Thursday, July 1, 2010

Bagong Pilipinas! A New Philippine President

For the life of me I don't know how to express how happy I am about today's historic event, the Inauguration of President Benigno Simeon C. Aquino III and Vice-President Jejomar Binay. (And this is my nth attempt at writing this post).

I have very vague memories of the previous inaugurations. The only one I witnessed firsthand was former PGMA's EDSA Dos inauguration (I was on the Ortigas flyover). It was interesting to watch this inauguration because it followed old traditions. 

I started watching the coverage at around 9 in the morning. As dictated by tradition the president-elect is supposed to go to Malacanang to pick up the incumbent president. He would wait at the foot of the stairs for the incumbent president (the stairway is believed to be the same set that Jose Rizal's mother went up on her knees to beg the governor-general for her son's life). They would then proceed to the Quirino grandstand in one car. We didn't see this when former PGMA took her oath of office six years ago. 

I thought that former PGMA was going to sit through the inauguration, but she only stayed for a few minutes. The AFP honored her with a gun salute and after one final salute she left in her private car. The crowd cheered (jeered?) when she left. 

The inauguration program started with a moving rendition of "Lupang Hinirang" (national anthem) by Charice Pempengco. The textbook interpretation (thank God) made me feel that we are indeed starting a new chapter in our history. After the ecumenical prayer Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile read the Congress resolution for the proclamation of the new president and vice president (not sure about the term). 

Since the new president had to take oath at exactly 12 noon some entertainment was provided and here are some of the songs that were rendered:

Bayan Ko by the Philippine Madrigal Singers
Sabihin mong Ikaw ay Pilipino by Ryan Cayabyab
Minamahal Kong Pilipinas by the Apo Hiking Society
Bagong Pilipinas, Inauguration song

Eventually some of the artists had to sing impromptu songs because the ceremonies started on time (indeed a new Philippines!). Noteworthy was Noel Cabangon's performance which I thought was just right since it was very Pinoy. Finally, the right time came and Vice President Jejomar Binay was sworn in. President Noynoy's oath taking soon followed. After the 21-gun salute, P. Noy's 21-minute Inaugural Address followed.

This is truly a historic day for us Filipinos! I hope we all work hand in hand to bring back the glory of our nation. 

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