Much ado about Times Street

People waiting outside the president Aquino's home in Times Street. Shot by Gani Taoatao

I’ve begun calling it the new Malacañang.

This one-story house, after all, has its own historical marker, has housed the family of revered national figures, and is now the pad of our first bachelor president.

But Noynoy Aquino’s wish that it be his residence for the next six years sounds a little too unorthodox.

For one, it seems to be another knee-jerk reaction to distance the incoming administration from anything and everything related to the outgoing one.

In a related vein, it could be another quirk of a supposedly eccentric chief executive.

Or more likely, the centuries-old Palace is too big a place for one who has not begun a family and needs no more reminders of his single hood.

Housing a President on a public neighborhood like Times Street’s can be both strategic and a security risk.

The area’s accessible to a large number of northern Metro Manila residents, near a highway connecting the City of Manila to Quezon City.

It’s nearer to the TV stations, all of whom are in QC.

But it’s that same nearness that makes some suppose shadier intentions for the station just across Quezon Avenue.

And with it, the joke that my network, ABS-CBN, will become the Aquino RTVM (Radio-Television Malacanang), and ANC the new Channel 4. Add in the rumor that ANC anchor Ricky Carandang would be appointed Press secretary.

The prospective parking nightmare of ENG vans and media vehicles clogging Times Street is only one of the scenarios an Aquino PSG would face there.

Now, reporters and cameramen have to wait outside the gate for any news from inside. Should it rain, they huddle on the other side of the street under a tent (courtesy of a local official).

Same goes for the civilians that bring in requests and resumes, as well as rallyists

Piston transport group rallies at Times Street near President-elect Noynoy Aquino's house, June 18. Shot by Gani Taoatao

President-elect Aquino’s neighbors say they don’t mind the disturbance. Two homeowners associations there have put out statements supporting his first decision to stay there. One even proposes a location for a waiting area.

It’s uncertain, however, if that attitude would remain during the next 6 years of ups and downs for there prime resident.

Still, in answer to the question asked by all–12 days before he takes on the reins of power–our top story says it all: P-Noy will eventually move to the Palace by the Pasig.

Sir Jorge Carino reports, our first since Maguindanao.

Shots by ABS-CBN cameraman Gani Taoatao


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