Duterte moves into ‘Bahay ng Pagbabago’

Christina Mendez - The Philippine Star

MANILA, Philippines – From Bahay Pangarap or Dream House, the official residence of the President is now Bahay ng Pagbabago (House of Change).

In his Facebook account, Peter Tiu Laviña, President Duterte’s campaign spokesman, said the presidential residence was renamed after Duterte moved into the newly renovated house on Monday.

Bahay ng Pagbabago was formerly called Bahay Pangarap and it was former president Benigno Aquino III who first used it as official residence.

“Let’s discard that P-Noy old name and pipe dream Bahay Pangarap as 75 percent of our voters rejected the continuation of his Tuwid na Daan,” Laviña said, apparently referring to the loss of administration standard-bearer Manuel Roxas II in the presidential race.

But Duterte was “alone and lonely” when he moved in to the presidential residence for security reasons, according to presidential spokesman Ernesto Abella.

Abella said yesterday Duterte was sad because he is not used to living in a big house surrounded by presidential guards 24 hours a day. 

“He said it is lonely there because the house is so big and he is alone,” Abella added.

Duterte said he plans to stay for four days a week in Manila and three days in Davao City,.

Bahay ng Pagbabago is situated at the compound of the Presidential Security Group across the Pasig River from Malacañang.

The house was refurbished during the time of former first lady Evangeline Macapagal in the 1960s. It was restored and became the clubhouse of the Malacañang Golf Club during the term of former president Fidel Ramos.

In 1996, the house was used as an alternative venue for official functions, in addition to recreational and social activities.

In 2008, architect Conrad Onglao essentially demolished the house and rebuilt it in contemporary style by retaining the basic shape of the roof as a nod to the previous historic structure.

Former president Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo inaugurated the place at a Christmas reception for her Cabinet on Dec. 19, 2008.   

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