Election Winner

MANILA, Philippines -- (Editor's note: The new president of France assumed office within nine days of the run-off. His inauguration is a model of simplicity, as noted by the author.)

IN the US, the President elected in November is sworn into office at noon of January 20 the following year or about 76 days after his election. After the oath-taking, he delivers the inaugural address lasting 30 minutes or more. Thousands at the grandstand join him in viewing a parade in his honor.

One-day celebration

After a few hours of rest, he and the First Lady attend the so-called premier-night dance with hundreds in attendance. The following day, January 21, he starts working at the White House Oval Office.

In Manila, the President elected on May 10, 2010, was sworn into office on June 30, 51 days after the election. Before the 1987 Constitution, presidential elections were held in November followed by the oath-taking on December 30.

Big budget

The budget for the Presidents' inauguration in Manila and Washington, DC could run to millions of pesos or dollars. In Britain, the party that wins a majority in the House of Commons is represented by a leader who automatically assumes office as prime minister after the traditional audience with the Queen.

Simplicity in France

Let's talk about the run-off election for President of France on May 6, a Sunday. Socialist candidate Francois Hollande won 51.6 percent of the votes. On the ninth day, May 15, he was welcomed to the Elysee Palace by his predecessor Nicolas Sarkozy who led him to the presidential office.

To Berlin the same day

After brief ceremonies, the 57-year-old Socialist leader took a plane to Berlin to start the first round of talks with Chancellor Angela Merkel, conveying a different vision on how to save the single currency bloc. Hollande named his new prime minister, Jean Marc Ayrault, long-time ally and the head of the Socialists' parliamentary bloc.

Small crowd only

No foreign heads of state were invited to this low-key ceremony for a post as leader of the world's fifth great power. Hollande laid a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. It was raining hard and the President was soaked to the skin when he shook hands with war veterans and greeted well-wishers who braved the bad weather.

Transfer of power within minutes

Hollande then visited Paris City Hall, a swearing-in day tradition for the French President attended by the capital's elected and religious leaders. He then signed the notice of formal transfer of power as the seventh President of the Fifth Republic and only the second Socialist.

There's no estimate of the small expense for Hollande's inauguration at the small hall of Elysee Palace. To a group of dignitaries, the President said: ''Europe needs plans. It needs solidarity. It needs growth.''

Barangay chairman's inauguration

Years ago, a young candidate for barangay chairman in one Panay town beat a veteran barrio politician. His proud parents prepared for an elaborate inauguration lasting two days. They invested close to half a million pesos to feed some 2,000 people, including voters and their families. It was fiesta time lasting two days of banqueting. It was reported that 10 pigs and two cows were happily slaughtered. Poor animals!

Cause of poverty

In the mid-1950s, two of President Magsaysay's top assistants, Raul Manglapus and Manuel Manahan, referred to town fiestas as the cause of endemic poverty in the country, especially prevalent in towns that honor known/unknown saints of the dominant church, Magsaysay himself was deaf to the ''new idea.''

Fiesta month

May is fiesta month nationwide; the merry-making lasting two to three days involves tax money of unrestricted amounts for: 1) the training of ati-atihan dancers, 2) inviting known aspirants for senators, congressmans, and governor, 3) food budget for participants in cultural entertainment, 4) elaborate dresses and uniforms of street dancers, and 5) a parade of students, teachers, government employees, etc.

Fairy tale

We are wondering if Filipinos in Mindanao, Luzon, and the Visayas before Magellan and Legaspi arrived in Cebu were as happy and well-off as portrayed in cultural festivals. Most historians today view as pure legend or fairy tale the barter of Panay for the price of one gold salakot. The expedition of Bornean Datus Puti and Sumakuel in the 13th century was called a work of fiction. (Comments are welcome at roming@pefianco.com)

Loading...

Editor’s note:Yahoo Philippines encourages responsible comments that add dimension to the discussion. No bashing or hate speech, please. You can express your opinion without slamming others or making derogatory remarks.

  • Filipino, Vietnamese troops play games on Spratly island

    MANILA, Philippines (AP) — Filipino and Vietnamese troops played football and tug-of-war Wednesday to foster camaraderie at a Philippine-held island in the South China Sea, where territorial rifts have escalated following China's island-building activities. …

  • Philippine, Vietnamese troops play soccer and sing on disputed island

    By Manuel Mogato MANILA (Reuters) - Vietnamese and Philippine troops played soccer and sang karaoke on a South China Sea island on Wednesday in a sign of the growing security ties between the two Southeast Asian nations most at odds with Beijing over the contested waterway. Cooperation has blossomed between Hanoi and Manila since they shelved decades of enmity over their competing claims in the Spratly archipelago to try to counter China, whose creation of artificial islands in the region …

  • SE Asia Stocks - Fall on renewed U.S. rate hike concerns

    BANGKOK, May 27 (Reuters) - Southeast Asian stock markets tumbled on Wednesday as investors resumed selling on expectations of an interest rate hike in the U.S. sooner rather than later, derailing Philippine ... …

  • Phl, US defense chiefs to meet on sea dispute
    Phl, US defense chiefs to meet on sea dispute

    As US aircraft carrier USS Ronald Regan began its journey to Asian waters amid China’s power flexing in the region, Defense Secretary Voltaire Gazmin would try to hear directly from his US counterpart how far America is willing to go to aid its long-time ally against China’s threatening moves in disputed waters. Gazmin flew to Hawaii last Monday to attend ceremonies for the turnover of leadership of the United States Pacific Command (USPACOM) from Admiral Samuel Locklear to Admiral Harry …

  • Water in Angat Dam falls below critical level
    Water in Angat Dam falls below critical level

    The water level of Angat Dam in Bulacan yesterday fell below the 180-meter critical level for irrigation, the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) said. PAGASA said the dam’s water level further dropped to 179.98 meters as of 6 a.m. yesterday from 180.2 meters on Monday. The priority is the domestic consumption in Metro Manila, according to PAGASA. …

  • PCSO gets P3-B fund for medical aid
    PCSO gets P3-B fund for medical aid

    The Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO) reported yesterday that an estimated P3-billion charity fund has been allocated by Congress to the agency to provide medical assistance to indigent patients and also give funds to other government offices including the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) and the Crop Insurance Program. …

  • Image of Asia: Tearing down squatters' homes near Manila
    Image of Asia: Tearing down squatters' homes near Manila

    In this photo by Bullit Marquez, a demolition crew begins to tear down a squatters' community at suburban Caloocan city, north of Manila, Philippines. Population growth and the lack of economic opportunities in rural areas have driven millions of Filipinos into the squatters' colonies that dot the sprawling metropolitan area in and around Manila. Most of the land they occupy is privately owned, and clearing the dwellings often results in violence. The landowner had offered about $1,344 in …

  • SE Asia Stocks - Mostly down; Thai shares near 2-week low

    BANGKOK, May 26 (Reuters) - Most sharemarkets in Southeast Asia fell on Tuesday with the Thai index ending at a near two-week low and the Philippines touching a near four-week low after trade data while ... …

POLL

Should Aquino be held accountable over the Mamasapano operations?

Loading...
Poll Choice Options