As they usually say: all rounds lead to the historic, reconstructed Ayuntamiento de Manila at the corner of Calle Aduana, renamed Andres Soriano Avenue and Cabildo Street in the heart of Intramuros.
The event: birthday bash of Finance Secretary Benjamin E. Diokno (BED). Ayuntamiento houses the Bureau of Treasury, which is under the supervision of the SecFin.
How fitting, indeed! Back in the olden days of the Spanish regime, Ayuntamiento was Manila’s seat of power, the City Hall, which was opened to the public eight years after the construction commenced in 1599. It used to house the First Philippine Assembly.
Considering that life is fleeting and we would never know when the One up there calls us, I fully support, and am in 100-percent agreement, that birthdays must be celebrated, whether with a big bang or just a simple dinner. BED's birthday bash last Friday was the first after the pandemic.
For his 74th birthday, BED took it to Ayuntamiento with who’s who in both the private and government sectors attending. No less than Junior and the second in line, Sara Duterte, were there. Junior, though, was in his lonesome self as First Lady Liza A. Marcos (LAM) was not by his side. A video clip of LAM greeting the celebrant was played.
The who's who in the official circle - his colleagues in the Cabinet among them Transportation Secretary Jaime J. Bautista, DTI Sec. Alfredo Pascual as well as his former coworkers in the Duterte administration – executive secretary Salvador Medialdea and PCOO Sec. Martin Andanar, was in attendance.
Likewise his peers in the monetary board - Eli Remolona, Peter Favila, Annie Aquino, and Tony Abacan were there. The roving eyes of my low-key filler saw the presence of the top engineers of banking and industry like Tessie Sy-Coson of SMDC-BDO, former President Erap and wife Sen. Loi Ejercito with their children Jackie, Jude and of course, Sen. Jinggoy Estrada.
My low-key filler, however, wondered why Amenah Pangandaman, a close member of the economic team, was missing. While Senator Mark Villar was present, the Super Ate, was likewise no where insight as well as Manny V. Pangilinan of Metro Pacific and Sabin Aboitiz.
At one point during the party, BED took the microphone, rendering a song accompanied by a band. Again, my low-key filler believed the celebrant, who loves karaoke like anything, is a bit mediocre in this field.
It was a night of networking, good food (catered by no less than Las Flores), booze and music. Indeed, it was a blast!
Way to go BED.
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