MANILA — A thanksgiving concert was held Thursday night in Mendiola, Manila for the supporters of President Ferdinand Marcos Jr., hours after he was sworn into office.
Marcos is expected to arrive past 9 p.m. coming from the inaugural reception at the Malacañang Palace. He is expected to deliver a speech.
Magdalena, a Marcos supporter, went to the National Museum but was only allowed to stay at the Rizal Park, prompting her to watch the inauguration held noontime on her phone.
She commuted and endured a long walk due to road closures going to Mendiola for the Pasasalamat Concert.
Mendiola St., C.M. Recto Avenue, Legarda and Nepomuceno Streets were closed from traffic for the concert.
“May prinsipyo ang ating pangulo. May word of honor siya. Alam ko sa puso ko na mahusay siyang maging lider ng ating bansa. At alam ko, nararamdaman ko iyon," said Magdalena.
Magdalena was still a high school student when Marcos's father, the late President Ferdinand Marcos Sr., declared Martial Law.
She said she didn't witness the human rights violations for herself.
The concert grounds have a capacity of 14,000 people and was divided into a VIP area and an open area for supporters who can stay for free.
By 5 p.m., supporters began to line up at the entrance where shirts, candies, and Philippine flags were handed out for free.
Comedian Bayani Agbayani was set to open the concert, which will be headlined by Randy Santiago.
Performers include rapper Bendeatha, bands Hale, Phlethora, Repakol, hiphop group Allmost, Labuching, Hydroproject, and singer-actor Jon Joven Uy.
Spoken word artist Kenli Sibayan will also perform as well as rapper Andrew E, who followed Marcos in the campaign trail.
About 600 police officers are on standby to secure the area, according to ground commander P/Lt. Col. Ramon Nazario.
The local Bureau of Fire Protection, MMDA, and several ambulances were also on standby.
Food is allowed inside, but alcoholic drinks, sharp objects, firearms and replicas, and flammable objects are prohibited inside the venue.