With memories of a distant past, President-elect Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr. not only steps into the shoes left by his late father Ferdinand Sr., but also returns to the Malacañang Palace he once called home from 1965 to 1986.
It is the same home where his late father--the most poverful figure in the country--would lose himself in mountains of paperwork while he and his elder sister Imee would quarrel over who gets to read their favorite books.
Bongbong probably had one such flashback from his childhood days when he found himself walking inside Malacañang's halls thanks to an interview invite from then-Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque in April 2018.
At that point, the Marcoses had not been to Malacañan in 32 long years, or since the 1986 EDSA Revolution.
"It touches you in a certain spot because this is where you spent your childhood and the little corners all have memories to you, every little place means something because, this happened there; I fell over there; this is where I fought with my sister; this is where we made up; that sort of thing," Bongbong said of his visit to the Palace, which he documented in one of his vlogs shortly after.
The late President Marcos first assumed the Palace seat in 1965 when Bongbong was an eight-year-old boy. Imee, his big sister, was 10.
"Imee and I would have these really drag-out, screaming matches and eventually actual fights. We'd run after each other with intent to harm," recalled Bongbong.
"The only thing we used to really, really fight about books. When one of us had a nice book, what would happen is that we say, 'OK, when you're finished with it, I'll have it, I want to read it.' But of course the person who's waiting cannot wait any longer. They'll steal it. So the other one will fight and the whole house will explode," he narrated.
"But we don't do that anymore," clarified Bongbong as he let out a hearty laugh. "It's nice to bring back those childhood memories when life was so simple and straightforward," he said.
On Thursday, June 30, 2022, Bongbong, now 64, will make another comeback to Malacañang; but this time, he will be staying there together with his own family for six years.
At past 9 a.m., Bongbong will arrive at Malacañang to meet with the outgoing President Duterte. After some pleasantries, the President-elect will depart for the National Museum in Ermita, Manila, the site he chose for his inauguration.
After the arrival ceremony, Bongbong will take his oath before Supreme Court (SC) Chief Justice Alexander G. Gesmundo and then deliver his inaugural speech.
Asked in a press briefing Wednesday, June 29 about the possible contents and length of the President-elect's inaugural speech, Press Secretary-designate Trixie Cruz-Angeles said, "We don't want to ruin the surprise."
Among the foreign dignitaries expected to attend the inauguration are Second Gentleman Douglas Craig Emhoff, from the United States (US); Vice President Wang Qishan, from, China; Vice President Vo Thi Anh Xuan, from Vietnam; Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Don Pramudwinai, from Thailand; and Governor General David Hurley, from Australia.
Special envoys from the countries of Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Singapore, India, Japan, Republic of Korea, United Kingdom are also expected to take part in the rites.
In the afternoon, a special reception or Vin d' Honneur will be hosted by the Palace. The departure honors for outgoing President Duterte will be held, marking his return to private life.
Shortly after this, the newly-inaugurated President Marcos will arrive at the Palace's Kalayaan grounds. The oath-taking of his Cabinet secretaries--at least those who have been appointed--will follow.
A "People’s Concert" in Mendiola, Manila will cap the festivities on Thursday night.
The soon-to-be "PBBM" knows that there won't be a shortage of problems once he finally assumes the Palace seat--there's the P12-trillion national debt and looming food crisis, just to name a couple.
Thankfully for him, he will have Imee, now a senator, on his side along with a throng of lawmaker-supporters who would undoubtedly follow his legislative agenda to a tee, especially with the impressive majority mandate that he gained during the May 9 polls.
Bongbong once described his late father as the "busiest man he has ever known"; this is expected be his self-imposed template for his work ethic as chief executive, a preview of which the public has seen when he volunteered to take on the position of Department of Agriculture (DA) secretary--a tough task that he could have delegated to someone else.
During his proclamation as President-elect last May 25, he made this humble request to Filipinos: "I ask you all, pray for me, wish me well. I want to do well because when a president does well, the country does well. And I want to do well for this country."