Noynoy Aquino: RP's first bachelor president

By Caroline Howard, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jun 06 2010 08:44 PM | Updated as of Jun 11 2010 03:47 AM

MANILA, Philippines - After getting an overwhelming mandate in the May 10 polls, President-elect Benigno "Noynoy" Aquino III will go down in history as the country's first bachelor president.

Eligible? Yes. But even with a looker of a Valenzuela councilor as the apple of his eye, the 50-year-old senator has no immediate plans of getting married.

Even without someone to settle down with, however, the presumptive president needs to find a place to stay as he starts his new term. He prefers his Times Street home to the Malacanang Palace, but what about the equally historic Arlegui Mansion?

"Living in it by myself will be too big. It will just emphasize my being alone. I'll rent some place siguro, some condominium," Aquino said.

Either way, will his next home be called a bachelor's pad or a bachelor's palace?

Marriage not part of the picture...yet

Viel Aquino-Dee, Aquino's sister, earlier said that her brother is better off having a wife.

This, she said, will make Aquino less dependent on his sisters.

Sounds good for everyone, right? But according to Dee, getting married is low on Aquino's current priorities.

"Sorry to Shalani, but low priority yata iyon (marriage) sa kanya," Dee said.

Dee was referring to Valenzuela 2nd district councilor Shalani Soledad, Aquino's girlfriend.

Previously, Soledad said she understood that Aquino is not yet ready for such a long-term commitment, especially given their respective responsibilities as public officials.

"I think it was very clear naman with the both of us na 'yung trabaho muna namin. And of course, bayan muna," Soledad said.

Once a reluctant presidential candidate, Aquino is now a reluctant groom by force of circumstance.

As Aquino returns this week from a much-deserved hiatus, could singlehood be the president-in-waiting's biggest sacrifice?