LAST FULL SHOW President Aquino, administration presidential candidate Mar Roxas, Budget Secretary Butch Abad and other Cabinet members perform a medley of songs from the 1960s, ’70s and ’80s with singer-composer Noel Cabangon during a thanksgiving party on Wednesday night for Liberal Party supporters at Balay in Cubao, Quezon City. LEO M. SABANGAN II
He could have sung and danced all night.
Letting his hair—or what’s left of it—down, a peppy President Aquino turned the thanksgiving gathering of the Liberal Party (LP) on Wednesday night into his own concert-cum-videoke session.
Mr. Aquino, also the chair of the decimated ruling party, stole the spotlight from his close friend, defeated LP presidential candidate Mar Roxas, who threw the street party-themed event for his supporters at the parking lot of the LP headquarters in Cubao, Quezon City.
Despite losing the election, Roxas looked happy. Finishing second after figuring poorly in the polls seemed good enough.
An LED screen beamed Roxas’ image beside the words “MARaming salamat! To all who fought the good fight!”
But it was a victory party, too, as LP vice presidential candidate Leni Robredo emerged victorious, though by a slim margin and amid unproven allegations of electoral fraud.
“Eat and drink, enjoy the party,” Roxas told everyone as he went around.
The food trucks around the venue offered not-so-ordinary grub. One of them was Sweet Ecstasy, the burger joint on Katipunan Avenue near the Ateneo campus in Quezon City where Roxas went after conceding defeat in the presidential election.
Even the beers were special. One of several local craft brands, Joe’s Brew, had an exquisite taste.
Music started at nightfall, performed live onstage by two alternating bands, J-Project and Highway 54.
Belting out upbeat disco music of the 1960s and ’70s and jigging to the new wave hits of the ’80s, Mr. Aquino flashed the rarely seen lighter side of the 15th President of the Philippines during the four-hour gathering.
“Do you want to dance or do you want to cry?” the President told the adoring crowd of about 3,000. “Don’t blame us if it rains suddenly.”
As if telling the audience that he was also into the music of the millennials, he said he wanted to sing Bruno Mars’ “Uptown Funk.”
The President, in a yellow short-sleeved shirt like Roxas, was all smiles when he arrived at about 7 p.m. under the usual heavy security.
He wanted to eat some Mongolian barbecue, but was mobbed by people who wanted to take selfies with him.
The next moment, the President and Roxas were jamming on stage with outgoing members of the Cabinet.
“Do you like the band’s performance? Do you want to hear somebody who sings better? Who do you want to sing next?” Roxas asked the crowd.
When the people started chanting “P-Noy! P-Noy!” Roxas told the President, “Sir, this popular demand.”
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