed to the Shangri-La’s Mactan Resort & Spa, Cebu for a vin d’honneur. Then, she proceeded to the Cebu Metropolitan Cathedral for a mass presided by Archbishop Ricardo Cardinal Vidal.

“President Estrada goes back to being Citizen Erap”


former president Joseph Estrada

Former president Joseph Estrada yesterday noon went back as a private citizen and returned to their family residence at Manga Avenue, Barangay 581, Santa Mesa, Manila.

Two hours before he relinquished his presidency to his “anointed” successor, Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, Mr. Estrada was a picture of a relieved President who wanted the turnover ceremonies to be done over with a quickly as possible.

Mr. Estrada and Mrs. Macapagal-Arroyo had a 40-minute closed-door talks yesterday at the Palace Music Room as they await the time to go to the Cebu Provincial Capitol, Osmeña Boulevard, Cebu City for the inauguration program supposed to start at exactly 11 a.m.

But after nothing the heavy drizzle yesterday morning which threaten to dampen the inaugural rites, Mr. Estrada asked Mrs. Macapagal-Arroyo if they could go to the Capitol ahead earlier for fear that people will get soaked and rained even the inaugural affair could start.

The Palace Press Corps who were awaiting for the two to come out gave Mr. Estrada a parting group singing “Paalam Na” to which the outgoing President gave his distinct wry smile.

“Maybe, I will miss the people here, all the people who worked with me in the Guest House,” Mr. Estrada told the Palace newsmen, adding, “I’ll miss you.”

Asked what she is looking forward to now that he is out of the Palace, Mr. Estrada replied: “To my freedom.”

The 67-year-old former movie actor and fashion and ramp model has moved their family home in Manga Avenue where he will stay with his mother Dona Mary and son Jinggoy and Jude.

As a former President, Mr. Estrada will receive a monthly pension of P3,500 which is doubly lower than the new monthly pension he has earlier approved former Presidents of the country.

Mr. Estrada had her last military parade honors, capped with a 21-gun salute when he and Mrs. Macapagal-Arroyo arrived for the inauguration rites.

The weather improved and the whole inaugural rites went on smoothly as the sun shones throughout the ceremonies.

“That’s the Erap weather,” a solid Erap loyalist commented.

But the crowd not let go off with the outgoing President as they kept chanting “Erap! Erap!”

The surprise of all when Mrs. Macapagal-Arroyo buzzed at his cheeks after she was sworn in by Supreme Court Chief Justice Hilario Davide.

“It (kiss) had prior approval by Mr. Estrada,” Cabinet Secretary Ignacio Bunye said.

When the inaugural program ended, Mr. Estrada and Mrs. Macapagal-Arroyo had their last handshake to symbolize the smooth transfer of power from one President to another.

Mrs. Macapagal-Arroyo escorted Mr. Estrada down to the stage to her awating jeepney that took him to Mactan-Benito Ebuen Air Base. After the plane was laned in Manila he rided the jeepney from Villamor Air Base to Manga Street, Sampaloc, Manila.