After Christmas with kin, Aquino tries getawayBy Michael Lim Ubac
Philippine Daily Inquirer
President Aquino spent Christmas Day with his closest kin, but the bachelor leader might as well brace himself for colder nights as he goes up Wednesday to Baguio to catch the all-familiar chill of the City of Pines this time of the year.
Communications Secretary Ricky Carandang told the Philippine Daily Inquirer Tuesday that Mr. Aquino was “with family” on Christmas Eve, although he was not sure whether the Aquino clan was celebrating at the family house on Times Street, Quezon City, or the Cojuangco ancestral house in Forbes Park, Makati.
“Not sure (but) usually in Forbes,” said the chief of the Presidential Communications Development and Strategic Planning Office, referring to the ancestral home of the Cojuangco side of the family of the late President Corazon Aquino.
Secretary Hermino Coloma, head of the Presidential Communications Operations Office, told the Inquirer the President spent the day with his family and his household and close-in staff for fellowship. He also visited parents’ and other relatives’ graves at Manila Memorial Park.
“Today (Tuesday), he had lunch with relatives and will watch Kris’ new movie,” said Coloma, referring to the comedy movie “Sisterakas,” a Star Cinema and Viva Entertainment entry to the 38th Metro Manila Film Festival.
The President and select members of the Cabinet will go up to Baguio City on Wednesday, where they are expected to spend Christmas break for a few days before returning to Malacañang.
In a recent interview with the media, the President revealed that he was looking forward to spending a stress-free Christmas vacation for at least three days.
But he said he doubted whether this would be a perfect case of being out of sight, out of mind.
“Just remember, I’m not just Chief Executive of the Filipinos in the country but also of something like 10 million Filipinos outside of the country. In the event of a Somali pirate attack, we’re involved; Arab Spring, regardless of the country, we’re involved; the Korean peninsula flare up, we’re involved; the world economy gone bad, we’re involved,” said the President.
“So I’m fixated that I have six years to effect not just changes but transformational changes that will stick. So I’ve given myself that pressure that I have to be able to face everybody by 2016, and I maximize the opportunity for everybody’s benefit and have that inclusive growth and all maximized opportunities,” he said.