“Where to live?” Noynoy Aquino

He’s only got two weeks left before he assumes the presidency, but President-elect Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino III is still undecided on where he’ll live once he’s the chief executive.

Aquino said he is still choosing among at least three options, although he noted that Bahay Pangarap inside the Presidential Security Group (PSG) compound near Malacañang seems to be the best choice.

“Pangarap seems to be the best, minimal ang idadagdag o ire-replace,” Aquino said in an interview with reporters in his Times Street home in Quezon City Tuesday night.

President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo usually receives important guests at Bahay Pangarap. Because it only has one room, another room has to be constructed for Aquino’s aides if he decides to live there.

Three of Aquino’s sisters have said Bahay Pangarap seems to be the most plausible option for the 50-year-old Aquino, a bachelor.

Aquino said another being considered is the Goldenberg Mansion, also near Malacañang, which used to be the office of the Marcos Foundation. It was also used to hold former First Lady Imelda Marcos’s collection of excavated porcelain and pottery.

But Aquino noted that the Goldenberg Mansion was about the size of the Arlegui mansion, which he said was “too big.”

Aquino said he is envisioning the Premier Guest House — where former President Joseph Estrada stayed — to be his and his executive secretary’s office.

“One would not want to have the living and office sections in the same building, baka makalimutan ng tao may time-off,” Aquino said.

Times Street home

Aquino now appears to be averse to the idea of residing at his Times Street home, saying he wants to spare his neighbors from rallies. Even though he has yet to take his oath as president, militant groups have already held brief protest rallies in front of his house.

Aquino said that while he may use his Times Street home to meet with some congressmen and officials of departments in Quezon City, he still wants to “preserve” his house, which was bequeathed to him by his mother, the late former President Corazon Aquino.

“Baka naman mamaya ang painting ng nanay ko magkaroon ng bagong autograph or signature (My mother’s paintings might end up with an additional autograph or signature,” he added in jest. Many of Mrs. Aquino’s paintings are displayed inside the house.

Despite this, Aquino said he would still stay in his Times Street home “from time to time” to take a break from work.

“If this house becomes unused it will deteriorate and I wouldn’t want that to happen. At kung gusto ko makahinga nang kaunti there’s nothing like home to do it in,” said the president-elect.

Aquino said one or two of his household staff would stay in his house once he has moved to his new official residence. He will take his oath as the country’s 15th president on June 30 at the Quirino Grandstand in Manila. — RSJ, GMANews.TV

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