PNoy celebrates 54th birthday quietly

by Aurea Calica, The Philippine Star

Posted at Feb 09 2014 11:42 AM | Updated as of Feb 09 2014 07:42 PM

MANILA - President Aquino celebrated his 54th birthday quietly in his official residence at the Bahay Pangarap yesterday.

“He’s just here,” presidential spokesman Edwin Lacierda said over radio dzRB when asked about the President’s whereabouts. He added the President has no plans to go to Tarlac, his home province.

Aquino earlier said he would celebrate with his family and close friends. He also avoided questions on whether he would have a date on his birthday and on Valentine’s Day.

In her Instagram account, the President’s youngest sister Kris posted a picture of him with her and her two sons. She greeted her “favorite brother,” thanked him for his “unconditional love,” for “being there for us, all the time” and “for always reminding us that at the end of the day, we’ll always have a happy family.”

The President told reporters on Friday that he would give thanks to God for a meaningful life. “Thank you for the 54 years and also for all the things that we are aspiring for, especially better communities – more resilient to disasters because there are so many calamities visiting our shores,” he said.

On Valentine’s Day, he said he would just make sure that everyone would have a peaceful celebration.

Since he became President, Aquino has spent his birthdays working, even presiding over a Cabinet meeting last year.

On the eve of his birthday, he attended the 50th anniversary of the Elsie Gaches Village, the largest government facility for persons with development and learning disabilities.

He also had a full schedule during the week leading up to his birthday as he witnessed the ceremonial turnover of classrooms that would remove the backlog and presided over the change of command ceremony at the Philippine Army, among other activities.

“In between his meetings and attendance at official events, the President took some time to discuss a number of issues relevant to our country with Keith Bradsher, the Hong Kong bureau chief of The New York Times. As a result, the world has taken notice of the President’s appeal to the world to support a multilateral approach, founded on the determination to uphold the rule of law, in resolving conflicting claims in regional waters,” Lacierda added.