PROFILES: The next First Lady or First Gentleman


Regardless of who wins among the 5 presidential candidates, Malacanang is going to welcome a much bigger First Family as bachelor President Benigno Simeon Aquino III bows out of office on June 30, 2016.
The Philippines will either have another First Gentleman if Senator Grace Poe or Senator Miriam Defensor-Santiago wins, a First Lady if Vice President Jojo Binay or former DILG chief Mar Roxas makes it, or a daughter as First Lady if Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte succeeds.
What role the next First Lady or First Gentleman will play and how well (or bad) he or she performs will impact on the Philippine presidency. Will he or she be like an Imelda Marcos, a Ming Ramos, a Loi Ejercito, a Mike Arroyo, or the Aquino sisters? takes a look at the women and men who may soon be moving into the Palace as First Lady or First Gentleman.

Poe's high school sweetheart eyes 'low profile' First Gentleman role

Neil Llamanzares disappeared under a rain of blue and white confetti when his former high school sweetheart, Sen. Grace Poe, stepped into the spotlight and announced her presidential candidacy in September.

The burly and bespectacled 46-year-old is always a few steps behind but never too far to come to the rescue of his wife of 25 years when she needs it. It's the behind-the-scenes role that Llamanzares hopes to take on in case Poe wins the cutthroat May 9 vote.

"My father will take a low-profile role, as he has always maintained. He...


Narciso 'Jun' Santiago, Miriam's shock absorber

He's quite a strong shock absorber, able to tolerate the loudest of yells from the Philippines' feistiest lawmaker, as well as the humps and bumps in their marriage and in her political career.

Still, for Narciso "Jun" Santiago, it's been a peaceful life with wife Miriam Defensor-Santiago, who is seeking to become president for the third time.

Little is known about Jun, and despite being married to a woman who has frequently hogged headlines for three decades now, he's still not used to the limelight, refusing to grant interviews.


Inday Sara: Duterte daughter shuns First Lady role

CATBALOGAN, SAMAR – It was 35-degree weather when the Du30 bus rolled into town early April.

Outside the bus, a crowd had gathered, eager to catch a glimpse of the mayor from Davao City. Inside, a hubbub of excitement as volunteers pulled out stacks of Duterte fliers, stickers, tarps, and t-shirts -packed floor to ceiling - to give out to supporters.

There was a cheer when Inday Sara Zimmerman Duterte, daughter of Mayor and presidential candidate Rodrigo Duterte, stepped out of the...


Korina Sanchez: Being there for Mar

It was the calm before the campaign storm for Mar Roxas and his wife, Korina Sanchez-Roxas.

On vacation abroad, they were taking a leisurely stroll when Roxas turned to his wife and asked her: "Honey, sabihin mo nga sa akin bakit natin ito gagawin ulit?"

Deep inside, Roxas, of course, knew the answer. But, as Sanchez-Roxas tells a crowd of celebrities, who have gathered to pledge their support for the Liberal Party’s presidential bet: “Gusto lang niya sigurong...


VP Binay's 'doktora' is a veteran politician's wife

Mrs. Elenita Binay was in the front row when Vice President Jejomar Binay angrily severed ties with the Aquino government last year, playing the support role she has known so well after over four decades.

The soft-spoken medical doctor appears the most prepared to take on the role of first spouse, having acted as first lady of Makati for many years, even serving as mayor for one term. She has also held court at the Coconut Palace, the vice president's official residence for six years.

And Mrs. Binay knows how to take a bullet for her husband, standing as co-accused in one of many corruption charges that have piled up as the...