GMA  MARKS  62nd  BIRTHDAY  WITH  CABALEN

MANILA, APRIL 5, 2009
(STAR) By Ding Cervantes - In keeping with tradition, President Arroyo will celebrate her 62nd birthday in her hometown Lubao in Pampanga today, bonding with her fellow cabalen and overseeing the implementation of projects in the province.

Press Secretary Cerge Remonde said the President would start the day with Mass at the St. Augustine Parish Church in Lubao, celebrated by Archbishop Paciano Aniceto of San Fernando, Pampanga. The Mass will be in the Kapampangan dialect.

Just like in previous years, Remonde said the President is expected to give a special prayer as well as a brief statement during the Mass.

After the liturgical service, the President would administer the oath to 94 new batch members of Civilian Armed Forces Geographical Units (CAFGUs) at the quadrangle of the parish, followed by lunch with local government officials, the local clergy and residents of Lubao.

The day would not be that much different from the President’s usual workday as Remonde said Mrs. Arroyo would be overseeing the implementation of a number of social service and infrastructure projects in the province.

In Lubao, the President would be visiting the One Town, One Product bazaar and the government action desks and booths set up in the town.

A PGMA caravan with medical and dental missions would also be held today in Lubao for residents.

The President would also be distributing grocery packs to the 1,000 poorest families in the town.

Remonde said the President would also visit the Clark Freeport for the ceremonial drive-through of the South Clark Interchange of the Subic-Clark-Tarlac Expressway (SCTEX).

According to Remonde, the interchange represents the last phase of the SCTEX, which has paved the way for faster travel between Clark in Pampanga, Subic in Zambales and Tarlac.

The expressway has also reduced travel time for motorists from Manila going to destinations as far as Baguio City.

In Manila, Remonde will lead another activity related to the birthday of the President – the rollout of a 180 x 160-foot photo mosaic at the Quirino Grandstand.

Remonde said the mosaic contains more than 1,000 photographs of President Arroyo taken by photojournalist Revoli Cortez.

The country would be attempting to break another record in the Guinness Book of World Records for the world’s largest photo mosaic.

The 28,000-square-foot mosaic would be printed by Golden Touch printers, which also holds the record for the largest printed photo sticker in the world.

Asked about what the best gift the Cabinet members and all other government officials could give the President for her birthday, Remonde said it would be a review of their “sincere dedication and support for her visions for our country.”

Tomorrow, the President would be leading the annual commemoration of the Araw ng Kagitingan at the Dambana ng Kagitingan shrine on Mt. Samat in Bataan.

From Bataan, the President would go to Baguio City to inspect a number of priority projects in the city as well as in the Cordilleras.

Remonde said the President would inaugurate the vegetable processing center of the Benguet State University, which she tasked last year to conduct research and development for the manufacture of various vegetable-based products, including instant noodles, in order to reduce or eliminate the spoilage of vegetables. – With Marvin Sy


Chief News Editor: Sol Jose Vanzi

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