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Aquino on staycation

How did President Aquino spend the Holy Week break?

While many Filipinos traveled to the provinces for some rest and recreation, President Aquino stayed in Metro Manila to observe Lent and “monitor everything.”

While he kept tabs on developments here and abroad, the President also took time for personal matters, including bonding with his family and attending a political ally’s birth anniversary party during his staycation in the capital.

“I went to two wakes and will go to a birthday tomorrow (Sunday). Stayed in Manila to monitor everything. I am also monitoring developments in Libya. I spent quality time with my family,” the President said in a message sent to reporters last Saturday night.

Aquino said he also watched the film on the life of Archbishop Oscar Romero of El Salvador last Good Friday.

“It reminded me of the church and its pro-active preference for the poor,” Aquino said, referring to the 1989 film about the life and assassination of Romero.

The priest, who became rights activist opposing the tyrannical military regime in his country, is portrayed in the film by the late actor Raul Julia.

President Aquino was out of public sight until Easter Sunday when he attended the birthday celebration of former Cavite Gov. Erineo “Ayong” Maliksi in Cavite. Maliki, a long-time ally of Aquino, is the chairman of the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office.

Aquino, wearing his yellow campaign shirt, was joined by Liberal Party candidates during his visit to Cavite.

The Palace earlier said the President wasn’t entirely on complete vacation mode amid heightened security measures in light of the Brussels attacks. Aquino has directed authorities to step up security in airports and the public transportation terminals to ensure public safety.

Earlier, the President joined the nation in celebrating Easter, wishing peace and harmony in the country.

With a few weeks left before the national and local elections, Aquino also encouraged Filipinos to “seek the light amidst the clouds of uncertainty.”

“I am confident that the Filipino people will embrace the chance to establish an enduring mainstream of redemption in our country,” he said in his Easter message.

“Let us make a stand: Fearless and full of hope, we charge towards a brighter, more empowered tomorrow,” he added. (Genalyn D. Kabiling)