Briefing on the protocol, ceremonial, and symbolism of the Aquino Inaugural
Prepared by Manuel L. Quezon III
(updated June 28, 2010)
Here are the relevant portions of the Official Program.
I have compiled some useful photos of past inaugurals, as well as useful photos of Malacañan Palace. The Inaugural Addresses of our presidents are available on Wikisource. Other useful data are results of past presidential elections, results of past vice presidential elections, and the inaugural programs for the Quezon (1935), Roxas (1946), Quirino (1949), Magsaysay (1953), Marcos (1981), Ramos, Estrada and Arroyo inaugurals. Also, the official accounts of the Magsaysay, Macapagal (1961) and Marcos (1965 and 1969) inaugurals. Please visit my blog www.quezon.ph for links to these.
Inaugural venues: Legislative Building, Manila (Quezon, 1935; Laurel, 1943; Roxas, May, 1946); Independence Grandstand (fronting Rizal Monument), Roxas, July, 1946; Independence Grandstand (renamed Quirino Grandstand): Quirino, 1949; Magsaysay, 1953; Garcia, 1957; Macapagal, 1961; Marcos, 1965, 1969, 1981; Ramos, 1998. Club Filipino, San Juan, Aquino, 1986; Executive Building (Kalayaan Hall), Malacañan Palace, Marcos, 1986. The inaugural addresses of Estrada, 1998, and Arroyo, 2004, were delivered at the Quirino Grandstand.
Inaugural venues outside Manila: Barasoian Church in 1899 (Aguinaldo) and 1998 (Estrada); Corregidor in 1941 (Quezon); Cebu City in 2004 (Arroyo).
Number of inaugurals: Marcos (December 30, 1965 and 1969; June 30, 1981; February 25, 1986); Quezon (November 15, 1935, December 30, 1941; retook oath of office again on November 15, 1935 in Washington, D.C.); Roxas (May 28 and July 4, 1946). Only President Osmeña, who succeeded into office on August 1, 1946 but who lost the election of 1946, and President Corazon Aquino who was inducted into office under revolutionary circumstances in 1986, never had a formal inaugural.
|Emilio Aguinaldo||January 23, 1899||Barasoian Church, Malolos||Speaker||Inaugural|
|Manuel L. Quezon||November 15, 1935||Legislative Building, Manila||Chief Justice Ramon Avancena||Inaugural|
|Manuel L. Quezon||December 30, 1941||Corregidor||Chief Justice Jose Abad Santos||Inaugural|
|Jose P. Laurel||October 23, 1943||Legislative Building, Manila||Chief Justice Jose Yulo||Inaugural|
|Manuel L. Quezon||November 15, 1943||Washington, D.C.||(U.S.) Associate Justice Felix Frankfurter||Upon emergency wartime extension of term of office|
|Sergio Osmeña||August 1, 1944||Washington, D.C.||(U.S.) Associate Justice Robert Jackson||Upon death of Pres. Quezon|
|Manuel Roxas||May 28, 1946||Legislative Building, Manila||Chief Justice Manuel Moran||Inaugural|
|Manuel Roxas||July 4, 1946||Independence Grandstand||Chief Justice Manuel Moran||Retook oath after removal of pledge of allegiance to U.S.|
|Elpidio Quirino||April, 1948||Council of State Room, Executive Building, Malacañan Palace||Chief Justice Manuel Moran||Upon death of Pres. Roxas|
|Elpidio Quirino||December 30, 1949||Independence Grandstand (new)||Chief Justice Manuel Moran||Inaugural|
|Ramon Magsaysay||December 30, 1953||Independence Grandstand (new)||Chief Justice Ricardo Paras||Inaugural|
|Carlos P. Garcia||March, 1957||Council of State Room, Executive Building, Malacañan Palace||Chief Justice Ricardo Paras||Upon death of Pres. Magsaysay|
|Carlos P. Garcia||December 30, 1957||Independence Grandstand (new)||Chief Justice Ricardo Paras||Inaugural|
|Diosdado Macapagal||December 30, 1961||Independence Grandstand (new)||Chief Justice Cesar Bengzon||Inaugural|
|Ferdinand E. Marcos||December 30, 1965||Independence Grandstand (new)||Chief Justice Cesar Bengzon||Inaugural|
|Ferdinand E. Marcos||December 30, 1969||Independence Grandstand (new)||Chief Justice Roberto Concepcion||Inaugural|
|Ferdinand E. Marcos||June 30, 1981||Independence Grandstand (new)||Chief Justice Enrique Fernando||Inaugural|
|Ferdinand E. Marcos||February 25, 1986||Executive Building, Malacañan Palace||Chief Justice Ramon Aquino||Emergency oath-taking|
|Corazon C. Aquino||February 25, 1986||Club Filipino, San Juan||Associate Justice Claudio Teehankee||Emergency oath-taking|
|Fidel V. Ramos||June 30, 1992||Quirino Grandstand (formerly Independence Grandstand)||Chief Justice Andres Narvasa||Inaugural|
|Joseph Ejercito Estrada||June 30, 1998||Barasoian Church, Malolos||Chief Justice Andres Narvasa||Inaugural|
|Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo||January 21, 2001||Edsa Shrine, Quezon City||Chief Justice Hilario Davide Jr.||Emergency oath-taking|
|Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo||June 30, 2004||Cebu Provincial Capitol, Cabu City||Chief Justice Hilario Davide Jr.||Inaugural|
|Benigno S. Aquino III||June 30, 2010||Quirino Grandstand (formerly Independence Grandstand)||Associate Justice Conchita Carpio-Morales||Inaugural|
Inauguration Day, flow of events:
Benigno S. Aquino III will be the fifth president to take his oath of office on June 30: Marcos, Ramos, Estrada and Arroyo being the others. He will be the 15th President of the Philippines, but he is the fifth president of the Fifth Republic of the Philippines.
The constitutional title of the chief executive is “President of the Philippines.” While “President of the Republic of the Philippines” sounds nicer, it is incorrect, and used only in the 1943 and 1973 Constitutions.
Malacañang and Malacañan Palace, which one? Malacañang is the Office of the President of the Philippines, a term that officially dates to the Magsaysay adminstration. Malacañan Palace is the traditional spelling, and refers to the historic structure and official residence of the President of the Philippines.
Starting with Quezon’s second inaugural in 1941 until Marcos’ second inaugural in 1969 (with the exception of the special election called in 1946) presidents were inaugurated on Rizal Day, June 30. Six presidents Quezon (1941), Quirino (1949), Magsaysay, Garcia (1957), Macapagal, Marcos (1965, 1969) had inaugurals on December 30.
6-9:00 AM Prayer services by different Religious Faiths throughout the Philippines.
9:00 AM Assembly of the general public at Rizal Park.
Arrival of officials and distinguished guests at the Quirino Grandstand
Departure of President-elect Benigno S. Aquino III from his residence at Times Street, Quezon City, for Malacañan Palace.
According to Raul S. Gonzales, who was the Press Secretary of President Macapagal:
….continuity of government was demonstrated by having a bi-partisan committee of (officials) pick up the president-elect in his residence and take him to Malacañan. From there, the incumbent President and the incoming one, along with one member of the committee,board the presidential car for the ride to then Independence grandstand where the old and the new part ways. Ninoy Aquino was in the committee which picked up Macapagal at his mother in law’s house on Laura Street San Juan on December 30, 1961 to escort him to Malacañan to fetch President Garcia for the ride to the Luneta. Ninoy was also among those who fetched Marcos at his Ortega Street residence also in San Juan December 30, 1965 to pick up Macapagal at Malacañan. He rode with Marcos and Macapagal in the car that ultimately took Macapagal to retirement, Marcos to Makiki Heights and him, Ninoy to the tarmac of the airport which now bears his name.
9:45 AM Officials and distinguished guests with assigned seats will occupy their respective places at the Quirino Grandstand.
10:05 AM Arrival of Mrs. Jejomar C. Binay at the Quirino Grandstand
The families of the President-elect and Vice President-elect will arrive at the Quirino Grandstand ahead of the President-elect and Vice-President elect.
10:15 AM Arrival of the President-elect at Malacañan Palace.
This is a tradition that dates back to the inauguration of President Manuel Roxas, the first transfer of power from an incumbent (President Osmeña) to a president-elect (Roxas) who was his rival for the presidency.
10:25 AM Arrival of the Aquino family at the Quirino Grandstand.
10:30 AM Departure of President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo and President-elect Benigno S. Aquino III from Malacañan Palace.
The departure of the President, accompanied by the President-elect, marks the formal act of leaving office for the incumbent, who thus descends the stairs of the Palace for the last time. The President-elect will, of course, then mark the start of his presidency by climbing the same stairs later in the day.
10:35 AM Arrival of Vice President-elect Jejomar C. Binay at the Quirino Grandstand.
10:45 AM Arrival of President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo and President-elect Benigno S. Aquino III at the Quirino Grandstand.
Aquino will be the seventh president to be inaugurated at the Quirino Grandstand. Six presidents were inaugurated at the Quirino Grandstand previously: Quirino (1949), Magsaysay (1953), Garcia (1957), Macapagal (1961), Marcos (1965, etc.), Ramos (1992).
10:50 AM Honors for President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo.
A twenty-one gun salute, accompanied by the honor guard presenting arms, and four ruffles (drumrolls) and flourishes (trumpet blasts) and the playing of the national anthemwill accompany the arrival of the President and the President-elect. This is the last time the AFP renders honors to the incumbent President as head of state. The incumbent President will troop the line and receive the salute of the honor guard and bid farewell to the major service commanders.
Only President Osmeña in 1946, President Aquino in 1992, and President Ramos in 1998, attended the inaugurals of their successors. Osmeña attended because it was the first time power was to be transferred from one party to another; Aquino, to symbolize the first peaceful and constitutional transfer of power since 1969; and Ramos as part of the centennial celebrations of 1998.
11:05 AM Departure of President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo. President-elect Aquino and Vice President Elect Binay to be accompanied to the ceremonial platform by the Inaugural Committee.
This is a tradition that dates back to the inauguration of President Magsaysay in 1953, and followed in the Macapagal and Marcos inaugurals in 1961 and 1965. The symbolism is that the old administration has come to an end, and the new one begins. Ideally, as per tradition, at the moment the President-elect takes his oath as President at 12 noon, the incumbent is already at home to mark his reverting to being an ordinary citizen.
The Inaugural Ceremonies Proper:
11:10 AM National Anthem, to be sung by Charice Pempengco and the Madrigal Singers, music by the Philippine Philharmonic Orchestra.
11:15 AM Ecumenical Invocation.
From 1935 until 1969, the highest-ranking prelate of the Catholic Church traditionally delivered the invocation. President Marcos was the first President to have an ecumenical invocation in 1981.
Songs: “Bayan Ko,” performed by the Madrigal Singers.
“Minamahal Kong Bayan,” performed by the Apo Hiking Society.
Musical Ensemble: Inaugural song, “Bayang Pilipinas,” by Ogie Alcasid, Noel Cabangon, Christian Bautista, Jed Madela, Mae Paner, Jim Paredes, Gary Valenciano and Gail.
11:45 AM Reading by the President of the Senate of the Proclamation by the Congress of the Philippines announcing the results of the elections in the Philippines.
This is a practice established with the Commonwealth inauguration in 1935, and last undertaken in 1969, although a similar proclamation was read proclaiming the New Republic, in 1981. The Senate President traditionally reads the proclamation, which is the final official act of the 14th Congress. It provides the democratic and constitutional basis for the mandate of the individuals about to be inducted into office, and represents the legislative branch of government witnessing the inaugural of the executive branch. The Senate President does so as the head of the portion of the legislature that is considered a continuing body.
11:50 AM Administration of the Oath of Office to the Honorable Jejomar C. Binay, Vice President-elect of the Philippines, by Associate Justice Conchita Carpio-Morales.
The Vice President-elect will take his oath in Filipino, the bible will be held by his wife, Dr. Elenita S. Binay.
Four ruffles and flourishes will be rendered by the Armed Forces of the Philippines immediately upon the conclusion of the Vice-President’s oath of office.
The public will rise and remain standing throughout the oath-taking ceremonies of the Vice President and the President. The public will be seated upon the commencement of the President’s Inaugural Address.
12:00 Noon: Administration of the Oath of Office to the Honorable Benigno S. Aquino III, President-elect of the Philippines, by Associate Justice Conchita Carpio-Morales.
In 1899, the oath was administered by the Speaker of the Malolos Congress, since President Aguinaldo was elected by Congress. Since 1935, the judicial branch of government witnesses and participates in, the inauguration in this manner.
From Aguinaldo to Quirino, presidents did not swear on the bible, a legacy of the Revolution of 1896 and the separation of Church and State. President Magsaysay was the first president to swear on the bible, in fact using two, one from his father’s and mother’s branch of the family. The bibles were placed on the lectern. In 1957, Bohol Governor Juan Pajo held the bible as Carlos P. Garcia took his oath. President Marcos, in 1965, also swore on two bibles, one from his father, the other a gift from his wife.
Aguinaldo took his oath in Spanish. Quezon, Osmeña, Roxas, Quirino, Magsaysay, Garcia, Macapagal, Corazon Aquino, and Arroyo took their oath in English. Laurel, Marcos, Ramos, Estrada took their oath in Filipino.
At the conclusion of the oath of office, a 21 gun salute, four ruffles (drumrolls) and flourishes (trumpet blasts), and the playing of “Mabuhay,” the presidential anthem composed by Tirso Cruz Sr. and used since the Quezon administration, takes place.
“Mabuhay” was composed by bandleader Tirso Cruz Sr. (grandfather of actor Tirso Cruz III) and adopted by President Quezon as the presidential anthem during the Commonwealth. It has been used by presidents ever since.
Associate Justice will be the second Filipino Associate Justice to administer the oath of office, although this is the fourth time an associate justice has administered the oath of office to a Philippine president (this happened twice during the period in exile of the Commonwealth Government, and once during the revolutionary oath taking by Corazon C. Aquino).
The oath of office of the President of the Philippines has remained unchanged since 1935:
I do solemnly swear [or affirm] that I will faithfully and conscientiously fulfill my duties as President [or Vice-President or Acting President] of the Philippines, preserve and defend its Constitution, execute its laws, do justice to every man, and consecrate myself to the service of the Nation. So help me God.” [In case of affirmation, last sentence will be omitted]
Matimtim kong pinanunumpaan (o pinatotohanan) na tutuparin ko nang buong katapatan at sigasig ang aking mga tungkulin bilang Pangulo (o Pangalawang Pangulo o Nanunungkulang Pangulo) ng Pilipinas, pangangalagaan at ipagtatanggol ang kanyang Konstitusyon, ipatutupad ang mga batas nito, magiging makatarungan sa bawat tao, at itatalaga ang aking sarili sa paglilingkod sa Bansa. Kasihan nawa ako ng Diyos.” (Kapag pagpapatotoo, ang huling pangungusap ay kakaltasin.)
Note that the Constitution specifies the title of the chief executive as President of the Philippines, not President of the Republic of the Philippines, which is only used in certain diplomatic documents.
Inaugural Address by His Excellency Benigno S. Aquino III, President of the Philippines.
Aquino will be the ninth president to deliver his inaugural address at the Quirino Grandstand (Estrada and Arroyo were sworn into office elsewhere but delivered their inaugural address at the Quirino Grandstand in 1998 and 2004).
Shortest inaugural address in a regular inaugural: Ramon Magsaysay on December 30, 1953, 8 minutes in duration. Corazon Aquino’s in 1986 was even shorter (but under emergency circumstances).
Here is an extract from J. Eduardo Malaya & Jonathan E. Malaya, …So Help Us God: The Presidents of the Philippines and Their Inaugural Addresses, Anvil Publishing 2004:
Presidents write their speeches, or are presumed by the public to do so. Most, in fact, did…
Mariano Ezpeleta, legislative secretary to Roxas, described the drafting of the 1947 State of the Nation Address in his memoirs…
Ezpeleta and Jorge Bocobo, Roxas’s law professor at the University of the Philippines, were then asked by the president to go over the text as “corrector de estilo” (editor):
“We went over the speech. We changed some words, phrases, sentences and idioms to conform to what we know the president was used to in speaking. The gist of the speech, we kept intact. Dr. Bocobo suggested that we put in at the very last, a forceful and eloquent paragraph, in the nature of a climax. It took us rather long to agree on this climactic masterpiece…
“I gave the speech to the president the next day. Afterwards, he returned the speech to me for his stenographer to put in clean. I looked at the draft for any correction. There was none, except that the last climactic paragraph we added with so much effort, was canceled with the comment ‘not necessary.’”…
The challenge for speechwriters is to craft the speech as the president would do so, in the latter’s style: Does he speak in a formal or conversational tone? In a concrete and linear way, or circular and abstract? In short, direct sentences, or long-winded paragraphs? Does he refer to himself in the first-person, with lots of the pronoun “I”, or in the impersonal third person tone? Are his lines gentle or sharp-edged? With humor, self-deprecation or in all seriousness? If he thinks and speaks in some way, then the text should be drafted in the same manner.
The speech ought to reflect the chief executive’s thought processes and style of speaking, otherwise, it will sound artificial. The speech will convince no one that it is the president speaking. It is, after all, no one else’s but the president’s. “Find the voice of the person you’re writing for,” advised Peggy Noonan, speechwriter to Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush.
Eight of the fourteen Philippine presidents, from Quezon to Marcos, were lawyers and had extensive government experience. They tended to think and speak in concrete, linear, often stentorian ways. In contrast, Magsaysay had an aversion to big words. Recalled Narciso Reyes, a one-time speechwriter to Magsaysay… the guideline given them was to “simplify, simply,” to be in accord with the president’s style.
The speechwriting process has traditionally been kept out of the public view, and speechwriters rarely claim credit for their works. After all, what is important is the “finished product” -the words as delivered by the president. In time, the identities of the most likely wordsmiths usually surface. Quezon was a rugged individualist and a brilliant extemporaneous speaker,but he had prepared texts for important occasions. His chief speechwriter was the jurist Jose Abad Santos. Jose Reyes, executive secretary to Osmena, doubled as his speechwriter. Federico Mangahas, a noted writer-journalist, wrote not only for Roxas but also for his successor Quirino.Mangahas, with the assistance of Juan Collas, Quirino’s private secretary, is said to have drafted most of Quirino’s “fireside chats” to the nation.
Magsaysay’s stirring inaugural speech is credited to diplomat-writer Leon Ma. Guerrero. Raul Manglapus… also wrote some of Magsaysay’s later speeches. Rufino Hechanova, Rodrigo Perez, and Vicente Albano Pacis are said to have helped in drafting Macapagal’s inaugural speech. Marcos had a stable of fine wordsmiths, many drawn from literary and journalism circles, notably Adrian Cristobal, Krip Yuson, Francisco “Kit” Tatad, and Blas Ople.
Most of Aquino’s major speeches were written by Presidential Spokesman Teodoro L. Locsin, Jr. including her memorable address “Restoring Democracy by the Ways of Democracy” before the U.S. Congress…
Locsin described the relationship between the president and the speechwriter in his foreword to a collection of selected Aquino speeches:
“I am credited with the writing of some of these speehes that she alone could have inspired, instructed, and delivered with the intended effect. They could not have been written for anyone else because they express what she thought and what she felt, what she believed in. Not a line, not a word, in a draft did not originate in a thought or feeling of hers, and none remained that she had not carefully pondered and accepted.”
In essence, the task of putting policy and governance into words and phrases is a process which is solitary and personal to the chief executive. The speech is his or hers alone and no one else’s.
At the conclusion of the Inaugural address, the public will rise and recite the Panata sa Pagbabago.
Panata sa Pagbabago.
This is the innovation in the 2010 inaugural ceremonies. It is meant to respond to the President’s inaugural address by volunteers and the public at large pledging their support and participation in the democratic governance of the nation.
Conclusion of the Inaugural Ceremonies: Honors for President Benigno S. Aquino III,Recessional and departure of the President of the Philippines for Malacañan Palace.
Upon concluding the Panata sa Pagbabago, the honor guard will present arms and the President will troop the line, and be greeted by the service commanders of the AFP and PNP. He will proceed to Malacañan Palace, preceded by a motorized escort. Outside the gates of Malacañan Palace, the motorized escort will be relieved by the Presidential Guards to welcome their new commander-in-chief.
1:00 PM Ritual of the climbing of the stairs, Malacañan Palace.
The President formally takes possession of the Palace as his official residence and office, by climbing the main stairs of the Palace for the first time as President of the Philippines.
This is a tradition begun by President Quezon, who was moved by the legend that Rizal’s mother climbed the stairs on her knees, to beg for the life of her son. The climbing of the stairs signifies that the chief executive is the freely-elected head of the Filipino people, who is pledged to govern them with justice in contrast to the colonial governors who formerly inhabited the Palace.
Working Lunch in Rizal Hall, Malacañan Palace.
2:00 PM Induction into office of the Cabinet and various officials by the President of the Philippines, Rizal Hall, Malacañan Palace.
Please be advised that this has been rescheduled for 2:30 PM.
2:30 PM First Cabinet Meeting of the President of the Philippines, Aguinaldo State Dining Room, Malacañan Palace.
From 1935 to martial law, Kalayaan Hall (formerly Maharlika Hall and before that, the Executive Building) was the official office of the president. Cabinet meetings were held here (in the Cabinet, now Roxas, and Council of State, now Quirino, rooms) from the Quezon to the Macapagal administrations: among those who attended cabinet meetings in this building were Benigno Aquino Sr. as Secretary of Agriculture in the Quezon Administration; it is also the building in which Benigno Aquino Jr. held office as presidential assistant to President Ramon Magsaysay. Cabinet meetings have been held in the Aguinaldo State Dining Room since the Marcos administration.
4:00 PM Street Program, Quezon Memorial Circle begins.
6:00 PM Inaugural Reception, Reception and Rizal Halls, Malacañan Palace.
This is a reception for foreign and other dignitaries who wish to call on the new President. The term vin d’honneur will no longer be used, reverting to the premartial law practice of simpler official receptions. There will also be no Inaugural Ball (the last Inaugural Ball was for the 1981 Marcos inaugural, which was also the last time the Rigodon de Honor was danced in the Palace until June 12, 2009, when it was again danced on June 12 of that year). The President of the Philippines will offer a toast as a gesture of amity to the nations that maintain diplomatic relations with the Philippines.
7: 30 PM Toast to the Foreign Delegations and the Diplomatic Corps by the President of the Philippines, brief remarks.
8:30 PM Inaugural Concert, Quezon Memorial Circle, Quezon City.
Public concerts have been a feature of inaugurals since the Quirino administration. A public dance instead of an Inaugural Ball first took place in the Magsaysay inaugural in 1953, and restored as a practice by presidents since Macapagal in 1961. The last Inaugural Ball, complete with Rigodon de Honor, was held at Malacañan Palace in 1981. The President will return to his residence at Times Street, Quezon City, after the Inaugural Concert.