[BAHAY PANGARAP PHOTO AT LEFT COURTESY OF  Willard Cheng posted at a related news article, see below, by Thea Alberto, of Yahoo! Southeast Asia]

MANILA, AUGUST 5, 2010 (STAR) By Delon Porcalla  – President Aquino has started moving in to Bahay Pangarap in Malacañang Park which he has chosen as his residence for the duration of his six-year term in office.

“He’s in the process of moving in to Bahay Pangarap. May mga gamit na siyang nai-transfer na but I still don’t know when (he will move in),” presidential spokesman Edwin Lacierda told Palace reporters in a briefing.

The new home of Mr. Aquino – a 50-year-old bachelor – has a resort ambience, with a swimming pool and deck. It previously only had one bedroom, the master bedroom, but has since been renovated to include quarters for helpers and security personnel. A guest room has also been added.

Presidential Security Group (PSG) chief Col. Ramon Mateo Dizon said the PSG has started strengthening security around Bahay Pangarap, which is included in the plan along with the renovation.

Over the years, the house had been used by the Office of the President and the PSG for meetings. Former president and now Pampanga Rep. Arroyo used to play golf in its vast compound.

Through its portals had passed US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, Brunei’s Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah, former British Prime Minister Tony Blair, and Nobel Peace Prize laureate José Manuel Ramos-Horta.

“The security procedures have always been strict in that area because that is where the President usually plays golf. So, now that the President has decided to transfer to Bahay Pangarap, we have tightened our security systems in the area,” Dizon said.

He said they have requested the Coast Guard to strengthen the security systems along the Pasig River, although these security systems have already been in place since the time of the late President Corazon Aquino, the President’s mother.

“This is more or less a review of the (security) systems and making sure that these are being followed,” he said.

But Dizon gave assurance that the PSG would not limit the traffic along the Pasig River, being a major transport artery for commerce.

Asked about the possible overflowing of the Pasig River during typhoons, Dizon said: “During ‘Ondoy’, one step was left. So, there’s no concern on flooding.”


Aquino to move into Bahay Pangarap soon

By Thea Alberto, Yahoo! Southeast Asia July 29th, 2010

President Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino III may soon leave his Times St. residence and move to a more secure but still homey abode inside the Malacanang compound, his security chief said.

Presidential Security Group Chief Ramon Dizon said Bahay Pangarap is now ready to house the president.

“Now the President has decided to transfer to Bahay Pangarap, we have tightened security in the area,” Dizon said during a press conference.

“They started cleaning the house two days ago. By this weekend, we’ll be ready whenever the President wants to transfer,” he added.

Bahay Pangarap, a newly renovated rest house, is located inside the 19-hectare Malacanang Park. Aquino will be the first president who will make it his official residence.

“Commute will be shorter. We’ll have an easier time with him in Bahay Pangarap,” said Dizon.


With renovations led by Architect Manny Dimaculangan, Bahay Pangarap now has two rooms–one for Aquino and one for his guests or relatives, said Dizon.

Two other rooms were constructed for Aquino’s household help and close-in presidential guards.

“They tried to keep it as simple as possible,” added Dizon.

But Bahay Pangarap also has a modern swimming pool, a pergola, and several outdoor couches where Aquino can relax. A golf course, shell tennis courts and stables can also be seen within the compound.

Despite these resort-like facilities, stench threatens Bahay Pangarap because of its close proximity to the dying Pasig River.

“During the heat of summer, it could be quite annoying. But the smell did not really go into the house,” said Dizon.

Dizon said tighter security will also be implemented in nearby Pasig River because Aquino has the option to use a barge on his way to work.

Bahay Pangarap history

Bahay Pangarap was created in 1936 to 1937 and was originally intended for then-President Manuel Quezon’s recreational park. It was later expanded during the term of former President Ramon Magsaysay.

“During the time of President Jose Laurel, because there was an assassination attempt on him on the golf course in Wack-Wack, he decided to put up a golf course in Malacañang,” presidential spokesman Edwin Lacierda explained.

The park grounds were later refurbished in the 1960s under the supervision of then-First Lady Evangelina Macapagal.

It then underwent many other restorations and served many other purposes.

At the time of former President Ferdinand Marcos, Bahay Pangarap was identified as the presidential guards’ residence.

Under former President Fidel Ramos, it was the club house of the Malacanang Golf Club. In 2008, then-President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo made it a Christmas reception area for her Cabinet.

THEA ALBERTO IS @ http://ph.yfittopostblog.com/2010/07/29/aquino-to-move-into-bahay-pangarap-soon/

Chief News Editor: Sol Jose Vanzi

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